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What is a Smart Apartment?

Property manager searching for what is a smart apartment on laptop computer

What is a Smart Apartment?

In our connected world, even our homes are becoming smarter. The term is ‘smart apartment’ and it is changing the way that apartment communities are being managed. Here’s how smart tech is making property management easier. 

Convenience Through Connection 

A smart apartment uses internet-connected devices to monitor and manage the home remotely, using a simple phone application.

This includes everything from appliances and utilities to temperature and lighting controls.

Think of it this way: just as iOS and Android connect us to just about all of our daily tasks, they now also connect us to our most important asset—our homes!

The 3 C’s of Smart Apartment Technology 

Smart apartment technology provides homeowners with 3 C’s, which we provide more detail on below.

These 3 C’s include:

  • Convenience
  • Connectivity
  • Cost-savings

What is Inside a Smart Apartment? 

Smart apartments can be equipped with any of the following smart devices that allow for 24/7 monitoring and response:

  • Smoke detector alerts
  • Smart lighting control
  • Thermostat automation 
  • Water leak detectors
  • Keyless entry or smart locks
  • Entry sensors (e.g., windows and doors) 
  • Motion sensors and more

Furthermore, smart apartment devices can all be automated onto one simple platform.

The Value of a Smart Apartment

The smart apartment concept solves many long-standing pain points associated with building management.

For instance, property owners are finding smart devices to be helpful with property oversight. 

Tenants are also willing to pay a premium to enjoy their new, upgraded amenities and feel more secure in their smart apartment environment. 

Smart Home Statistics

Did you know that 84% of residents are willing to pay more per month for smart home technology?

Source: Entrata.com

This is the same technology that is placed in smart apartments.

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

What makes smart apartments preferable to smart homes is two-fold:

  1. From the tenant’s perspective. Tenants get the convenience of smart devices without having to purchase or install them.  
  2. From the property manager’s perspective. Property managers get more streamlined property data and management capabilities (in the case of a smart home, these would apply to the resident). 

When you add to these market trends the fact that areas like Orange County and Los Angeles are still allowed to raise annual rents by up to 10%, the benefits of upgrading to smart home technology come into even sharper focus.

A Day in the Life of a Smart Apartment Property Manager

When All That Can go Wrong DOES go Wrong 

Recently, an L.A.-based property manager named Liz had a busy Friday that unfolded like this: 

After coming into the office and sitting her coffee down on her desk, Liz reached for her mouse cursor. 

Clicking, she brought up the smart dashboard that gives her an overview of the entire 200 unit complex she manages. 

This is when Liz’s long day became 100% apparent. 

A Stream of Smart Alerts 

The smart, synced technology on Liz’s dashboard told her that 10 of her units were experiencing low battery alerts for fire alarms.

Then there was the water leak in unit #31.

And the smoke detector that went off the previous night in one of the adjacent units. 

And the tour she needed to give to her potential tenants.

To top it all off, her boss finally granted her time for that meeting today; the one that she couldn’t afford to miss. 

Scanning her dashboard for the other smart safety and security alerts that kept pouring in, she took a deep breath and pressed on.

Thriving Despite a Busy Schedule

Liz had no time for panic, so she let the community’s smart apartment technology take over. 

Her smart dashboard, which eliminates the need to physically inspect each individual unit, immediately began saving her time. 

After shooting off emails to tenants so she could schedule replacement fire alarms before they came home to those intrusive beeping sounds, she was on to her next task. 

A maintenance person got dispatched to visually inspect the smoke detector that had alerted the previous night.

The unit experiencing the water leak also received a visual inspection; because of this, the damage avoided becoming costly. 

Her remaining issue involved a time conflict.

A couple had requested a tour of an apartment unit and with their busy schedules, it had to be at 2 pm that day. 

This was the same time that Liz was supposed to be discussing her future goals with her boss. 

She scrolled over to the ‘create access code’ button on the smart dashboard and with just a few clicks, her task is complete.

She then emailed the code over to her prospective tenants, Alex and Emma. 

After punching the access code into the keypad, the couple was able to view the apartment at their leisure. 

Later in the day as her boss walked in, Liz experienced a deep feeling of gratitude. 

One thing is certain—she did not miss the old delays of troubleshooting these types of issues in person. 

Instead, all of her mounting property management issues had been resolved quickly and effectively.

So quickly, in fact, that there was now plenty of time left over to discuss that promotion with the boss.  

But that wasn’t all.

Thanks to the efficiency of smart apartment building technology, Liz crushed her new lease/ tenant vacancy goals, while also exceeding her net operating income growth goals.

What is a Smart Apartment Summary 

In today’s fast-moving digitized world, our living spaces are keeping pace. 

Smart apartment technology adds convenience, connectivity, and cost-savings to our daily lives. 

It also allows property managers to attract new tenants while better serving their existing tenants. 

By adopting smart apartment solutions, property managers become more efficient and net higher earnings.

Originally published May 19, 2020

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