A data warehouse stores data such as all your rent rolls, snapshots of your A/R aging data, your general ledger, proformas and such. All the leads ever received, all the visits and all the leases. And a lot more. On this page we list ten benefits of a real estate data warehouse. Real estate companies that know what to do with all this data treat their data warehouse like a gold mine. Here are ten benefits of a real estate data warehouse.
1. One Place for All the Important Data
Instead of exporting data into Excel and creating your reports, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to export the data at all? A data warehouse provides a centralized repository for storing data from various sources within the property management company. This includes transactions in your general ledger, your proformas, maintenance service tickets, leads, capital projects and more. Having all this data in one place streamlines data management and ensures data consistency and accuracy. And your analysts can spend time on high-value work instead of manual cut/paste data preparation.
2. Data Combined From Multiple Systems
While your property management system, such as Yardi, Entrata, Rent Manager etc. contain a vast majority of your business data, most companies also use other systems and generate data elsewhere. For example, water meters, your loans, your acquisition underwriting assumptions, your marketing campaigns, your investor portal and so on. A real estate data warehouse can integrate data from these disparate sources, allowing for comprehensive and holistic analysis of the company’s operations.
3. Useful Historical Data
When we set up a data warehouse, we find out when the properties became operational and if historical data exists (P&Ls, GL transactions, rent rolls etc.). This historical data becomes useful for trend analysis, identifying long-term patterns, and making strategic decisions based on past performance.
4. Ability to Scale Your Analytical Capabilities
As your real estate management company grows, you will accumulate more and more data. At some point, data processing and analysis will get slowed down by the sheer volume of data in each export. A well-designed data warehouse can handle large volumes of data efficiently and ensure consistent performance as more properties, more deals and more external data sets are added..
5. Useful, Clean, Reliable Data
Have you heard the term “ETL”? We use it all the time. It stands for Extract, Transform and Load. It’s the process that pulls data out of systems, cleans and transforms data before it is stored. Transforming can mean standardizing property names, fixing phone number formats, replacing blanks and nulls in the incoming data etc. This process helps to ensure data accuracy and reliability, reducing the risk of making decisions based on incorrect or incomplete information.
6. Ability to Fully Use Tools Like Power Bi and Tableau
Data warehouses facilitate the implementation of business intelligence tools like Power BI or Tableau, allowing property management teams to create interactive dashboards and reports. These tools provide a clear and visual representation of data, enabling better decision-making at all levels of the organization.
7. Efficient Reporting and Analytics
With data stored in a structured manner within the data warehouse, your asset management team, acquisitions team and operations team can do analytics using tools like Tableau, Power Bi or Excel, and build dashboards and uncover insights into your company’s performance, occupancy rates, maintenance costs, tenant satisfaction and so on.
8. Talent Retention
Many of our customers employ talented asset management analysts, acquisitions analysts, operations analysts and other smart individuals who are savvy with data and understand the real estate business.
If Excel is the only tool they know how to use for analytics, they will become dinosaurs in their field. They should have access to a data warehouse containing clean, reliable data. They should know how to use tools like Tableau or Power BI so they can multiply their insights. If you keep making them export data from your systems and write VLOOKUPs and SUMIIFs, they are going to quit.
So, yes, you can count talent retention among the key benefits of a real estate data warehouse.
9. Complying With Privacy and Regulatory Guidelines
If you have valuable data such your P&L, acquisition assumptions and rent rolls sitting in Excel files on hard drives and SharePoint folders, you are inviting risk. All real estate management companies deal with sensitive information, including financial data and tenant details. When data is centralized in a data warehouse, better security measures and data governance practices can be implemented to ensure compliance with regulations and safeguard the privacy of data.
10. Foundation for Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is going to be exciting for us and our customers. Companies that already have a data warehouses are in a position for implementing advanced data analytics techniques like machine learning and artificial intelligence. These technologies can be used to automate processes, predict your leasing funnel, optimize rents, and enhance customer service. The first place we plan to apply AI is in acquisitions. Specifically for setting the underwriting assumptions by utilizing historical operational data (expenses, lease up velocity, occupancy, actual vs budget variances etc.)
If you don’t harness the benefits of a real estate data warehouse …
I assume your company is growing, you are adding more properties to your portfolio, and the volume of data generated by your business is expanding. Your competitors, who are pursuing the same acquisition properties as you, or are pitching to the same investors as you, are learning how to use their data to make accurate offers and respond faster to opportunities. Having a data warehouse gives them a comprehensive and organized approach to data management, and use it to enable better decision-making, operational efficiency, and driving higher asset values.