Q&A: Jasmine Greene on How Radix Data Is Helping Maverick Residential in the Pandemic

At the recent NAA APTvirtual conference, Jasmine Greene provided great insight into how the right comp data can benefit apartment operators in all market conditions.

To begin with, an apartment community has to make sure it’s comparing itself to the right properties, she noted.

“You can’t just include properties that are in your same zip code or within a two- or three-mile radius because some of those properties might be not be physically comparable with yours,” said Greene, Vice President at Maverick Residential, which recently merged with Roscoe Property Management.

“Maybe you have a really amazing gym or fitness center because that’s the demographic that you’re trying to target. You don’t want to compare yourself with a property that doesn’t have that in their package because you’re not going after the same resident or prospect,” she added. “If your goal is young professionals, then you need to make sure you are competing with where the young professionals are living. It’s about actually competing with the right properties and not just competing by default.”

Greene’s comments came during the Pandemic Performance: Know Your Comps, Streamline Operations, Make Proactive Decisions session at APTvirtual with Blerim Zeqiri, Founder and CEO of Radix.

Together, Zeqiri and Greene discussed the benefits of automating comp surveys and how Maverick’s communities have used the data they get from Radix to thrive during the pandemic.

After the session, we caught up with Greene to get some more of her in-depth insights. 

At APTvirtual, you outlined how the automated SurveySwap helps your onsite leasing associates do their jobs better. What are some of the benefits you’ve seen from the solution?

Greene: Doing manual market surveys is very time consuming, and associates are prone to making errors when doing them. I’ve seen all sorts of misspellings and inaccurate data in them.

Automating your market surveys ensures you’re getting true apples-to-apples comparison data, and it frees up your associates to spend more time taking care of prospects and residents.

Also, when market survey information is automatically gathered, your associates can have really productive phone conversations with their counterparts at other communities. They don’t have to spend any time exchanging information – they can talk about the accurate, real-time data they already have in hand. That leads to a high-quality conversation that helps inform good decision-making.

You also spoke quite a lot during the session about how your portfolio has performed well even during the pandemic because of your use of data. Tell us more about that.

Greene: Concessions is a huge leading indicator for me. Through Radix, we’re able to keep super-close tabs on the concessions in our comp sets and in our submarkets, and doing this has helped us make sound strategic decisions during this time. 

We’ve seen a decrease in concessions and an increase in rents in many of our submarkets in Phoenix, and I would imagine that’s the complete opposite of what many people were expecting. At Maverick, from March to the end of August, our average rent growth was 8%. That includes both new leases and renewals, and it’s because of this data. 

When we can really see that there are good things happening across our competitors in terms of rent, occupancy and forth, we know we come up with creative solutions to help currents residents and sign new ones while still pushing on rent and minimizing concessions. 

As you know, Maverick recently merged with Roscoe Property Management, and I think our performance and resilience during the pandemic was definitely something that caught their eye. Radix also helped us during the due diligence phase of the merger, because we were able to provide that real-time data about our properties and our comps. It created an atmosphere of real transparency. Everyone knew where everyone stood.

What are some examples of how you’ve been creative during the pandemic to sign new residents and help existing ones?

Greene: We’ve offered deposit alternatives for residents and payment plans for our current residents who have been impacted by the pandemic. I’ve been very impressed with the creative ideas that have come about from our team.

If anything, I would say all this has brought our teams and our residents closer together, which has been something really beautiful to see. It’s been a ride.

Q&A with Lauren Kazimierek, Client Manager for Radix

It would be hard to imagine someone better positioned to serve Radix clients than Lauren Kazimierek.

After all, before joining our company in early 2020 as a Client Manager, Lauren was a Radix client herself.

As the Assistant Property Director at Alta Drinkwater, a Wood Residential Services community, she used Radix to conduct market surveys and build a database about the property’s comps. The solution made quite an impression.

“I was definitely impressed with what a time-saving piece of technology this was for the team,” Lauren says.

To help you get to know Lauren better, we recently sat down with her to learn about her career in multifamily, what excites her about being part of the Radix team and her favorite books.

Tell us about your career before you joined Radix.

Lauren: I was in multifamily property management and started with ConAm Management Corporation in California, where I then recently transferred to Arizona. Before Radix, I was the Assistant Property Director for Wood Residential Services here in Scottsdale and got the amazing opportunity to join Radix at the beginning of this year.

What most excites you about being part of the Radix team?

Lauren: What excites me the most is the ability to take my multifamily experience and help our clients understand the platform. Additionally, providing the support and guidance in making them as successful as they can be in utilizing the platform.

I love engaging with our clients, and love to see them have that “a-ha” moment where they realize how this can be a time-saver for their market surveys (or even for their reports!)

What do you like to do to relax and unwind from your job?

Lauren: I love the outdoors and have been really enjoying hiking. I also just took up paddle boarding. It’s pretty hot here in Arizona during the summers, so I’m trying to paddle board more often.

I moved to Arizona to be a bit closer to some of my family, so besides the outdoor activities, I really enjoy spending time with family as well.

Just for fun, tell us your favorite book, your favorite movie and your favorite musician.

Lauren: I have two favorite books: the first one is “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, and the second is “Many Lives, Many Masters” by Brian Weiss.

