Smart Home Tech Reduces Operating Costs for Apartment Managers and Building Owners

by Elizabeth Parks | Aug. 5, 2022
Use cases that reduce OPEX in apartment environments include access management and control, energy management, and automated risk mitigation. These solutions can improve operations and add new layers of safety, security, and convenience.
 
Access Control
 
Access control use cases typically involve smart home solutions installed in common and public areas, including smart locks, smart garage door openers, and smart video doorbells.
 
For MDU owners and managers, the highest valued use case is the ability, via networked smart cameras, to monitor the safety and security of residents in public areas. Improvements in access management through smart access solutions enable multiple benefits:
 
  • Self-guided tours for prospective residents
  • Reset locks for units with no extensive or in-person rekeying needed
  • Monitoring of contractor labor time
  • Improved maintenance processes
 
Smart Parking
 
Over one-third of MDU owners/managers with at least one property that has smart home devices also have smart parking sensors. This is a popular use case among adoptees—82% use these tools to facilitate rental of parking spaces. According to Apartment Guide Amenities Survey 2021, 15% of renters rate parking as a top amenity they wish they had. Smart parking technology helps to enforce assigned parking, leverage underutilized space, and manage inventory. These products represent an emerging opportunity for MDUs to improve safety and improve resident experiences.
 
As technology continues to be added, AI-based parking could become a fundamental part of the experience. Dynamic messaging can be incorporated to help improve the experience. As EV adoption continues to grow, consumers will also look to apartments to provide charging stations and property developers will turn to sensor-based technologies to help manage the experience.
 
Risk Mitigation
 
New tech solutions can reduce risks from theft and losses or damage from inclement weather or malfunctioning equipment. The extent of these use cases depends on the equipment and levels of integration, but they offer a variety of opportunities to secure the property. While the main benefit is mitigation from loss, some insurance companies are starting to offer discounts for smart solutions, notably in the single-family housing sector.
 
  • Smart cameras and door locks monitor the property for unauthorized access and improve the security of residents and the building.
  • Smart water leak detectors and smart appliances can detect malfunctioning equipment and send alerts to maintenance teams before any significant damage occurs.
  • Smart outlets provide remote access to electrical outlets to save energy and stop current shortages.
  • Smart HVAC systems send alerts about impending equipment failures.
  • Smart solutions also receive alerts about upcoming freeze and flood conditions or other inclement weather and adjust operations accordingly.
 
Energy Management 
 
Energy management savings are a huge driver for consumers and property owners. These solutions include smart thermostats, as well as smart outlets, smart lights, and connected HVAC systems. These solutions resonated with MDU owners and managers as their top concerns include residents wasting resources.
 
Nearly 75% of property managers and owners are very concerned about residents wasting energy.  This top value proposition offers an important benefit to reduce OPEX—smart lighting and energy management solutions allow managers to remotely adjust lighting and temperatures in unoccupied units. Owners and managers don’t want to pay to light and cool/heat empty apartments, and energy management products offer an easy, cost-saving solution. An integrated system further allows automation of these settings, with the ability to make adjustments ahead of tours or showings.
 
  • 26% of property managers and owners have an energy management/monitoring system.
  • 64% of property managers and owners who have at least one property with smart devices installed expect OPEX savings of between 10% and 20%.
     
This is an excerpt from a white paper, Smart Solutions - Boosting Revenue in Multifamily Properties, written in partnership with SmartRent. This whitepaper addresses how connected devices benefit multifamily owners and property managers, from improving business efficiency to driving additional revenues, as well as opportunities in the emerging MDU market for product vendors and service operators. The research includes a snapshot of the current market for smart home solutions in MDUs and key considerations for both vendors and MDU owners and managers.
 
Thank you for your comments and reading Parks Associates research.
 
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