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Multifamily Landlords: Don’t Let A Possible Recession Delay Your Tech Investment


The economy is in a tough position, but that doesn’t stop the march of technology adoption. The mobile phone is taking over the real estate experience and multifamily property owners who stop investing in their digital transformation will slip behind. That is the message from cloud-based access control provider Brivo’s Channel and Digital Marketing Executive Kerstin Demko. 

“A recession doesn’t mean a property manager should stop strategizing for their building,” she said. “Soon, the expectation will be for technology to do everything, no one will carry keys or process invoices manually. The question is, are you preparing for it? Those who make decisions about which technologies to include in their road map now will be ahead of the pack.”

There are now proptech applications for almost all aspects of managing a multifamily block. These range from building management apps for the property manager to use, to user experience apps and more specific apps such as a cloud-based access control. For buildings without a concierge, the mobile phone can now take its place.

The challenge, however, is for multifamily property owners to select the right technology for their needs. The best place to start is by carrying out an audit of current technology and asking users what they think of them, Demko said.

“Users will define the next phase of proptech adoption,” she said. “A property owner needs to determine what residents expect from their experience to guide them on which technology to provide in a package. It’s one thing to have an app, but you need to make sure people are using it.” 

The next step is to consider what technology will continue a multifamily property owner's digital transformation, Demko said. What is missing from their current packages? What processes could be digitized? 

A key part of assessing technologies is to consider integrations. There will never be one technology provider that can meet all needs, but many proptech platforms can be integrated with others. Brivo has recently launched its Integration Marketplace where users can see which technologies the software provider works with. 

“Having an open API platform is part of our philosophy,” Demko said. “We know we can’t build everything but we have a way we can work with providers across the whole sector. We have partners in areas from building management technology to elevator systems and intercoms.”

By putting proptech solutions together, the resident will get a much better experience, Demko said. One Brivo partner is resident experience app Carson, a 24/7 remote doorman service. Carson brings many proptech solutions, including cloud-based access control, into one place. When a property owner is making an initial investment in a resident user app, they need to ensure they can integrate each solution they require. 

The fact that proptech solutions are in the cloud makes integrations simpler. A single database can feed many solutions that are integrated. Property owners should keep in mind how the cloud enables digital transformation and consider their long-term plan, Demko said.

Once a multifamily property owner selects the right technologies to include in a package, the service has to be delivered seamlessly to residents. Simply providing a series of disconnected services is not enough for residents today.

“Because of the economy and the growth in multifamily, rents are going up,” she said. “But users also have an increased expectation of value for that increased rent. It’s up to the property owner to provide that value and use technology to deliver an exceptional experience.”

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

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