Methodology


Methodology

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Data Quality Control

Our responsibility to our clients is to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.  Whereas other data providers use market sampling methods to provide an approximated view of a geographic area, ALN conducts primary research on all properties that fit our criteria to avoid the error introduced by sampling.

Internal methodologies affecting data quality include:

A review process to identify numeric outliers as well as spelling and formatting errors.

Two links included in all ALN platforms- One to connect a client to their Account Manager, and one ‘Corrections’ link that allows a client to flag potentially incorrect information with a pre-set email that goes directly to the President of ALN.

The Account Manager contact links allows clients to quickly and easily communicate with their specific Account Manager regarding a question or issue at which point the Account Manager will act as a liaison between the client and our research teams. Error notifications, regardless of which link is used for submission, are immediately addressed.

Corrections are updated into our platforms within 48 business hours, with same-day corrections being the goal.

Update Schedule

Information is updated during all business hours, every business day.  However, data points are updated on various schedules.

Dynamic data:  Properties are contacted every 25 business days for property-level data, including rents, occupancy, floorplans, use of a RMS, renovation status, Property Manager, Area Supervisor (Regional Manager) and Management Company.

Semi-Static: Attributes not likely to change as often, such as amenities, unit mix, lease terms and hours of operation are updated as part of a rotation.

New Construction data is gathered both through primary research and 3rd party sources deemed reliable by ALN. The New Construction subset of ALN’s database is updated daily, with individual projects updated according to their progress schedule.

Research is done both from ALN’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas as well as our satellite office in Kentucky.

How Markets Are Defined

ALN markets are geographic areas within states whose boundaries are defined by ALN.  While markets are based on SMSA’s (standard metropolitan statistical areas) as defined by the US Bureau of Statistics, multiple SMSA’s are often included within one ALN market.

Markets can be further broken down into:

City– The area within any city proper located within a given market.

Submarket– Areas within cities that are based on US Census Bureau census tracts. Other factors are taken into consideration, such as concentration of properties and major infrastructure like an interstate highway.

Zip Code– Properties included within a zip code, or multiple zip codes.

Street Address– Any properties located on a specific street of interest.

Custom Area– Any area as defined by the user on an interactive map of the market.

Calculated Data Points

ALN uses weighted averages for all averaged fields.

Rents: Rents are reported based on the rents for each unit type on the day of update. Average market and effective rent for a property are then calculated by averaging the rents weighted by the unit mix of the property. Average rents for geographic areas (submarkets, cities, markets, et cetera) are similarly weighted by unit count.

Concessions: ALN reports 3 different metrics regarding concessions.

  • The percentage of properties in a market that are currently offering concessions
  • The average concession package for the market
  • The average concession package amongst properties offering concessions in the market

Both average concession fields are weighted by number of units.

Market Surveys

Terms

% Occupied– The percentage of property units currently occupied.

% Leased– The percentage of property units occupied, with signed leases and move-out notices accounted for.

W/D– Washer/Dryer connection included.

NR Fee– Non-refundable administration fee paid by prospective resident.

Asterisk (*)– Any asterisk means ‘some units’. This typically applies to amenities in units.

New Construction: New construction projects for all multifamily product types. Project statuses range from pre-construction to properties that are in lease-up, but not yet stabilized. Properties that have started pre-leasing will be updated every month until stabilized.  Please refer to ALN’s New Construction Report for various types of construction.

Affordable Housing – These are properties with an income cap for prospective residents to be eligible to lease.

Accepts Section 8– These properties accept HUD vouchers. The government pays part of the rent, generally as a voucher, to offset the cost of living. Rent is set by the property.

All Bills Paid– Standard utilities such as water, electricity and trash are included in the rent for these properties.

Stabilized– A property that has reached at least 85% occupancy.

Asking/Market/Quoted Rent– The monthly rate residents are charged for a 12-month lease without adjustment for concessions.

Effective Rent– The monthly rate residents are charged for a 12-month lease, accounting for the available concession package. This is the amount a property collects in rent per unit each month.

Net Absorption– The net change, positive or negative, in the number of rented units in a given geographic range.

Occupancy– The percentage of units on a property that are rented.

Properties Included

Properties to be included as comps can be stabilized, or not, and can include conventional property types or specialty property types.

Pseudo properties can also be created as the subject property in cases where the property is not yet built.

Specific properties can be selected as comps, or properties within a geographic range can be chosen from.

Submarket statistics are based on conventional properties within the submarket.

FAQ’s

Where does ALN get its information?

We have multiple teams of trained researchers gathering data from publicly available sources, as well as through primary research.  Our primary research is done by contacting properties and management companies across the nation, daily.  In addition to these efforts, ALN leverages 3rd party sources when they are deemed reliable, mostly for new construction data.

How many properties and management companies are in ALN’s database?

