From marketing and leasing to operations and maintenance, proptech is revolutionizing the way we manage our communities. Let’s explore the property life cycle and maintenance, and the ways in which smart home technology helps you work more efficiently in the ever-evolving multifamily industry.
Using smart tech throughout the property life cycle
The property life cycle consists of four stages: development, leasing, operations, and disposition. Each stage has its own unique technological opportunities.
There are two ways that proptech can be leveraged in the development stage. First, smart home technologies should be top of mind when engineers and architects are configuring HVAC systems and other vital building components. Leak sensors, humidity sensors, air quality monitoring systems, and exterior security measures like lighting and video should all be added to the development process well before construction has even started. Additionally, building a robust Wi-Fi infrastructure from the ground up is critical to powering all the smart home technologies that teams and prospects/residents interact with.
The second area to focus on during the development phase is the design stage, allowing developers to market a high-tech living experience to residents from Day 1.
Smart access controls establish a sense of belonging via seamless yet exclusive resident access to homes, amenities, elevators, and parking facilities, while also securing offices and storage facilities for on-site teams. Smart lighting and climate controls also set the tone for new developments by creating welcoming walkways and comfortable common areas throughout the community.
Having these features functioning before the first prospective residents arrive for a tour imparts a sense of professionalism and consumer confidence.
Owners and operators use solutions such as self-guided touring technology to streamline and customize the prospect experience. A truly self-sufficient touring platform enables prospective residents to tour at their own pace, on their own schedules, with all the necessary home and community information at their fingertips.
Paired with smart access controls and mapping technology, self-guided touring curates a professional community visit, guiding guests through select homes and common areas while providing management teams with real-time visibility. Lighting and climate controls for vacant homes can also be synced with touring platforms and automated to ensure an optimal ambiance during scheduled tours. Comprehensive touring technology either tees up prospective residents for leasing teams, or provides a direct link to an online application, to complete the process.
Single dashboard monitoring
The greatest efficiencies for teams are realized when associates can access all property technologies through the same mobile dashboard. The merging of all proptech and smart home controls under a single access point enables associates to quickly access all technologies without separate logins, saving time, improving the management of the tech stack, and enhancing property performance. Viewed through a central reporting dashboard, operators can tailor their lighting and climate control settings to reduce energy use during off hours or vacancies, contributing to cost savings and minimizing environmental impact.
A single source of information also enables better reporting and analysis, empowering operators to pinpoint ideal product settings and train both associates and residents to optimize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Smart monitoring tools collect real-time data on essential HVAC and plumbing systems, to identify areas of opportunity and recurring problems. Property protections such as smart sensors also issue immediate alerts to on-site teams in the case of a leak, flood or other system failures, enabling teams to respond promptly and curb costly damage.
Like single-dashboard monitoring, mobile maintenance platforms empower service teams to take better care of residents and communities. Serving as a workflow log and resident communication tool, mobile maintenance apps allow technicians to spend more time in the field, improve response times and deliver a higher level of service to residents.
Tasks can be prioritized by urgency, logistics, or technician skill set to create an efficient process that enables maintenance teams to accomplish more in less time. The resident communication feature also establishes real-time communication with residents. New service requests can be acknowledged immediately, schedule changes communicated promptly and vital information or images shared directly through the app, keeping both residents and technicians up to date at all times.
When linked to mobile maintenance apps, asset protection devices establish a formidable first line of defense against extensive property damage. Leak detectors and humidity sensors immediately alert maintenance teams to plumbing leaks or excessive humidity levels that may indicate flooding. Water damage is the primary source of significant property damage at multifamily communities, and a strategic network of smart sensors enables service teams to act quickly and prevent minor issues from going undetected and causing major problems.
Preventive maintenance and inspections
Through mobile maintenance workflow platforms, multifamily operators can establish a preventive maintenance program scheduled and conducted through the same app. Preventive procedures like resealing, filter changes, painting, duct cleaning, and other routine upkeep tasks can be built into the maintenance workflow or assigned periodically.
Likewise, required annual inspections can be scheduled and completed through the mobile app to ensure that properties remain in compliance. Operators can build inspection templates within the app to certify all required categories are addressed. Working from the same template also creates apples-to-apples comparisons between homes, as well as from one year to the next, to help operators proactively identify potential issues.
When these preventive measures are tracked in real-time and made available to multiple stakeholders, the tracking and data can be invaluable during disposition.
Smart communities perform at a higher level and increase the value of the asset. Today’s renters expect the convenience of smart home features and demand an efficient, environmentally responsible community environment, which puts a premium on properties equipped with smart home features. During the purchase process, acquisition teams account for existing smart home technology and the value it adds for residents and site teams alike. Smart sensor technology and a comprehensive IoT are signs of a highly monitored and maintained asset, and a safe investment.
The takeaway: Optimizing the property life cycle with proptech delivers enhanced experiences
In 2023, renters are looking for modern communities that deploy technologies designed to build convenience into residents’ lives. They want solutions that customize their living experience and put residents in control of their living spaces. Smart home technologies cater not only to resident preferences but create efficient overall communities that residents can be proud to call home.
Property managers can work smarter than ever by leveraging smart home solutions throughout the property life cycle to establish a competitive advantage in today's multifamily environment.