Hands down, the biggest buzz right now at every multifamily conference, summit panel, roundtable or leadership meeting is about artificial intelligence (AI). A myriad of experts and talking heads appearing on webinars and podcasts, or in articles and blogs (like this one), are stressing the necessity for the multifamily industry to adopt AI. They emphasize its potential to enhance the resident experience and optimize the leasing process, particularly through the use of dynamic, natural language AI chatbots. And, yes, AI chatbots are awesome and effective, but they represent merely one facet of AI’s immense capabilities.
The true value of AI technologies in multifamily lies in its ability to consume and analyze data to yield actionable insights. This introduces us to a less-discussed yet critical form of “intelligence”—business intelligence (BI).
With all the excitement surrounding AI and an industry desire for data-informed decision-making, there’s often confusion conflating business intelligence (BI) with artificial intelligence (AI). While the conversation comparing the two is not new, recognizing their unique contributions is key for strategic business decisions. AI refers to computer functions that replicate human thought processes, offering predictions and recommendations based on complex algorithms or language models. On the other hand, BI is grounded in information and analysis, providing a solid foundation for decisions leveraging historical data insights. Understanding how BI and AI can work in concert is the key to unlocking the value of “intelligence” for the multifamily industry.
There is an abundance of data sources available for property managers to collect from and analyze. My business is access control, and I may be biased, but I believe that modern access control systems produce some of the richest and useful data of any system in the proptech stack. Business intelligence, in the context of multifamily access control, refers to the collection, analysis, and presentation of data derived from the digital records of every access point over a period of time to support decision-making processes. Here are a few of the ways BI could use access control data to optimize functions or processes in a multifamily property:
- User Behavior Analysis: BI tools can analyze user access patterns, helping property managers understand when residents are most active, which areas are frequently accessed, and potential security vulnerabilities.
- Operational Efficiency: BI enables property managers to optimize operations by identifying bottlenecks in access control, reducing wait times, and streamlining administrative tasks.
- Security Threat Detection: By analyzing access data, BI can identify irregularities or suspicious patterns, allowing property managers to proactively address potential security threats.
- Operations Optimization: BI insights can help in the efficient allocation of resources. For example, understanding peak elevator usage, garage traffic or amenity access times can aid in scheduling maintenance or security personnel effectively.
- Tenant Satisfaction: By analyzing data on access requests and issues, property managers can address resident concerns promptly, leading to increased tenant satisfaction.
- Amenity Value: Analyzing the data collected by access control and smart locks at existing properties can provide essential insights for future developments. Creating demand models that correlate rents, tenant satisfaction, and renewal data with amenity usage could be incredibly valuable.
BI provides property managers with the tools to turn raw data into actionable insights, ultimately improving operational efficiency, enhancing security, increasing rents, optimizing future developments, and elevating the overall living experience for residents. In this data-driven approach, access control systems and smart locks offer considerable value beyond mere locking and unlocking, as they significantly expand the data collection touchpoints across a property.
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