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9 Ways Big Data Is Revolutionizing Property Management


Property managers may not have to contend with the sheer volume of numbers Big Data conjures up — terabytes upon terabytes of unorganized ones and zeroes.

But Big Data’s real estate applications present other challenges, and as its name implies, Big Data can be unwieldy. Property Management teams can still find themselves mired in mountains of irrelevant information, only some of which can be mined for valuable insights — and identifying what is valuable is like finding a needle in a haystack.

And that is only half the battle. Interpreting the data, rendering it digestible, meaningful and relevant for decision-making is another challenge. Sifting through the data can yield important insights that aid workflow and budgeting.

We’ve compiled a list of Big Data’s nine most promising uses, according to property managers on the cutting edge.


1. Workflow

Property managers can use data to predict the time of day that they'll receive the most phone calls. They can sort the percentage of these phone calls representing tenant inquiries from those that come from potential occupants. They can gauge their satisfaction rate for the former and conversion rate for the latter. Once numbers are in, figuring out how to adapt workflow to improve them may be costly, but lucrative.

2. Applicant Impressions

Property managers can use data to reveal applicant demographics and tailor their marketing strategies to target different groups. They can also analyze email opens, click rates, display ad statistics and social media campaign penetration to further hone their marketing strategy. Lastly, they can anticipate, based on feedback and surveys, the times when visitors are most likely to be impressed with their property, and modify their open house or office tour schedules to hit that sweet spot.

3. Targeting Building Systems

Using comparative statistics, a property manager can determine the features that are non-negotiable to potential tenants, as well as the service providers and degree of flexibility they demand.

As tenants put in service requests, a property manager can crunch data to discern if there is one aspect of the property consistently underperforming. This knowledge can inform hiring decisions (what specialties/skills are needed in operations and maintenance), while also pinpointing property weak points for managers to address and update. 


4. Amenities Budgeting

Knowing how often tenants utilize specific amenities designates which are extraneous and which should be upgraded. Property managers can look at swipe access to pools, gyms, decks, business centers and conference rooms to measure how heavily they are used. They can then reallocate funds to in-demand amenities.

5. Sustainability

Energy consumption is influenced by a tremendous number of factors, and learning which are most prominent can enable a property manager to pointedly reduce energy expenditure, benefiting the environment and the bottom line. Big Data betrays electricity-leeching devices and practices, which a property manager can swap out for more efficient ones.

6. Leasing

Big Data can be leveraged most effectively for lease expiration management and pricing strategy, to boost occupancy and to maximize net income, respectively. Rainmaker Group’s Intelligent Lead Management determines how leasing teams are performing, identifies the most impactful advertising options and breaks down total expenditures for teams. The demand for comprehensive, accurate data sets, and qualified data analysts to interpret them and test hypotheses, is ever-increasing. 


7. Informing Policy

Reports compiled with Big Data can inform public policy, serving as evidence to affect zoning or secure approvals. Developers could reference traffic patterns, for example, to advocate for extra lanes or longer lights during peak hours.

8. Benchmarking

Big Data is relied on more and more for benchmarking, both external (comparing your property performance to competitors) or internal — (examining one building in your portfolio in relation to another).

9. Internet of Things

Finally, the Internet of Things will be fueled and enhanced by Big Data. Rather than trying to program your smart thermostat to fluctuate to your comfort temperature, it will automatically and constantly adapt to your preferences, contained in the historical data it pulls. 


Tenants with privacy concerns regarding Big Data may be comfrted by the fact that it is collected and used at the aggregate, rather than individual, level.

But that means a large amount of bandwidth is necessary to download or upload data sets, especially if the property management team lacks an in-house department capable of making sense of it.