NAA Apartmentalize 2021: A Wave of New Proptech Trends

By: Marissa Litner

image of smartrent booth at naaimage of smartrent booth at naa
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We’ve just finished up an exciting few days in Chicago for NAA’s Apartmentalize event. As we entered the tradeshow floor, the room was bustling with vendors and property management teams alike. It was an incredible event, and we loved the opportunity to connect with so many new and familiar faces; in person!

When we weren’t busy giving product demos and chatting about all things smart home at our booth - we took some time to attend a few sessions. A couple of which even featured our very own Marketing Director and CEO.

If you were not able to meet us at Apartmentalize, you can schedule a demo here.

Tradeshow Takeaways

There were several takeaways from Apartmentalize. First of all, there was a strong sense of people wanting to reconnect and engage with one another in person. If you stopped by our booth, we hope you got the chance to see one of our live product demonstrations where our sales team and solutions engineers were showing off smart parking (with the use of a golf cart!), self-guided tours, access control and our smart locks, sensors and thermostats were all on full display.

Another major takeaway was how technology has changed the multifamily industry. With advancements in technology, and more venture capital, we’re seeing technology be a big disruptor to the industry. Whether that’s via self-guided tours, artificial intelligence or just better property management systems, proptech is at the forefront of the industry.

Not All Tours are Created Equal

SmartRent Marketing Director, Jennifer Carter sat down with Kyle Johnson of R&V Management and Jaime Conde from Anyone Home for a session on tour type and demand moderated by Justin Choi of Sequoia Equities .

To begin, the panel described the different tour types; in-person tours, virtual tours, video tours and self-guided tours and how each differs . It was noted that while each of these tour types has advantages and disadvantages, they convert the best when used together.

One of the main takeaways from this session was that the ways in which we offer up content to our prospects and allow them to tour has changed - and multifamily professionals are needing to constantly adapt in order to turn leads into leases.

For example, as a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen a large resurgence of the QR code, most often at restaurants in order to view the menu. The same principle is being applied to allow prospects to scan a QR and complete a tour in real-time.

Prospects crave the flexibility to tour when they want, the way they want. In fact, Jennifer mentioned how 47.3% of prospects that did not sign a lease after a self-guided tour wanted to ask questions of a leasing agent. Furthering the notion that a combination of tour types is what works best for conversions.

Of that 47.3% - 38.2% still had questions about the lease and 18.4% were unaware of some apartment details. This demonstrates the need for additional collateral or QR codes to contact leasing staff within the model unit so that prospects can find the answers they’re looking for.

Leasing staff can breathe easy knowing that self-guided tours, virtual tours and video tours are all enhancements to traditional in-person tours. When used together these various tour types are sure to spark some demand at any community.

Check out how our current clients are benefitting from self-guided tours.

In case you missed it, AI is coming

SmartRent CEO, Lucas Haldeman was accompanied by Founder of Results Repeat , Ellen Thompson and President of Westover Companies, Guntram Weissenberger for a session titled, "Who’s Your Next Hire? Michael or C3PO?”.

Lucas set the stage by discussing how computers first started and described how technology solves business problems. Lucas stated "as it relates to real estate, we’re at a real tipping point.”

Software has come to fruition as a result of venture capital and although real estate as a whole was slow to adopt, the industry has really started to catch on.

He attributed the slower adoption to being a mobile industry, in that having one computer at a leasing office doesn't help lease an apartment. However, as smart phones have become the norm, we’ve seen more adoption.

Ellen shared how machine learning is becoming a larger trend. Put into action, machine learning drives the experience to allow for better marketing. Natural language processing is a part of machine learning which is how voice-activated assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Home bot can understand and respond appropriately to voice commands.

This new technology is being driven by both computer power and strong funding. It’s allowed the multifamily industry to transform the way we are doing business.

As Guntram mentioned, “the competition is getting tougher. If we can provide great housing for our residents, they’re going to be happy, revenue will flow.”

The goal of these technological tools is just that - to be tools. If we’re willing to pivot and embrace change, AI has the power to not only enhance the resident experience but also make all of our jobs a little easier.

See You Soon

Stop by and see us at the following upcoming events:

MFE
| 9/13-9/15 in Las Vegas, NV
Multifamily Women’s Summit
| 9/15-9/16 in Scottsdale, AZ
AMA Phoenix
| 9/16 in Phoenix, AZ
Multifamily Exchange
| 9/19-9/21 in Scottsdale, AZ
Mid-Market Multifamily
| 9/20-9/21 in Chicago, IL
Houston Apartment Association
| 9/22 in Houston, TX | Booth #728

To learn more about how smart home technology can improve your communities, schedule a demo here.