Smart locks, lights, thermostats, switches. We’ve just about heard it all in the world of “Smart homes,” right? With smart apartments, there’s a new approach that goes beyond just devices. In the multifamily space, the smart apartment category covers connectivity from the inside out, across the many layers of your business. A smart apartment platform is the infrastructure and backbone that turns the hardware into software.
A multifamily property equipped with smart apartment technology is fully wired for connectivity, so residents can enjoy the perks of their smart homes, while property managers and operators can take advantage of smarter property management.
Here are 10 ways that smart home technology is changing the game in multifamily:
1. Giving Residents the Smart Experience
When a multifamily property can offer an amenity like smart devices, renters get the added luxury of a smart home environment. Not only can they remotely manage thermostats, control lights, and even conveniently turn on devices like a coffee pot while still lying in bed, but they also can feel assured that doors can automatically lock at night or thermostats can automatically adjust temperatures based on weather.
2. Adding Value
These features not only make a property more appealing, but also give properties the benefit of adding value to their units. By offering smart devices, properties are saving an additional $25-35 per month just by selling the enhanced living experience. These smart amenities can lead to increased charge per unit, and technologies that can play a role in truly speeding up the sales cycle.
3. Competitive Differentiator
Another added benefit? Smart apartment amenities are a huge differentiator for communities and can lead to increased resident retention.
If resident retention is top of mind for you, Rent Dynamics’ RentPlus product is another amenity that gives residents the opportunity to build their credit, simply by paying their rent on time (a truly life-changing amenity that can serve as a differentiator for your community).
4. Cost Reduction
In addition to adding value to the resident, smart home technology reduces costs for your business. Mike Rovito, Dwelo CEO, gave the cost savings example of a painter working in a vacant unit. The painter had turned the AC on, but opened the windows as they left, and nobody went into the unit for four days. This situation would lead to a $200 electric bill… and those expenses add up! The average community has four leaks per year, which averages to $12,000/year. Smart home technology can help to avoid these expenses from ever happening in the first place.
5. Compatible with Various Apartment Types
Any community can easily ensure they are fully wired for optimal connectivity between all devices and installing an IoT network. This gives the community manager the ability to control the building as a whole, not just individual units, and helps the building run more efficiently and effectively. Older buildings can be retrofit with IoT technology as well – so offering the Smart Apartment experience isn’t just limited to new developments.
6. Self-Guided Tours
With the ability to use smart devices to give remote access, these devices offer up a whole new opportunity for community tours. Virtual tours have increased in popularity (and necessity) over the last year, and by including a few cameras and smart devices, communities can also offer self-guided tours. People want to see/touch/feel their future home in person. Properties can have potential renters sign up for a tour online and managers can then remotely allow access to the apartment unit, gym, pool, etc., providing a completely contactless experience.
7. Increased Leasing Velocity
Managing access for self-guided tours is made easy with smart home technology. Communities with smart home technology offering self-guided tours have seen an increased leasing velocity by up to 20%! Not only could you be saving hundreds of man-hours per year by eliminating the need to handle and trade around keys, but could see a shorter leasing cycle as a result.
8. Smarter Staffing
Many operators are faced with managing a lot of units but don’t necessarily have a huge staff. They oftentimes don’t have dedicated employees for the connected buildings or associated infrastructure. In addition to touring properties and the management of connected buildings, hundreds of hours a year are spent on assisting residents and apartment maintenance. The right technology can really help with the maintenance and management of smart home technology to make managers’ lives easier, not harder.
9. Risk Reduction
All of this adds to the optimization of community management that smart devices can give multifamily properties. By adding in smart-locks, in-unit maintenance trips can be faster, more transparent, and secure. Costs can be reduced by easily resetting door codes, rather than paying for a new set of keys or a costly charge from a locksmith for help with a late-night entry when someone loses their keys.
Properties can also monitor apartments for water leaks, decreasing potential damage with early detection. These kinds of leaks are often $10,000 or more, and can be as costly as $200,000 if not caught early enough! And to add on top of that, property managers can save on utility bills in vacant apartments knowing lights and thermostats aren’t left on (see painter example above).
10. Holistic Community Oversight
Not only that, smart apartments give managers more holistic insight over their communities – their staff, their buildings, and all the activities onsite to help ensure the overall experience is optimized and operations are as efficient as possible. Managers will get to spend less time on manual tasks and more time building their community.
Smart technology platforms create a lot of value because they’re tackling challenging issues that are difficult to take on. Property management and CRM software and can be seen in a similar light, since they both are essential systems that turn the challenging job of understanding what’s working and what’s not across your portfolio. Rent Dynamics CRM makes it easy to gather that insight so you can focus on growing your business.
Questions? Contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org — we’d love to hear from you!