Apartment Firms Spend 0.7% of Gross Revenue on IT, NMHC’s IT Investment Benchmarking Survey Reveals

Washington, D.C.–The National Multi Housing Council’s recently released Information Technology Investment Benchmarking Survey aims to help firms make informed decisions regarding their technology spending and staffing.”The apartment sector has embraced technology in virtually all aspects of their operations,” says Dave Cardwell, NMHC’s vice president of technology and capital markets. “They use it to recruit and retain both residents and employees.  They use it to improve their ability to serve their existing residents. And they use it to streamline their operations and reduce costs.” “While there is no right answer as to how much a firm should be investing in technology,” says Cardwell, “this NMHC survey offers firms a benchmark that allows them to compare their IT spending and staffing levels with those of their peers.” Among the key findings of the research: Respondents spend 0.7 percent of their gross revenue on IT (not including telecommunications services offered at the property level). Of that, approximately 19 percent is spent on discretionary projects intended to improve revenue. Nearly 20 percent is spent on consultants, and 12.6 percent is spent on outsourcing. The smallest firms (gross revenues averaging $35 million) spend nearly 60 percent of their IT budgets on external resources—30 percent on outsourcing and 27 percent on consultants. Contrast that to firms with an average of $377 million in gross revenues, where outsourcing accounts for just three percent of their IT budget and consultants account for 15 percent.  When analyzed on a “spending-per-unit” basis, medium-sized firms (15,000 to 29,000 units) have the largest IT expenditures, spending $243 per unit. The largest firms (70,000 units or more) spend just $75 per unit on IT-related expenses, and smaller firms (9,000 to 14,999 units) spend $71 per unit.In terms of staffing, apartment firms average one IT staff person for every 110 employees. Those numbers jump when looking strictly at IT Help Desk staffing levels. On average, firms provide one IT Help Desk staff person for every 172 employees.