Efficiency. It is a trait that we value in our co-workers and also in the products we consume. For the multifamily industry and smart apartment technology in particular, efficiency is critical. [You may recall that smart apartment tech refers to internet-connected devices that manage your property’s units and common areas remotely; they are run and monitored using a simple app].
The reason that we want our smart technology systems to be efficient is the same reason that we want our multifamily properties to stay running smoothly—we simply do not have time for the alternative.
So, when pairing up our multifamily communities with a smart tech system, you should look for those that are streamlined and convenient. The phrase “all-in-one” is a good indication of what you will want to be on the lookout for. Additionally, you will want to pay strict attention to the individual features of your smart tech system.
Does my smart tech bundle contain security devices? What about disaster-mitigation products like water leak detection? Can all of these be run off one single hub? And does that hub sync up with a single, easy-to-use dashboard? These are all good questions to ask from the outset.
Remember, as the smart apartment concept solves for many long-standing pain points associated with building management, you will want to take advantage of all of them. These include better security monitoring and alerts that allow for earlier response times to potentially catastrophic events on your property. As you might have already guessed, these “plugged-in apartment units”—when chosen wisely and monitored properly—also lead to greater overall efficiency in multifamily properties.
However, when it comes to investing in any new technology, there is bound to be a certain amount of hesitation and even maybe a little bit of misunderstanding. With this in mind, here is a crash-course on some of the common misconceptions surrounding smart apartments.
Objection #1: There is not much of a market for smart products.
To be frank, this common misconception couldn’t be more off base. There is a huge market—among property owners, managers, and residents alike—for smart apartment products like motion sensors and smart water leak detection. With apartment residents, in particular, the smart apartment concept is one that they are demanding and also willing to pay more for. Here are some insightful numbers that serve to drive this point home. [The first refers to the value of smart keyless entry systems, which enable self-guided tours for residents.]
The conversion rate on self-guided tours is 11% higher than those performed by a leasing agent (“Self-guided Tours Open Doors to Closing Sales, NAA”).
- 77% of property managers have either fully adopted, started to adopt, or made the decision to adopt smart lock technology into their communities (“Smart Home Tech in Apartments is the Way of the Future”).
- Past studies have shown the value of an in-building wireless system to be around $1.50 per rentable square foot in leasing value (Why In-building Wireless Technology is in Demand for 2018”).
- Global annual revenue for the multifamily IoT industry (which includes smart technology) is predicted to reach $35.6 billion by 2028 (“Multi-family IoT devices market to reach $35.6 billion per annum”).
- At NAA’s 2019 Apartmentalize Conference BH Management Services stated that their company’s communities had seen a $25 to $45 lift in monthly rents on those apartment homes that they had equipped with smart-home features (“Get Smart: Top Tech Trends for Better NOI”).
Objection #2: Putting money into smart technology represents too much of an investment.
As with any new investment, initial costs are a valid concern. As a way of offering added value for residents, an investment in smart tech costs far less than the price tag associated with upgrading or remodeling your property. In fact, the addition of smart tech products to your property can even be marketed to residents as a property upgrade. Instead of dwelling on the cost of the initial investment, we recommend looking at the type of return on investment you stand to gain. When you consider the high resident demand for smart tech noted above, this ROI consists of the type of happy resident that can lead to skyrocketing occupancy rates. Your ROI also consists of a more efficiently run multifamily community. Who doesn’t want that?
Objection #3: It will take too long for me to see returns.
Different owners and PMs will have different timelines for when they will need to see what they consider viable returns on their investment. This is why we encourage you to perform research as to how quickly you can break even after investing in smart products. This may involve going directly to smart tech companies themselves. In the case of Arize, a smart tech product/service provider based out of Orange County, buyers can break-even in as little as 12 months—depending on the amount of money they raise rents by. [Another aspect that Arize gets right is how their smart products are all manufactured in-house and designed to run off of one single streamlined system].
Regarding smart technology, our takeaway is that any doubts concerning this approach’s efficiency, convenience, or ROI-generating capability are unfounded. In addition, you may end up breaking even more quickly than you had imagined. By choosing a suite of smart tech products attached to one single centralized platform, you get 24/7 streamlined security and all-in-one convenience. And in the case of Arize, you also get a premium suite of smart products designed specifically for apartments.
For more information on smart apartment technology, visit https://www.arizehub.com