My favorite movie is the 2010 version of “Tron.” (I’ve always loved this movie!)

And my favorite musician would be a band named Pepper.

Radix Weekly Data Report – June 17th
Leading Indicators Continue to Improve from Pandemic Impact

The seven-day period ending on June 17 brought more good news for the apartment industry, according to our most recent data report.

The data reaffirmed the positive trends we saw during the preceding week, and it is becoming clearer that all the leading indicators are on the mend and are erasing year-over-year deficits. On a national basis and in most metropolitan statistical areas, traffic and leases are increasing week over week, which is leading to WoW increases in occupancy and leased percentage rates.

Net effective rents were also up WoW in eight of the 21 MSAs tracked by Radix during the week ending on June 17. The national net effective rent was $1,734; that’s down 20 basis points from the preceding week and down 4.5% from the same time last year. On a positive note, the WoW drop was smaller than the one during the preceding week.

With that background, here are some of the notable takeaways from the week ending on June 17:

  • Nationally, traffic was up 6.3% WoW and down 19.8% YoY. During the week ending on June 10, the YoY was still behind at 22.7%.
  • On a national basis, leases were up 2.2% WoW and down just 0.7% when compared with the same time last year.
  • The national occupancy (92.85%) and leased percentage (94.75%) rates were up WoW by 12 basis points and 14 basis points, respectively. The YoY deficits for both metrics are getting smaller, and with positive trends in traffic and leases, we should see occupancy and leased percentage rates continue to gain strength across the country.
  • As for individual MSAs, Miami, Riverside, Calif., and Tampa, Fla., saw the largest WoW increases in occupancy. Meanwhile, the West Coast is home to some of the largest YoY declines in occupancy, with San Diego (-3.32%), Seattle (-3.08%), San Jose, Calif. (-2.72%), San Francisco (-2.58%), and Los Angeles (-2.49%) all among the six markets with the largest annual declines. San Antonio (-2.91%) also is in the top six.
  • The $3 WoW dip in the national net effective rent represented the smallest decline in weeks. MSAs with the strongest WoW gain in rent were Riverside (1.0%), Las Vegas (0.9%) and Phoenix (0.3%).

National Apartment Association
How to Get the Right Data

In today’s apartment landscape, let it never be said that apartment operators lack access to data.

Whether it’s a community’s own data, revenue management data, marketing data or market surveys of competing communities, or metro area/submarket reports produced by third parties, there has been a serious uptick in the availability of metrics and business intelligence during the past few years. And apartment managers are finding themselves awash in an overwhelming amount of statistics and numbers.

Read the full article on NAA.

Rental Data Delays Are Not OK

Life moves pretty fast.” So said the wise philosopher Ferris Bueller in the 1986 classic movie.

I can’t help but think of that line sometimes when thinking about apartment rental rates. They move pretty fast, too. In fact, they’re changing on an almost daily basis.

To make the most effective decisions regarding pricing and concessions, apartment communities need access to real-time rental rate data, or something extremely close to it.

The problem is, though, many operators are relying on data that – especially in the lightning-fast world we live in now – seems downright out of date.

Delayed Data

Operators rely on a number of data points when trying to determine how rates for their communities compare to the competition. These data points include everything from market rent, concessions (upfront and/or amortized) for each unit type, occupancy and leased percentage, traffic and leases, amenities, etc.

Similarly, and to help ease the process of gathering all these data points, operators sometimes turn to market surveys compiled by third-party research organizations. These surveys are usually conducted at the market level and then a regression analysis is performed to determine submarket data. While this methodology seems to offer the most robust and logical look at how an entire market or metro is performing there are two key areas of concern: 1) the survey data is, in the best-case scenario, 30 days old and 2) the surveys don’t provide true insight into the surrounding submarket, let alone at the property/comp level.

It is also a common practice for research firms to collect market data through a variety of tactics including ILS scraping and cold calling properties within a market. These practices can result in erroneous data sets due to inaccurate ILS listings and timing needed to conduct property calls.

Onsite Team Efforts

In an effort to combat the potential pitfalls of third-party market surveys, communities also leverage onsite associates to research rental rates and vacancy data for competing properties. This manual process is also problematic. First, it can take awhile for associates to actually get in contact with someone who will give them the information. Furthermore, there is an assumption that the person on the phone is providing the most accurate information – which unfortunately is not always the case.

Also, overextended associates are understandably prone to human error when gathering this data and inputting it manually into market survey spreadsheets. Finally, by the time rental rate information has been gathered and the resulting spreadsheets have been compiled and passed, the data within the spreadsheets is often out of date.

Put simply, the methodologies used to collect and manage comp data in the multifamily industry today are seriously flawed. So the result is poor pricing and management decisions that cost millions if not billions of dollars in revenue.

The Benefits of Real Time

Furthermore, it’s time for operators to commit themselves to put automated processes in place that allow them to gather and analyze real-time rental data about the submarkets in which their communities are located.  

When they have access to this type of data, they develop a true understanding of how their properties are actually competing within their submarkets. As a result, they can make effective, relevant decisions about pricing that reflect where their competitive set truly is at that point in time. In short, they can be sure that their pricing is never too high – or too low.