Real Estate Owner-Operators

3 Key Metrics to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Water Leak Detection Solution

Despite making sometimes significant investment in water leak detection, real estate owner-operators still experience catastrophic leaks. Discover 3 ways to measure the effectiveness of the solutions you’ve invested in - and what to do when the metrics don’t add up.

How do you know if the water leak detection solution you’ve invested in is really delivering? Novices will tell you it’s about the leak alerts you get. But pros know it’s not quite that simple - you need to consider 3 key metrics, plus there’s one additional consideration.


1. Water leak detection rate

As a baseline, how many water leaks does your chosen solution detect? After, all that’s its job, right?

The water leak detection rate is pretty straightforward: take the number of leaks detected by the solution, and divide it by the total number of leaks.

Here’s the formula: (# leaks detected / total # leaks) x100


Not happy with your leak detection rate?

It’s likely that the solution either lacks accuracy, or precision. It may be that the solution(s) you have deployed aren’t the right fit for the use case.


PRO TIP: If you want to understand the effectiveness of the solution in the areas where it’s deployed, divide the number of leaks by the total number of leaks that occurred in that area.

If you want to make a case for additional investment in water leak detection, demonstrate the need by dividing the number of leaks detected by the total number of leaks that occurred in the property.

 Water damaged floor 

2. False positive rate

The false positive rate isn’t always a priority for real estate owner-operators, but it’s life-or-death for facilities management.

A “false positive” is when you’ve received a water leak alert, but there’s not actually a leak. Earlier solutions tended to have high false positive rates. This led to facilities managers wasting considerable time and resources attending phantom leaks, and created a distrust of smart water leak detection solutions.

Savvy owner-operators know that solutions with low false positive rates mean facilities managers put more trust in the solutions, and that less time and resources will be spent on phantom leaks.

Calculating the false positive rate is pretty simple: divide the number of sales positives by the total number of alerts received.

Here’s the formula: (# false positives / total # of leak alerts) x100


Not happy with the false positive rate?

Your tolerance of false positives may vary depending on whether you’re a facilities management professional on the ground, or a real estate owner-operator. Either way, regular false positives demonstrate that the solution may not be the right fit for the use case.

 Overflowing bucket on a floor with pooled water 

3. Return on investment (ROI)

Comprehensive ROI calculations on water leak detection solutions are fairly rare, due in part to a data gap that exists between real estate owner-operators and facilities management on the ground.

But calculating ROI for owner-operated properties is a worthy task - how else will you get a true sense of the value of the investment you’ve made in water leak detection?

The calculation is straightforward: subtract the cost of investment from the savings you’ve made, then divide this number by the cost of investment.

Here’s the formula: ((estimated gains - cost of investment) / cost of investment) x100


Not happy with the ROI?

If the ROI isn’t looking great, you might consider the following:

Are your estimated gains too low?
Are you including all the costs you’d save? Without a budget line for water leaks, if something isn’t claimed via insurance the costs tend to be absorbed into other line items.

Costs that are often overlooked are labor and materials allocated to facilities management or other internal budgets. And don’t forget to consider costs incurred at each stage of the leak: stopping it, cleanup, repairs, replacements, and disposal of damaged materials.

Are your costs too high?
If you’re looking at water leak detection holistically, you’ll be including all costs - all equipment and services, including labor-intensive manual inspections performed by facilities management personnel.

As an owner-operator, you always need to keep costs at an acceptable level. If they feel too high, consider:

  • Do we have the right solutions in place for the leaks we experience?
  • Are we using multiple solutions because none of them are quite the right fit?
  • Are we paying for legacy solutions that we don’t need?
  • Are we leaning heavily on expensive manual detection, when a smart solution could reduce or eliminate this need?

PRO TIP: We know that calculating ROI for water leak detection solutions can feel impossible - but it’s important. So we created an eBook that offers both a simplified, and more robust way to calculate ROI. Download your complimentary copy

 Water leak cleanup 

Finally, consider whether your water leak detection solutions perform as advertised

It’s not a metric per se - but as you consider the effectiveness of the water leak detections you’ve invested in for your properties, it’s worth checking how well they perform against the claims they make.

If a vendor is bold enough to give you numbers, they should deliver on that promise; if the solution doesn’t deliver as claimed, it may not make good business sense to keep using it anyway.


Understanding water leak detection effectiveness is the first step

Once you’ve measured the effectiveness of your water leak detection solutions, you’ll have a better understanding of what steps you need to take to protect your properties from damage and downtime due to water leaks.

With these 3 key metrics in hand, you’re prepared to have in-depth discussions with your facilities management team about sunsetting old solutions, finding new leak detection technologies, and solving specific pain points that are negatively impacting performance.

If you’re looking for a way to increase your leak detection rate, decrease false positives, and/ or improve ROI, we’d love to chat about how Severn WLD can help you achieve any - or all - of these goals. Book a no-obligation discovery call with our team!

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