Internet of Things Technology A Key Differentiator For Forward-Looking Multifamily Owners
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Multifamily is an underserved asset class when it comes to integrating sophisticated Internet of Things technology. IOTAS CEO and founder Sce Pike realized that renters desire the same types of integrated smart devices that homeowners enjoy — and that IoT benefits could extend beyond primary users to property managers and owners.
The early adopters have been focused on the devices and have neglected the software and interoperability, Pike said. They have installed siloed devices, which is a less effective and less user-friendly strategy than incorporating a system of connected devices. The latter learn from each other, create profiles of the renters and work in tandem.
Pike predicts the ability to layer software experiences into the resident and property management platform with IoT will be standard in three to five years, enhancing the experience of residents while minimizing work for managers.
“In the amenities arms race that managers and developers are faced with in today's multifamily market, it's more important than ever to be able to offer and market the latest and greatest to prospective renters,” The Champion Cos. Chief Construction Officer David Hatcher said. “Though I firmly believe in the next few years smart apartment technology will be as common as fitness centers and swimming pools, in my market it's still fairly new and has been able to give us an edge over our competition, resulting in tangible rental growth and increased leasing velocity.”
The IOTAS platform’s configurability and personalization leads to higher overall tenant satisfaction. This allows management to charge higher rents and gain higher retention rates. The addition of an IoT package positively impacts properties’ net operating incomes and values.
“We have installed IOTAS in both new construction as well as 1990s product as a value-add strategy instead of granite,” Hunt Investment Management Executive Vice President Jim Dobbie said. “We are seeing positive results.”
Many multifamily professionals have adopted IOTAS for its ability to future-proof and differentiate the property.
“We view our primary demographic as millennials and wanted to include fully integrated, easy to set up and use, smart home solutions in our amenity packages as a competitive advantage,” New Street Asset Manager Ben Hoglund said. “That’s not an easy feat to accomplish in an apartment setting, but IOTAS made it possible. The smart home system has generated a high level of positive buzz for the property, and new residents love the product.”
“Smart home systems are a perfect differentiator in our communities. The amenity makes our community stand out from the competition down the street,” Dobbie said.
According to Pike, IOTAS is working to ensure the systems it recommends are able to grow and learn over time, which will be crucial to the efficient operation of additional services.
“With all the software layered on, and data being collected, the question becomes how can properties utilize this to drive revenues on top of rent,” Pike said. “That is the future. The smart apartment industry will start evolving at the software layer once the preferred hardware types, such as door locks, thermostats, light switches, outlets, etc., have been selected.”
As long as these hardware devices are open and interoperable, they can become more feature-rich by adding additional applications and software services on top of the built-in infrastructure.
IOTAS is actively collaborating with other technology partners and key real estate clients to ensure solid data governance for the real estate industry. To learn more about this Bisnow content sponsor, click here.