In Blog Articles, Residential Real Estate

There’s no such thing as a dull day in a property manager’s office. The phones are always ringing. Residents pop in to say hello or submit a maintenance request. Staff members come in and out, addressing repairs and setting things up for events. And of course, everyone’s looking out for prospective residents stopping by to tour open units.

Multi-unit residential communities are buzzing with activity. It’s tremendously challenging to stay on top of the wants and needs of hundreds of residents while keeping the property running smoothly and cost-effectively. Even with all of the property management tools on the market, you might be missing out on something vitally important—data.

How Data Can Help Property Managers

Data can help property managers:

  • Plan better: Use data to identify trends and forecast future needs. For example, you can look at historical trends to identify peaks and valleys in the usage of property amenities, resources and staff tasks. Then you can make smarter decisions when planning for the future.
  • Do better: Use data to streamline operations and improve service delivery around the community. For example, monitoring the time to resolution on resident requests and work orders can help you identify inefficiencies you can then work with your staff to improve. You can also monitor the actions of staff members, such as completing work orders or modifying records. This data helps keep people accountable and reveals imbalances—perhaps someone is carrying too much of the workload—and it provides an impartial deciding factor in the event of a staff dispute.

Without a steady flow of reliable data (and the tools to analyze and report on it), property managers have to operate on hunches and gut instincts. That’s no way to run a business.

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Data Use Cases for Multi-Unit Residences

Property managers can use data in lots of different ways to help the community run more efficiently and cost-effectively, while delivering outstanding resident experience. Here are just a few ideas and thought-starters:

  • Beachside Towers (just an example) offers both jet ski rentals and sailboat rides as resident amenities. At the end of the season, Beachside compares the number requests for the two different amenities to evaluate their performance. Discovering minimal overall demand for sailboat rides, Beachside might discontinue this amenity for next year—or look for an outside provider to step in only during peak usage periods (such as holiday weekends).
  • MidCity Residences takes a look at data around package deliveries to identify patterns. Finding that most packages come in on Mondays and Tuesdays, MidCity bumps up the number of front desk staff scheduled on those days to handle the inflow. MidCity reviews this data biweekly, so it quickly spots the beginning of a seasonal uptick in package deliveries (hello, Christmas shopping!) and starts ramping up staff accordingly.
  • The District’s management believes that an average valet pick-up should take no more than ten minutes. In September, system data shows that more than 50 percent of valet tickets took 20 minutes to resolve. This reveals an inefficiency that the management team can address. Further investigation shows that the valet team is only checking the system for requests every ten minutes. Management can then implement steps to make sure valet attendants are notified of every request as soon as it’s received.

How Mobile Can Help

These days, a mobile app is one of the best ways to gather, analyze and report on property management data. Serving as a “goes everywhere” connection between residents and the property management team, a mobile app can capture more customer touchpoints in a single solution. If it has a back-end property management dashboard, a mobile app can also crunch all of that data into actionable reports. And with more data, made more meaningful and accessible, you can make smarter property management decisions.

Ready to learn more? Browse these quick videos of Phunware’s resident solutions in action to see what difference an app can make.
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