Student Housing Business

MAY-JUN 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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DATA AND ANALYTICS May/June 2018 60 it's through manual processes or software and other tools." Axiometrics is a part of the Real- Page Asset Optimization Suite that incudes revenue management, business intelligence and bench- marking, market insights and mar- ket research tools. "There are a lot of moving piec- es, but we're seeing more and more where all these different pieces of software, data, technology and analytics are all tying together so you have a bunch of different tools you can use to visualize the data in a bigger, more accurate view." The Scion Group is focused on growing its internal data-collect- ing and business intelligence capa- bilities. Primarily, Scion is honing in on combining operational and experiential data, or O data and X data. According to Mitchell Smith, chief operating officer of The Scion Group, student housing tends to hyper-focus on O data, which includes supply and demand, leasing velocity, leasing rates and year-over-year performance met- rics. But the efficacy of that data is weakened if evaluated in a vacuum. X data measures the customer experience, taking cues from other industries (such as hospitality or retail) that build enduring brands. This data helps determine whether customers are 'detractors' or 'pro- moters,' resulting in an NPS (net promoter score), says Smith. "If you're a company who's not managing your NPS, you are leaving a ton of opportunity on the table," he says. "It's when you combine X data and O data togeth- er that you can glean great analyti- cal insights. I think there needs to be further dialog about O and X data. I think it benefits the entire industry to have this conversation because there's nobody in stu- dent housing who's meaningfully developing this competency in our work force." Some third-party products or programs are available to owners and operators that use algorithms to compare properties to set rents and track in synch with a market but, according to Smith, these tools don't synthesize all the relevant facts that should be considered before evaluating an asset's value proposition. "The problem with off-the-shelf products is they do not tell you your entire story," says Smith. "They will take in some qualitative information about the style of your property, unit type and square footage and combine that with other available O data. But that doesn't tell you anything about the efficacy of your marketing pro- grams or how your staff is per- forming among other things that impact your customer's experi- ence. It's the customer experience that really drives rate and velocity. Ultimately, they're not designed to take in enough data points to gar- ner meaningful insights. If you're basing your decision to raise or lower rates or offer an incentive or take an incentive off the table based off these products, you are making incomplete decisions." The next level for the industry, according to Smith, means invest- ing in a company's own internal proprietary software and business intelligence tools. "We develop our own apps to cultivate our business intelligence," he says. "Everything we need to know, we're collecting ourselves." The Science of Culture Many third-party marketing and branding companies that serve the industry are diagramming student experiences with acute precision. Michael Huereque, executive vice president of Denver-based Agen- cyFIFTY3 is collecting data that gets more granular every year in determining who a company's renters really are. "A great deal of our data revolves around the psychology of the consumer," Huereque says. "Understanding where they shop, eat, drink, play and work can all paint a very useful portrait of who they are as individuals. Once we intimately understand our mar- ket, we can physically program new developments and existing renovations around their existing needs and culture." This means if a student base is interested in fitness or are foodies, management can program yoga, Pilates or cycling into their budget, or hire a nutritionist to accompany a personal trainer. "If the students are travel buffs, we give annual travel vouchers to residents who have lived in our MITCHELL SMITH Chief Operating Officer, The Scion Group ACTIVELY SEEKING DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES 1849 Green Bay Road, Suite 400 Highland Park, Illinois 60035 847-748-3155 Newark, DE Pittsburgh, PA Boise, ID Knoxville, TN

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