Opti-Num develops intelligent rental pricing model for Johannesburg Housing Company

The Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC) has led a pioneering path in the development of social housing in the Johannesburg inner city – and at a national level. Launched in 1995, the JHC has taken an innovative approach to tackling some of the housing challenges that confront cities. Their leading model in the sector builds neighbourhoods and not just housing. [1]

One of JHC’s key responsibilities is in managing the rent of their collection of buildings in the city. Historically, unit rental rates were set in relation to the previous year’s rates, adjusted for both inflation and market survey data (including competitor’s pricing and affordability estimates) but there was a need to add further sophistication to this approach. JHC requested that Opti-Num Solutions investigate an advanced data-driven approach to rent setting and vacancy analysis for a selection of rental units.

The objective of the data-driven approach was to optimise the annual rental increases in order to increase revenue while protecting the positive experience of their tenants and minimising excess costs. The key business questions that drove JHC’s Key Performance Indicators were discussed and the Opti-Num Consulting team proposed a multi-phase project to investigate, analyse and test algorithms for pricing of units.

During the project Opti-Num used historical data from internal and external data sources to create intelligent algorithms that were used to inform pricing, optimise revenue and create insights around customer behaviour.

Opti-Num walked the journey with JHC, thereby enabled the merging of JHC’s institutional knowledge and Opti-Num’s analytical knowledge. The JHC gained real business value from Opti-Num’s insights and recommendations which were used to make better decisions. The JHC is now looking to the future for planning and revenue purposes by embedding the advanced analytics provided by Opti-Num within the organisation.

[1] Johannesburg Housing Company, “About JHC, “Johannesburg Housing Company, [Online]. Available: https://www.jhv.co.za/about/about-jhc. [Accessed: 23/07/2019]