Improving condo management with analytics

An expert makes the case for using data to optimize operations
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
By Adrian Teh

What is the average response time of managers in getting back to residents’ requests? For condo directors or managers that don’t know the answer, this is a must-read.

This article will go over what analytics means in the condo management world, but more importantly, why it matters and how it can benefit management companies and condo corporations.

What is analytics?

If a person has high cholesterol, what do they do about it? First of all, how did that person even know he or she has high cholesterol? Thanks to advances in medical technology, it’s now possible to measure cholesterol levels through blood samples. Now, how does this relate to condo management? They have more in common than one might think.

Data flows through day-to-day condo management operations like blood flows through the body. A person’s blood offers an immense amount of information that can be used to help measure and improve his or her health. So does data for the well-being of condo communities.

Analytics is the process of capturing, interpreting and communicating useful information for better decision making. Done correctly, it’s possible to harness the data that is available today to measure and optimize day-to-day condo management going forward.

Why it matters

Peter F. Drucker, who has been called the inventor of modern management, once famously said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” It’s like guessing how much flour to add while baking a cake. Except, in this example, the worst case scenario is an ugly or inedible cake. In condo management, however, there’s more at stake. It can cost management firms and condominium communities alike a lot of time and money.

Here are five reasons to do analytics for condo communities, depicted through a fictional property manager called Bob.

1. Better decision-making

Bob needs to figure out when the peak days for package deliveries are so that he can better prepare the concierge to receive them. With analytics, Bob is able to visualize the pattern of peak days through a chart using the data captured from package deliveries over the past 12 months.

2. Better management culture

With analytics in place, Bob can use the information captured to set achievable goals and show measureable results. As a result, the monthly meetings he leads are now driven by wins such as issue resolution. For example, with analytics Bob now knows what the average response time is to resolve a work order — his team can now strive to reduce that average response time. This helps Bob build a collaborative culture that facilitates faster, more productive monthly meetings with more consensus among board members.

3. Predict and prevent emergencies

When a one-time power outage happens in a single unit, it’s not such a big deal. But when it happens regularly, building-wide, within the span of a few months, it is a big deal.

Bob needs to get on top of the situation pronto before it gets any worse. Analytics let Bob see into the future and take action before major system failures happen.

Lucky for Bob, he is able to fix the aging and leaking watermain, which adverted a huge cost and otherwise would have led to a catastrophe.

4. Prioritize for better planning

Bob has 101 things to do each day, so he needs to spend his limited time wisely. With analytics, he is able to prioritize the leaking watermain over the slow elevator based on a visualization of the frequency of issues that has been reported relating to them.

5. Better AGMs

To some, the AGM is a dreaded day — depending on what’s on the agenda. With analytics supported by data captured throughout the year, Bob can confidently present the thousands of service requests that he and his team have resolved, along with the hundreds of works orders that need to be brought forward to this year.

The potential debate over converting the billiards room into a party room is rendered unnecessary by stats. Bob shares that the billiards room was booked a mere three times over the past 12 months — in other words, it’s hardly used.

Numbers keep condominium corporations and their managers moving towards common goals. They also keep people on the same page, whether it’s board members or residents at large. This unity is really what analytics is all about. It ensures communities are well-managed and maintained based on facts and figures.

Adrian Teh is co-founder and CTO of condo management software Evercondo. He is an entrepreneur, software engineer and business process optimization consultant with years of experience in optimizing business processes using data and technology.

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