Presently, there are over 125,000 properties and 10,500 management companies in the ALN database- and this number grows by the week.  However, we identify properties that meet our research criteria, and prioritize the update of those properties.  These generally include conventional multifamily properties with 50 or more units.

How often is the data updated?

ALN’s database is updated all business hours, every business day. Individual properties, along with their Property Manager, Area Supervisor (Regional Manager) and Management Company are first contacted for an update on a 25-business day rotation.

Monthly market metrics are aggregated beginning on the 1st of each month, through 12:00 midnight on the last day of each month.

How do I access ALN?

ALN offers multiple platforms, each tailored to the needs of specific types of users.  Visit www.alndata.com/services to see details on each program and to contact a salesperson regarding subscription information.

Who uses ALN?

Just about any type of entity in the multifamily industry can, and does, use ALN’s services.  Brokers, developers, lenders, appraisers, investors, public entities, suppliers, affiliates, properties and management companies utilize ALN both for market intelligence and lead generation.

Does ALN sell historical data?

Yes.  Monthly, quarterly, and year-over-year.  Please contact Sales@alndata.com or 1.800.643.6416 x3 for your custom quote.

Are reports available for export or hardcopy?

Yes!  Most reports can be exported into Excel for further analysis, or to a PDF for saving or printing. Custom market surveys are also available for PDF export.

Does ALN list properties for sale?

ALN does not provide sales information.

What is the cost to subscribe to an ALN platform?

Cost can vary by platform, geography and subscription length.  Contact Sales@alndata.com or 1.800.643.6416 x3 for questions, or to request a demo.

Glossary of Terms

Property Types

*Active Listings– Multifamily properties with 50 or more units that are not HUD subsidized and are not an assisted living property. Property types include Conventional, Mixed Residential, Senior Affordable and Independent Living, Affordable Housing, and Student Housing. Only these properties are contacted for updates on ALN’s 25-business day cycle.

Condos or Individually Owned– Properties that ALN knows to be fully individually owned condos, and do not lease. ALN does list condo units available for lease if operated as a group by a fee management firm, but units fitting that description are not included in this property type. A notation in a property’s unit mix would denote condo units for lease.

New Construction: New construction projects for all multifamily product types. Project statuses range from pre-construction to properties that are in lease-up, but not yet stabilized. Properties that have started pre-leasing will be updated every month until stabilized.

Less than 50 units– Properties with less than 50 units. Properties that pay commissions to apartment locators are updated on ALN’s normal update schedule, those that do not pay locator commissions are updated less frequently.

Affordable Housing – These are properties with an income cap for prospective residents to be eligible to lease.

Accepts Section 8– These properties accept HUD vouchers. The government pays part of the rent, generally as a voucher, to offset the cost of living. Rent is set by the property.

Senior Independent Living– Age-restricted properties.  Generally, these properties require residents to be above 55 years old, or 62+ years old.

Student Housing– Properties that rent by the bed, rather than by unit.  These properties are open to the public per current Fair Housing laws, but mostly target students for their residents. ALN reports pricing both by the bed, and per unit.

All Bills Paid– Standard utilities such as water, electricity and trash are included in the rent for these properties.

Independent– Properties owned and managed by an individual investor.  Generally, the investor will own only one property for this designation.

Mixed Use– Properties with a blend of residential and commercial, retail or industrial use.

Senior or Disabled Assisted Living– Properties that are age-restricted and provide generalized or specialized medical care or monitoring of residents.

Subsidized Housing– These properties are subsidized housing properties, via HUD vouchers, where rent is based on a percentage of the prospective resident’s income.

Refuse to Update– Properties that ask not to be included in ALN’s database, or that consistently update outside of our 25-business day contact window.

Onsite Student Housing– Properties owned and/or operated by an academic institution.  Only students are eligible to rent at these properties.

Military Housing– Housing for military related personnel only. Generally located on military bases and privately developed.

Property Closed– Properties that have closed within the past two years remain visible in select programs for the continued inclusion of their historical data.

Garden– A property with 3 or fewer floors.

Mid-Rise– A property with 4-7 floors.

High-Rise– A property with 8 or more floors.

*Apart from absorption and occupancy, only conventional active listings are included in market metric calculations released by ALN. Individual clients can choose their own parameters when building reports.

Other Terms

Stabilized– A property that has reached at least 85% occupancy.

Asking/Market/Quoted Rent– The monthly rate residents are charged for a 12-month lease without adjustment for concessions.

Effective Rent– The monthly rate residents are charged for a 12-month lease, accounting for the available concession package. This is the amount a property collects in rent per unit each month.

Net Absorption– The net change, positive or negative, in the number of rented units in a given geographic range.

Occupancy– The percentage of units on a property that are rented.

Leased Rate: Projected occupancy based on notices to vacate and signed leases.




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