As more millennials opt to rent longer in lieu of settling down with a mortgage, the advantages of embracing the best parts of smart home technology have become starkly obvious to property owners in many cities across America. But with a handful of upfront and ongoing costs -- installation, software, hardware, maintenance -- what is the true ROI for property managers to provide “smart apartment as a service” for their tenants? If technology constantly evolves each year, how can property managers build a sustainable smart apartment program without dealing with constant upgrades?
We spend pretty much every waking moment thinking about these questions as operators ourselves, and ultimately, we wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t believe that the right connected technology can take a multifamily community from good to great. The short answer is this: with the right smart apartment services partner, it becomes quite easy to envision the ripple effects that today’s technology can have on the value of your property for years and years down the line.
Smart Apartment Technology is now Considered a Baseline Offering
To start at square one, property owners should care about making apartments smart because the IoT revolution has turned into the IoT status quo. At the current phase of the connected home movement, resident access to an all-in-one suite of smart devices is considered less of a luxury amenity, and more of a “make or break factor” for many modern apartment searches. To put things into perspective, In a recent survey, a reported 86% of millennials responded that they would pay more in monthly rent for a unit with automated or remotely controlled devices. At the end of the day, attracting reliable, high quality residents who understand the value of smart devices becomes a win-win for your property.
Smart Devices Open up an Ancillary Revenue Stream
Speaking of quality residents who understand the value of things, adopting smart apartment technology on your multifamily property has the potential to open up an entirely new revenue stream for your business. Offering tiered smart technology packages will help your residents define their smart apartment experience on their own terms based on the needs of their lifestyle.
For instance, pet owners may have slightly more detailed surveillance, thermostat, and lock automation than non pet owners. Senior citizen communities may not require as much newfangled hardware, but may very well need increased security and surveillance measures. Allowing residents to create their own smart home experience puts them in the driver’s seat and opens up the possibility of charging for customized software packages for property managers.
Protecting Your Assets Means Predicting Your Assets
Now we are able to manage and protect your asset from anywhere in the world, with tools like predictive maintenance, leak and moisture monitoring, vacant utility management, and energy monitoring. Monitoring key building health indicators with smart devices allows you as the owner to respond to an issues immediately, or better yet, before it becomes a problem for you and your resident.
Software is the Secret Sauce to Longevity
Hardware is useless without the software baked into it. When you’re shopping around for smart locks, thermostats, virtual assistants, or any other smart apartment device, the real thing you should be investigating the most is the platform that runs it — the brains behind the operation.
Getting maximum ROI from your smart apartment service provider means asking questions like, “How often do you upgrade your software?” and “If a resident or a staff member experiences difficulties with the software, what does the troubleshooting process look like?” and “Where do you see your platform going in the next 5-10 years?” Vendors that can answer these questions with confidence are usually worth keeping around, as chances are they are building code that will keep your residents happy for the entirety of their tenancy.