I Love Leasing Blog

"3 Areas Requiring Analytics in Multifamily" by Donald Davidoff


As we head into the high season for leasing, I decided to write a blog post on “the X things operators need to focus on.” As I started to think of different things, I kept coming up with items focused on analytics. So let’s talk about the three most important areas requiring sophisticated analytics.

 1. Marketing

Knowing your cost per lead or cost per lease isn’t enough now. Do you know:

  • The costs by channel? Do you know your conversion rates throughout the pipeline? For example, a low lease-to-tour ratio requires a completely different response than a low tour-to-lead ratio?
  • Whether emails or calls lead to better conversion to tours?
  • Which ILS gives you the best leads?
  • How walk-ins’ behavior differs from those who call and set up an appointment?

Knowing the answers to these questions, will allow you to optimize your marketing spend.

2. Sales

Sales is an inherently numbers-driven part of our business, yet it’s surprising how little data we track. Sure, we track the numbers of leases. And we may even track a closing ratio (though that can be a bad thing since a high closing ratio is actually a bad thing if you have low exposure). But, do you know:

  • Conversion ratios (e.g. tour:lead and lease:tour) by leasing agent so you can identify top performers and reward them accordingly?
  • How long it takes to get a new leasing associate up to full performance so you can assess the effectiveness of your onboarding and training?
  • Average lengths of time from lead to tour and tour to lease so you can better predict how well your current pipeline is likely to perform?

3. Pricing

Automated pricing and revenue management systems are probably the most impactful use of analytics that has ever hit our industry. If you’re not using one, then what’s holding you back? Almost all of the NMHC Top50 use one of the commercially available systems. I’ve got clients large and small, all benefitting from the discipline and the math that these systems bring to bear. But even if you’re using one, are you getting the most out of it? 


  • How volatile is your system? I.e. how frequently does it change prices and by how much?
  • Do you understand the impact of competitor prices on your pricing?
  • Are you using the “factory settings” for parameters or have you modified them to fit your business strategy?
  • How well is your system handling renewal pricing? What’s your strategy and do the results justify that strategy?
  • Do you know exactly how well your competitors are doing so you can assess your performance against them? In an apples-to-apples sub-market?

All of the questions above are high-impact. If you’ve got the data analytics and systems in place to answer them, then you’re well-positioned to out-perform your competitors. If you can’t answer some (or most) of these, then you should dedicate the rest of the year towards getting the analytics in place so you can answer these questions and out-perform the competition.