A vast majority of today’s new construction multi-family developments are integrating some form of smart home device into their projects. From thermostats and lighting to keyless entry, today’s renters are expecting their apartments to seamlessly integrate into their tech-heavy lifestyles. These smart devices not only provide an additional amenity designed to save residents time and better quality of life but they also help landlords by cutting energy costs and in some cases can provide a direct service channel to tenants in their homes.
Multifamily buildings generate massive amounts of data and being able to monitor and manage this mountain of information may seem like an overwhelming task. However, developments that utilize smart sensors and other IoT tech can easily review and monitor this information to cut down on operational inefficiencies and help predict maintenance needs. For example, a smart plumbing system can not only detect a leak but will shut off the water and notify the maintenance staff thereby preventing costly water damage. Along with these sorts of problem-solving abilities, smart devices can also be utilized to cut down on energy usage. According to the global research firm, McKinsey, the application of IoT for residential energy management could save over $110 Billion in energy annually by 2025. While new construction projects often have these devices built-in, implementing even some basis smart tech at an older property like thermostats and connected outlets is not a massive undertaking and will typically pay for itself in 2-3 years. Ultimately with more control and lower costs due to operational efficiencies, preventative maintenance, and resource management, tenants also receive a better experience in their homes.
Leading the charge to bring smart home devices into the apartment sector is Amazon who has partnered with Zego a hub designed specifically to link smart home devices within apartments to the building’s management and maintenance. Zego is currently operating in 20+ markets across the country in both large and boutique communities. Recently Amazon & Zego began working with national landlord S2Capital to bring the Amazon Echo into around 30,000 in the next three years. S2, founded in 2012, currently operates more than $2.1 billion in Class B and C multifamily communities. Having invested more than $200 million in upgrades and renovations, S2 feels these smart devices will provide the best-in-class technologies residents want. S2’s residents will have the ability to control smart home devices such as smart locks, lights, thermostats and wall plugs with the Zego app, or simply by asking Alexa. As a next step, It won’t be long before residents can tell Alexa to pay their rent.
The market for IoT, currently valued at more than $15 billion is projected to reach $137 billion by 2023. Obviously, this trend is certainly not slowing down. Smart buildings will continue to have the competitive advantage against their competitors and savy building owners and property managers for property management can leverage this technology in numerous other ways to save on operational costs.