A proptech startup, RCKRBX, claims that it has a software platform that can provide to multifamily owners, developers, and operators “demand-side, voice-of-customer data from current and prospective renters across targeted markets.”
The data includes “real-time human insights and their connections to familiar real estate market metrics and supply-side data, making it possible to paint far more holistic, vivid, and predictive pictures of a project’s future, including the populations who will live there, and the premiums they will pay, for what and why,” according to a company press release.
RCKRBX says it has data models, predictive analytics, and micro-targeting capabilities that use principles and practices of political campaign research, an area the company’s founders worked in for years.
The company said that the multifamily industry has relied on “anecdotal evidence” and “supply-side, retrospective market data” to help form strategies. Such data can be useful, but among strategic planning experts, the use of historical data can also be problematic. Strategy is the process of determining where to go in the future, possibly into new market segments or areas. Historical data may not represent the same dynamics, relationships, and associations and so, on its own, can lead to poor decisions.
The company uses renter polling data “combined with contextual market and supply-side data.” Surveys receive quarterly updates to match U.S. Census Bureau demographics at neighborhood levels, so trying to create a truly representative sample at the time of a survey. RCKRBX says it uses quantitative research standards and best practices.
“Using the RCKRBX platform, professionals across the multifamily sector can now quantify and understand what renters want, think, and see in real-time, forecast how preference-based decision drivers will impact market demand, lease-up, and premiums of a potential project, and optimize programming to mitigate investment risk, deliver greater net-operating-income, enhance competitive performance, and maximize liquidity and returns,” the company said.
“In my investment experience, the RCKRBX platform provides a key addition to traditional market research and, in effect, a third leg to the programming process,” the release quoted Mark Taylor, managing director of residential at AREP, as saying. “Adding RCKRBX to our existing tools greatly enhances our ability to iterate and optimize development scenarios to mitigate risk and maximize demand; on a real-time basis with the fringe benefit of a reasonable cost. The nature of capital today means we have to have maximum confidence in our assumptions and programming. The addition of RCKRBX positions us for future success and competitive advantage, particularly as we claim first-mover ground, continually adapt our project underwriting to ever-evolving renter preferences, and capture greater premiums for delivering the right asset, in the right place, to the right audiences.”