Our award-winning, in-house systems Fusion and Advantage 2.0 help us to deliver on KPIs.
Apartment industry peers give an unusual look when they learn that BH employs software developers. That’s because it is unusual. But not at BH.
“This is not something a lot of property management companies have,” Katelin Smith, Senior Director of Data and Analytics at BH, says. “But they are what helps set us apart from the competition. Our Analytics and Software Development team has continued to grow in scope and size over the past seven years.”
Along with Katelin, the team now includes a total of 17 team members, led by Chief Data Officer, Brandy Daniel.
Technology and innovation are cornerstones in BH’s operations strategy. Seven years ago, Brandy and her team set out to bring that function in-house by creating Fusion which optimizes our efforts to better understand and meet multifamily KPIs which play an important role in helping to drive decision-making.
In 2021, Fusion was named “Real Estate Analytics Platform of the Year” by the PropTech Breakthrough Awards.
“In this industry, it’s very important to own your own data, and we do,” Katelin says. “That’s something many other apartment operators are still striving to do.”
Data storage and use was a primary topic at the recent National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC) OPTECH conference, where Katelin moderated a panel of industry supplier partners before an interested audience of multifamily professionals.
Data Interpretation an Accelerating Trend
Among the KPIs that BH displays in Fusion are occupancy, days vacant, and effective rent.
For the construction side, Fusion tracks “days to ready” and the ROI on apartment home renovations.
Interpreting data is an accelerating trend in property management. Katelin says that through machine learning, BH can make predictions about the future performance of our communities on metrics like occupancy and retention rate.
Understanding Data Warehouses and Data Lakes
Developers and Analysts use data warehouses and data lakes to organize data. Katelin explains that data warehouses include structured data that has been organized into tables. Data lakes house unstructured data such as photos or emails. Using machine learning, unstructured data can be given structure to make it meaningful so it can be used to inform decisions.
“With having data in warehouses and lakes, it’s not ‘or’ it’s ‘and,’ because they work together,” Katelin says.
Katelin says this year, her department has been working with IT to migrate BH’s data to a better, more scalable infrastructure that will allow them to bring meaning to unstructured data. This will be released in December with the roll out of Fusion+ which includes natural language processing.
She says the ongoing focus will be to move from descriptive and diagnostic analysis to predictive and prescriptive uses. BH began to roll this out this year with Advantage 2.0 where the rate engine uses statistical analysis to predict future occupancy and adjust rates accordingly to help the onsite team meet their goals.
When Data Is Your Passion
Katelin says data analysis is her passion. She’s worked at BH for 10 years, starting as an HR Generalist. There, she began to learn how to produce reports using IBM Cognos and found her passion.
Katelin wanted to take data collection and analysis to another level. While working at BH, Katelin earned her master’s degree in Analytics and master’s in business administration (MBA) and joined Brandy’s team in 2018.
To learn more about BH’s in-house systems, Fusion and Advantage 2.0, visit our website.