Property Manager Common Gets Up and Running Quickly

Common is a residential property manager that addresses the needs of today’s renter, with a primary focus on enhancing the roommate experience. It aims to deliver convenience, flexibility, and community to its members through hands-on property management and technology. Rooms come at a set monthly rate for members and include a fully furnished home, from beds down to laundry detergent, and a host of included amenities like utilities, weekly cleaning, and WiFi.

With homes in Chicago, San Francisco, D.C. and New York, business is booming. But with no data professionals on the team, Common needed a better way to organize and structure its data analysis without learning proprietary analytics languages. By turning to Sisense for Cloud Data Teams and its Professional Services offering, Common has been able to ramp up its data efforts even without SQL experts on board.

Up and Running Quickly

In his role as the Director of Sales at Common, Eric Rodriguez says data plays a huge role in his success.

“It’s extremely valuable for us to know what vacancies we have in our homes,” says Rodriguez. “Being able to see our data update in real-time allows us to move a lot faster and make sure that we don’t have duplication of efforts or errors in what we’re selling.”

Rodriguez had relied on Sisense for Cloud Data Teams dashboards in a previous role and liked the flexibility it provided, so when he arrived at Common, Sisense for Cloud Data Teams was the first call he made to help provide structure to their data analysis.

“Like many startups, I came in and we’re using a ton of Google Sheets without a live look at data. We couldn’t get answers until we dug into a spreadsheet and re-invented the wheel on our own” said Rodriguez. “We needed to get a pulse on how the business was performing, and to unite data from different databases because it lived in disparate places. Sisense for Cloud Data Teams was the perfect solution for that.”

Within a month of his initial call, they were up and running with Sisense for Cloud Data Teams, providing a quick win for Rodriguez as he looked to get more data insights right away. Instead of pulling data from internal systems, manipulating it in Excel, and updating it every time they needed new information, they had a method to pull data much faster in Sisense for Cloud Data Teams.

“Our data lives in many different places. If we had to build new queries every time, it would be really annoying,” said Rodriguez. “With Sisense for Cloud Data Teams, when somebody wants a piece of info, I can pull that in two minutes because I know what the views look like and don’t have to do any more work to join different data sources.”

Today, Common’s management team spends a lot of their day with Sisense for Cloud Data Teams dashboards to see how the business is performing. They use custom-built views to easily manipulate their most important metrics — such as occupancy rate across all homes, renewal rates, and drilling down to insights on specific buildings or tenants.

“Sisense for Cloud Data Teams honestly comes to the rescue for us every day.” It allows us to really understand what’s happening and catch errors in data that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see,” said Rodriguez. “Prior to Sisense for Cloud Data Teams, it was really hard for our executives or our sales team to get visibility, but now they can see everything in one place and understand what actions need to take place.”

“We had our contact at Sisense for Cloud Data Teams work on getting our critical reports in place, but also setting up the views for us so we could easily access the data we needed. He laid a strong foundation for us to then be able to replicate and shape that data in different ways much more easily.”

Eric RodriguezEric Rodriguez, Director of Sales, Common

Despite his previous knowledge of Sisense for Cloud Data Teams, Rodriguez is not a SQL expert. And although they hired a full-time data analyst in the spring of 2018, they needed to build their data process without an in-house expert.

“Since we were a fairly small company when I started, we didn’t have the resources, but we knew that we needed to get real-time data,” said Rodriguez. “Finding a solution that would help us get going without having those resources internally was hugely beneficial to us.”   

For that reason, they leveraged the “Professional Services” offering to have a Sisense for Cloud Data Teams solutions expert set up everything they needed to explore their data without any technical expertise.

“We had our contact at Sisense for Cloud Data Teams work on getting our critical reports in place, but also setting up the views for us so we could easily access the data we needed,” said Rodriguez. “He laid a strong foundation for us to then be able to replicate and shape that data in different ways much more easily.”

Rodriguez says that he knows other startups are in a similar place. They might be intimidated by jumping into a tool like Sisense for Cloud Data Teams. He says the professional services option makes that jump a lot less daunting.

“Having professional services made this a lot easier sell for me to our management team, because I could point to the fact that we wouldn’t need internal resources to help us do so much more than what we were doing,” said Rodriguez.

Building Out Technical Expertise with Growth

Use of Sisense for Cloud Data Teams has transformed Common into a data-driven culture, with more than half of the company logging in regularly to ask their own questions and get answers without waiting.

“There has been really positive feedback across the board — everyone likes Sisense for Cloud Data Teams and speaks positively about it internally because they now have the information they need in real-time,” said Rodriguez.

Moving forward, Common has plans to continue expanding the business, and sees Sisense for Cloud Data Teams as an ideal partner to scale up as their data analysis becomes more complex. As they onboard a full-time data analyst this spring, they’ve been able to leverage the integration with R and Python to play to the strengths of that new hire.

“The data analyst we’ve hired was really strong with Python, so it was great to bring somebody on board that could ramp up in SQL but still get immediate value because of the Python integration and support,” said Rodriguez.

With the power of R and Python, Common will begin doing more statistical analysis around churn likelihood within their homes, leveraging data to uncover insights that will be immensely valuable to their business success.

“We’re going to be very diverse and do far more things than we are doing today,” said Rodriguez. “It’ll expand beyond our sales and management teams to member services, to our real estate team, and beyond. I fully expect Sisense for Cloud Data Teams will permeate across the organization, because it can really solidify our use of data in all facets of the business.”