If you could install one amenity across your build-to-rent portfolio, what would it be?
Although there are no wrong answers, there is one amenity that consistently earns rave reviews from build-to-rent residents: smart home technology.
Many UK residents think their next home should have smart home technology. Research from Samsung indicates that 71% of them want to live in a digitally connected community, so they can save time and energy on daily tasks.
Apart from convenience, UK renters agree that smart homes are the future of sustainable living. Seventy-five percent of residents surveyed by Samsung believe that smart home technology can increase home sustainability, accelerating the United Kingdom’s net zero emissions goal.
Home automation has the potential to revolutionise independent living and how we live as a society. That's why build-to-rent owners take great care when choosing a property technology (“proptech”) provider and planning a smart home implementation.
A mechanical and electrical (M&E) consultant can be of great assistance here. M&E consultants are specialists who advise building owners on the mechanical and electrical components of a building or portfolio of assets.
In a housing development, M&E consultants ensure that the building is equipped with the mechanical and electrical solutions required for smart home technology.
M&E consultants consider several things when advising owners on smart technology. When a build-to-rent owner engages any consultants before beginning smart home implementation, these topics will be top of mind.
Is the Solution Scalable?
Build-to-rent homes are popping up everywhere. BTR News reports that completed build-to-rent homes have increased nearly 20% in the last year. The United Kingdom’s top build-to-rent companies possess tens of thousands of homes, and there are more to come.
Scalability is vital for both asset owners and M&E consultants. In order to achieve a high level of success, M&E consultants ensure the proptech solution they are pursuing can be deployed and managed across an unlimited number of assets.
An ideal proptech company will also have the necessary partnerships and integrations to ensure that implementing technology across multiple buildings is simple.
Software integrations simplify the implementation process, eliminate redundant data entry, and simplify user management. With hardware-agnostic platforms like SmartRent, asset owners can use smart technology alongside a variety of systems without any compatibility issues. These benefits attract the interest of M&E consultants.
What Type of Connectivity is Needed?
What do smart home platforms have in common with your building’s residents? They both want a home with connectivity built in. For smart home devices to reach their full potential, the ecosystem requires a certain level of connectivity.
When evaluating a smart home automation platform, M&E consultants will consider if the platform will operate well alongside the building’s existing infrastructure, whether the building in question has a reliable network or is located in an area with lower connectivity.
Ideally, housing communities will have a reliable network. However, for communities experiencing low connectivity, it is possible to enlist help from a proptech provider with a dedicated WiFi-boosting solution.
These solutions strengthen internet connectivity and give smart home hubs a dedicated and secure network to connect to. Some solutions also let clients customise their coverage, offering hub-only connectivity; hub and community WiFi connectivity; or hub, community, and resident WiFi connectivity.
Having these options is important to M&E consultants, because it indicates that the smart home ecosystem can adapt to meet the connectivity needs of the building, no matter what its circumstances are.
What are the Environmental Implications?
With the United Kingdom aggressively pursuing net zero emissions and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) becoming a popular topic in the proptech industry, it goes without saying that environmental implications are a major point of consideration.
As James Simondson, assistant director of policy at the British Property Federation, recently mentioned to UK Build to Rent, “addressing embodied carbon … and finding ways to better manage operational energy use” will be two key aspects of future build-to-rent design.
Platforms that empower building operators to reduce energy consumption and track ESG-critical data, among other things, appeal to M&E consultants because they are already putting into practise key ESG initiatives.
Additionally, a provider that prioritises ESG measures will be better prepared to adjust to future environmental regulations. M&E consultants can see that the solutions provider is adaptable, thus minimising the need for any future redesigns.
Get Your Asset SmartRent-Ready
A smart home technology package is no small investment. It’s up to M&E consultants to evaluate smart home investments from every angle before committing to a proptech provider.
No installation is “one size fits all.” It's a good idea to engage a technology provider at the beginning of the project so they can help determine what your needs are and offer the most effective solution.
Learn more about what the SmartRent platform requires when you request a demo of our products and services. We’d love to tell you more about our industry-leading smart home automation platform and what it requires for optimal performance, now and in the future.