Apartment Management Magazine Choosing the Right Smart Home Technology for Rental Housing

By Arize

In our connected world, even our homes are getting smarter. The term is “smart technology” and it is changing the way apartment communities are run. Here are the answers to common questions regarding this fresh new concept.

  • Q: What is an apartment / smart home?

Apartments and smart homes use internet-connected devices to monitor and manage the home remotely, using a simple phone app. This includes everything from appliances and utilities to temperature and lighting controls. Think of it this way: just like your mobile phone has iOS and Android which connects us to almost all of our daily tasks, they now also connect us to our plus important asset – our homes!

Smart apartments are very versatile and offer something for every tenant. In fact, they can be equipped with EACH AND ANY of the following smart devices (Note: all of these devices allow 24/7 monitoring and response): smoke detector alerts, intelligent lighting control , thermostat automation, water leak detectors, keyless entry / smart locks, entry sensors (eg, windows and doors), motion sensors and more. In addition, smart apartment devices can all be automated on a simple and streamlined platform.

  • Q: What is the tenant demand for smart apartment technology?

Demand for smart home devices is on an upward trajectory, with the total amount of specific smart home devices shipped per year to grow to nearly 1.5 million by 2024.

The answer to what makes smart apartments a great idea is twofold. First, from the perspective of the tenant, rResidents enjoy the convenience of smart devices without having to purchase or install them. Then, from the point of view of the property manager,Property managers benefit from more streamlined property data and management capabilities.

  • Q: How is smart apartment technology streamlining multi-family properties?

The top three ways that smart apartment technology streamlines multi-family properties are to mitigate disasters, increase net operating income (NOI), and increase efficiency. Regarding disaster mitigation: Smart technology is effective, especially when it comes to mitigating disasters like apartment flooding. With $ 2.5 billion in insurance claims due to water and mold damage each year, this type of disaster is a major concern for homeowners and staff. The key to keeping your maintenance and repair costs is never having to pay them in the first place.

While a long list of preventative inspections might seem like a logical answer, this potential solution poses its own set of problems. Tenants are inconvenienced (and even annoyed) by these types of invasive inspections and they also require excessive time and attention from maintenance and management staff. This is where smart property automation comes in. Smart water sensing systems provide real-time response to property managers when humidity is detected inside apartments in their community. This early warning system allows PMs to act quickly, allowing them to stop flooding costs before they have a chance to get out of hand. These costs include the various levels or “colors” of water damage as well as mold remediation and general labor plus materials. An example of living water extraction would be drying a kitchen that has been flooded with “clean” water. Even though white water is the cheapest of the three types of water, extraction can cost over $ 1,000 each time. Gray water is water that has been used for washing dishes and clothes as well as for bathing. The cost of damage from gray water, which can harbor dangerous bacteria and viruses, averages $ 3,000, according to fixr.com. Black water is wastewater from the toilets of multi-family homes. Since exposure to black water leads to diseases and infections such as hepatitis and gastroenteritis, flooding of black water in homes should be avoided at all costs. In addition to its health risks, repairing black water damage costs up to $ 8,000 per occurrence. In addition, the average cost of mold removal is $ 3,500 or more.

Here is an overview of labor and material costs. Note that these costs may be more expensive in areas where specific item and labor costs are higher:

  • Replacement of damaged drywall (demolition / reconstruction phase): $ 1.40 per square foot
  • Repair of damaged plaster walls (demolition / reconstruction phase): $ 6.25 – $ 18.75 per square foot
  • Rehabilitation of hardwood floors (restoration phase): $ 10.45 per square foot
  • Carpet replacement (restoration phase): $ 4.70 – $ 5.50 per square foot
  • Carpentry (reconstruction phase): $ 70.00 per hour for carpentry work
  • Mold decontamination (cleaning phase): $ 5.00 per square foot

So, let’s get back to the point on how smart technology increases efficiency and bottom line. To touch on the point about effectiveness, a short history can help.

Recently, a Los Angeles-based property manager named Liz had a busy Friday. After entering the office and putting her coffee down on her desk, Liz grabbed her mouse cursor. By clicking, she opened the smart dashboard which gives her an overview of the entire 200-unit complex she manages. Smart tech on Liz’s dashboard told her 10 of her units were experiencing low battery alerts for fire alarms. Then there was the water leak in unit no. 31 and the smoke detector had gone off the previous night in one of the adjacent units. Finally, the visit she needed to give her potential tenants emerged. To top it off, her boss finally gave her time for this meeting today; one she couldn’t afford to miss. Scanning her dashboard for the other smart safety and security alerts that continued to pour in, she took a deep breath and continued.

His smart dashboard, which eliminates the need to physically inspect each individual unit, immediately started saving him time. After emailing tenants so she could program alternative fire alarms before they came home with those intrusive beeps, she was on her next job. A maintenance worker was dispatched to visually inspect the smoke detector that had alerted the night before. The water leaked unit was also visually inspected; thanks to this, she was able to avoid costly damage.

When it comes to increasing NOI, smart technology can lead to greater tenant retention (as tenants today show a keen interest in smart apartments), a rationale for increasing rents, and reduced spending on disaster mitigation.

As you can see, smart technology is changing the way apartment communities are run – for the better. There are many advantages to owning a smart apartment community; the ones that set us apart the most are disaster mitigation, increased NOI and better overall efficiency

Arize is a smart apartment technology company that brings multi-family properties all the latest in real estate automation. With Arize’s secure platform, property management teams can create safer and more connected communities. Arize’s smart and synchronized system offers a superior collection of management software and automated devices, including smart locks, water leak detectors, and more. Visit https://www.arizehub.com for more information.

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