by David Stunja
As the apartment world clamors to adopt new technologies, it is discovering that all platforms are not created equal.
The typical vetting time for new systems has been reduced in many cases, as operators have been forced to fast-track implementation during the pandemic—but a key theme is emerging nonetheless. On the broad scale, operators have become partial to systems capable of integrating into their current technology platforms.
While proprietary data systems were favored in the past, the industry is gravitating toward a data-sharing model, knowing that the ability to integrate data enhances the capabilities of the provider and operator. And yes, pet and assistance animal information is part of the mix and is often overlooked when two systems are connected.
Here are a few of the ways platforms with data-sharing capabilities are making an impact in the industry and how they can aid the quest for smoother pet and assistance animal processes:
Ease of workflow
When associates are constantly toggling between systems, it is simply inefficient. The timesaving aspect alone is enough to validate an integrated platform, and the increased workflow will make associates more productive. It will also enable them to focus more prominently on key community-related tasks rather than busywork. Essentially, the lack of integration results in an uneven workday.
Data can be sliced in many ways, but how accurate is it? For instance, if you are trying to track the number of pets and assistance animals at a community, which residents have acknowledged pet-related policies and which apartment homes contain service or support animals, a spreadsheet is an archaic method. It becomes obsolete the moment something changes.
But if pet and assistance animal information across your community is saved in perpetuity in a comprehensive database, updates arrive in real time and key metrics can be referenced whenever needed. And the more manual processes are removed from the data-collection process, the more accurate and actionable it becomes. In the pet example, awareness of where a specific pet is located within the community can also greatly assist in first-responder situations.
More intuitive revenue management
It is no secret that data-driven decisions are more effective than those based on gut feelings, even if the latter is occasionally successful. Accurate data based on renter trends within the market can help operators determine strategies to attract the largest segment of available renters. It can also help them discover areas in which they are leaving behind potential revenue, whether it’s by not utilizing storage space, having too rigid of pet limits or by not offering residents potentially high-demand rentable items—such as rental bikes in recreation-heavy locales. Integrated systems can pull various sets of submarket data into the property management system and allow operations teams to quickly uncover pertinent data—data that can be used to boost potential income.
As data sharing becomes a staple of the apartment industry, closed systems might soon become obsolete. That’s because they limit the potential impact of a platform while open systems create a multitude of possibilities. Actionable pet and assistance animal data is a prime example of why the apartment industry is beginning to favor an open-system model.