Apartmentalize 2023 highlighted the myriad of ways the rental housing industry is leveraging technology to usher in new standard practices and procedures. The industry’s largest event of the year introduced a host of new innovations and operational strategies, but the overarching direction this year was efficient, connected communities.
Takeaways from Apartmentalize 2023
We left Atlanta with two key takeaways:
Centralization is Here:
This year’s conference formally announced the arrival of the centralization movement. Moving forward, essential functions will no longer be exclusively based on site or performed in person. The longtime on-site property staffing model is officially giving way to remote teams overseeing multiple properties and leveraging comprehensive tech platforms to accomplish more without increased manpower.
Efficiency is Essential:
Educational sessions emphasized the need for efficiencies amid labor challenges and rising operational costs. However, property management companies can’t afford one-off solutions that aren’t pulling in the same direction as the rest of their tech stack. Proptech solutions are always more effective when they work in harmony with other proptech, live together under one management platform and complement one another to optimize property performance.
The crucial role of Wi-Fi in centralization efforts
Implicit in the baseline messages from Apartmentalize 2023 was the need to underpin these efficiencies and centralized systems with foundational infrastructure. Achieving that objective comes down to one thing: Wi-Fi.
The trend toward efficiency demands not only seamless integrations to effectively empower centralized associates but also a strong, reliable Wi-Fi system to accommodate a new age operational platform. Wi-Fi is the backbone of high-performing residential communities, supporting all implemented proptech and systems, providing residents with an essential amenity and enabling a mobile workforce.
Exploring Wi-Fi Options
During the educational session, Ask the Experts: Managed Wi-Fi, Bulk Wi-Fi and Connectivity Infrastructure, moderated by SmartRent, presenters explored the different Wi-Fi options available to operators, and the requirements and benefits of each.
Retail Wi-Fi allows residents to select providers and service levels, though typically at a higher price point. Separate services and hardware are needed for individual homes and common areas.
Bulk Wi-Fi provides internet service for each apartment home, typically at an optimal price due to economy of scale, though it removes provider choice from residents. Each home still needs its own modem and cable connection, as do common areas and offices.
Managed Wi-Fi provides a more robust experience for residents, staff and guests. Residents can maneuver throughout the entire community on the same network without reconnecting. Mobile leasing and maintenance teams can have their own dedicated network, and prospects can use the network for enhanced self-guided tours.
Panelists stressed the importance of prioritizing the resident experience when selecting Wi-Fi—making sure it’s move-in ready and capable of accommodating all work and personal devices—as well as the needs of on-site and remote associates. As the industry accelerates into this new era, management companies can only implement new solutions at a pace dictated by their Wi-Fi infrastructure. Ultimately, community connectivity will power the evolution.
The bottom line
Apartmentalize 2023 demonstrated how technology is reshaping the rental housing industry, particularly through centralization and efficiency. As the industry evolves, community connectivity will continue to play a pivotal role in driving operational success and enhancing the overall resident experience.