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No Reason To Be Scared: Smart Apartment Myths Debunked


As with anything new and transformative, smart apartment technology has its share of myths and misconceptions. These usually are based on fears about hacking vulnerabilities, questions about return on investment and concerns about whether the technology can deliver propertywide benefits.

Fortunately, there are simple ways for multifamily landlords to investigate and challenge those myths and reap the benefits of smart technology. Moreover, many of today’s residents already recognize the benefits of smart technology and would prefer to live in a smart apartment.

“Smart technologies will transform the resident experience and improve your bottom line — if you let them,” said Felicite Moorman, vice president and co-founder of STRATIS Smart Building. “It’s important to realize that there is nothing scary about smart apartments. Instead, we should let the facts speak for themselves.”

Here are the facts about three common misconceptions and why Moorman thinks tools like STRATIS' smart apartment solution mean there is nothing to fear from smart apartments.

Myth No. 1: It Is Easily Hacked

Moorman said owners can take an important step to protect their smart systems from cybercriminals by checking whether a technology provider is audited to meet security standards.

Audits can take two forms: a Service Organization Control report, known as a SOC 2, or proof of compliance with the International Standards Organization’s ISO 27001 standard. Compliance with either standard indicates external auditors have determined the technology is secure.

"Compliance also shows that the vendor takes security measures seriously and is willing to share the results of its audit with you,” Moorman said. “If they are not willing to share this information? Now that is something to be afraid of because it is a major red flag.” 

Myth No. 2: There Is No ROI

Building owners understandably worry about the bottom line, but many multifamily residents are eager adopters of smart technology. More importantly, they are willing to pay for it, and a majority of renters would prefer to live in an energy-efficient apartment, which can be a major benefit of smart technology use. 

Moorman said smart technology can help a building’s bottom line in several ways. Depending on their region, building owners may qualify for multifamily residential smart device energy incentives from local power utilities. Puget Sound Energy and Austin Energy are examples of utilities that offer incentives. 

Plus, apartments certified for compliance with the federal government’s Energy Star program are likely to be attractive to residents, especially millennials, for whom sustainable living is a major goal, she said. Lastly, smart apartment technology can help identify potential sources of lost revenue, such as leaky plumbing.

Myth No. 3: There Is No Propertywide Benefit

It is true that the benefits of smart technology will be most apparent to residents at the apartment level. They are likely to appreciate the greater control it gives them over things like granting entry to guests and saving on energy usage.

But there are buildingwide benefits as well. Moorman said that smart technology gives building managers the ability to monitor vacant units remotely, adjust lighting and thermostat settings in common areas to lower utility bills, perform some maintenance tasks remotely, and address security and access concerns for the entire property.

“Any new, transformative technology is likely to be subject to some myths and misconceptions,” Moorman said. “That’s why it’s important to understand the facts about the benefits of smart apartment technology.”

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and STRATIS. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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