by John Bradford
You most likely have detailed information about the vehicles owned by your residents. It helps your team control your parking garage, parking lot, understand the nuances of lot utilization and add revenue through monthly parking fees. It also helps the community monitor authorized and unauthorized vehicles.
Because the majority of your residents have cars, it’s intuitive that you should track and maintain this data. It’s an expectation across the industry, as data pertaining to occupancy numbers, premiums, concessions and ancillary fees is typically the most sought after.
Seeing that nearly 70% of residents are pet owners—that’s more than two-thirds of a community’s population—it makes sense that pet data would be tracked in the same way. Yet this is often an afterthought, and those who do aim to track pet data often do so in haphazard fashion.
This is where a streamlined pet process that requires no in-person contact and is entirely digital can be a significant game changer.
Comprehensive and reliable data isn’t readily accessible through manual and paper-based document gathering, which makes it nearly impossible to track the number of pets actually living at the property as opposed to those actually registered and paying pet rent. To investors scouring community-wide data, the incomplete or ambiguous pet data will stand out. Inaccurate data usually is glaring, and those reviewing it will certainly see red flags.
The integrity and clarity of operations data plays a critical role in driving asset value. The cleaner and more actionable the data, the more value it holds. That puts the onus on apartment operators to maintain data integrity as a way to maintain and add to the value of their communities.
For instance, if a community precisely tracks that 71% of their residents are pet owners and 89% of all reasonable accommodation requests for assistance animals were for dogs—and can provide a month-by-month breakdown—it indicates a proactive approach to data collection. Asset managers then can compare those figures to typical national benchmarks (pet ownership hovers around 67% and dogs account for 83% of reasonable accommodation requests for assistance animals) to determine whether the community significantly deviates from the norm in either way. If so, they can examine why.
To external parties, such as investors or acquisition teams, this data will help to tell a compelling story about your community and your residents. It will help them determine where opportunities exist to increase pet revenue, maximize NOI and make pet-friendly capital investments.
That’s one of the primary reasons why many apartment operators have adjusted pet processes at their communities with a more thorough, tech-based approach. By utilizing a comprehensive database of pet-related information, communities aren’t only making things easier for their onsite teams. They are demonstrating to asset managers how they are tightening loopholes, reducing risk and increasing revenue.
All properties have data in some form. But it is not created equally. Those able to demonstrate the true integrity of their data will tremendously boost their asset value.