The Lobby CRE team recently attended NAA’s Apartmentalize conference in San Diego, California. For the first time, we attended and exhibited at the conference and were not disappointed. We were handing out cool swag from our booth on the exhibit floor. Plus, some of the Lobby CRE team members ran live demos of our Income & Expense Benchmarking feature at the NAA HQ exhibit.
We loved the overall buzz and excitement and got to see many new and familiar faces. If you weren’t able to attend, we recommend adding it to your calendar in the future!
Here are our three key takeaways from the conference:
1) Analytics are Key for Strategic Decision-Making
In our opinion, one of the most valuable sessions focused on the importance of using data to make strategic decisions. During the session, the speakers discussed why Asset Managers, Portfolio Managers, and Property Managers need to leverage the data from their property management systems to then create actionable, measurable KPIs. Tracking this data enables firms to make faster, more informed decisions -thus, creating a competitive edge.
While many owners/operators, asset managers, and property managers already have access to the data, they are unsure how to extract meaningful insights from the information. One panelist mentioned the benefits of being able to “unlock the power of their data”. Their firm tapped into their data by using KPIs for strategic decision-making and haven’t looked back .
Key point: Anyone can use their data to make more informed business decisions. The challenge lies in aggregating and analyzing the data in order to extract meaningful next steps.
2) Benchmarking Sets The Tone for Portfolio Performance
Benchmarking was a “hot topic” in both breakout sessions and on the exhibit floor. Today, more and more commercial real estate (CRE) professionals are recognizing the importance of having access to competitive property-level data. They want and need real-time visibility into how their assets are performing to predict potential challenges, identify missed opportunities, create a plan, and respond proactively.
At Lobby CRE, we offer a benchmarking tool that enables asset and property managers to compare their data and key performance indicators (KPIs) across competitors’ portfolios and their own.
Key point: Benchmarking is valuable to gauge overall performance and help firms drill down further in order to analyze performance of a specific asset within the portfolio.
3) The Future of Affordable Housing Is Strong
Affordable housing was another popular topic at the conference. Affordable housing laws, regulations, and rules make it difficult to create a universal solution for tracking and analyzing data for the asset class. Thus, many of the affordable housing conversations during the conference focused on the future of the asset class. Some attendees wondered whether affordable housing data can be tracked by a property group – and if so is this type of tracking sustainable? Other attendees asked if affordable housing would ever be on the same page as other asset classes in the industry, with regards to data.
From our standpoint, we predict that the affordable housing market will adapt and become a data-driven segment.
Key point: The affordable housing segment has encountered challenges but is a resilient segment with a predictably strong, data-driven future.
Overall, NAA’s Apartmentalize conference was a success. Our team gained valuable information that we are still talking about with other CRE professionals in our network. Have questions about our take-aways or want to connect on any of the topics? Please contact us!