BH Management Services, LLC is a property management company with more than 65,000 units under management in 22 states. The company manages on behalf of investor partners, but BH Companies also maintain some level of ownership in many properties through their subsidiary, BH Equities, according to Joanna Zabriskie, President of BH Management. She explained that, in the last few years, leadership has noticed a shift in the market.

“The industry overall is changing,” she noted. “In the past five to 10 years, institutional capital has found its way into the industry, and with it, the demands for information have far surpassed an accounting software system and the monthly reports it generates.”

The Right Business Intelligence for Real Estate

Due to these industry changes, BH Management decided to look into a Business Intelligence solution that could help improve visibility into its data.

“We need information on trends, and we need that daily,” Zabriskie explained. “We want to be able to see what happened yesterday at our properties, and predict what is going to happen tomorrow, so that we can make the right purchasing decisions and the right staffing decisions.”

The company went through an exhaustive search process, starting in the fall of 2014, to find the right BI solution for their needs.

“We spent time with all of the bigger platforms and all the known names, and we weren’t getting 100% of what we wanted out of the system,” Zabriskie said. “We actually thought about doing it ourselves — bringing it in-house and hiring some programmers and some report writers.”

However, in the middle of that deliberation process, BH Management was invited to meet with Rentlytics and learn more about the product. Zabriskie and her team sat down with CEO Justin Alanis, and were impressed with what they saw.

“We need a company that’s able to iterate quickly, is flexible, and will give us the information that we want, not a prepackaged set of formulas that doesn’t fit what we’re looking for,” she said. “The Rentlytics dashboards are digestible for those who are more visual and prefer to look at charts. Those of us who really want to drill down into the numbers have that option for the same set of data.”

Driving Portfolio-Wide Improvements

BH Management became an early Rentlytics customer in 2015, and the goal was to bring both its management team and its clients onto the platform as soon as the company turned on the switch. However, there was a slight hold-up, Zabriskie said.

“When I looked at Rentlytics, it took me all of five minutes to realize we had messy data,” she said. “Think about who inputs the data — if we have 200 properties and you have two people on each property inputting data, there are a lot of input error possibilities. I downloaded our lease terminations for all 65,000 units and saw we often had 2107 or 2106 as our lease expiration instead of 2017 and 2016. We had to clean up that information, train people how to put information in and set parameters in our property management and accounting systems.”

BH Management brought experts from Rentlytics in to train the team and clean up their data. With their expertise, BH Management was able to get ready for clients and the management team to look at the granular data, and start using that data to drive portfolio performance.

“Now, property managers understand exactly how many renewals they did last week or yesterday, and if it’s not in the system correctly, we can fix it,” Zabriskie said. “They own that data. The more we rolled it out to our system, the more accurate the data got and the more people were able to understand that what goes in affects what comes out.”

“We have a Rentlytics section in our investor deck, and we regularly talk about how we’re able to share real-time results with our clients.”

 

Joanna Zabriskie
President