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Recently our Director of Multifamily Sales, Mike Branam, spoke at the TecHome Builder webinar on Multifamily Tech A Systematic Approach to Answering All Stakeholder Questions, alongside host and President of AE Ventures, John Galante, and Founder & CEO of Innovative NOI, Taylor Wiederkehr. 

The purpose of the webinar is to introduce a durable framework for analyzing investments in the multifamily technology landscape to ensure property managers can make educated and well-informed decisions. Together the trio deep-dived into the world of technology investments, exploring in detail the four fundamental elements: resident experience, building operations, technology platform compatibility, and financial analysis and performance. 

Here are our top five takeaways from the webinar: 

1. Resident experience is the alpha of the multifamily business 

As a property manager looking to up your occupancy levels, your number one priority should be meeting guest demands. “If you’re not taking care of those residents, if you’re not giving them experience and value, there’s not much of a business left. You can do everything else right but if you don’t have residents, so what?” said John Galante, opening the floor to discussion about the importance of the residential experience in multifamily communities.

2. “The reality is most residents already have some form of smart home technology”

Mike Branam spoke in depth about how most multifamily residents including prospective seekers are already using smart home technology in their everyday lives for convenience, comfort, and peace of mind. He believes multifamily residents want more tech to simplify their way of living. “Maybe to check if their door is locked when they go to the airport, or to check their thermostat is set appropriately,” he stated, reiterating how in some parts of the US the weather can be so unpredictable that those without a smart thermostat face risks of freezing pipes or worse when away from the property for a prolonged period of time. He added how these features also create an opportunity to save on utility costs, which is something many are mindful of in today’s economy. Taylor Wiederkehr added that investors want to understand the value of smart home technology, and analysis can help them see these benefits in real time and align these integrations with their goals. 

3. A single solution that overcomes “app fatigue” 

You may have heard (or experienced) app fatigue. It’s a term used to describe when consumers lose interest and lack engagement with new apps. The general gist is that when residents have to use multiple interfaces it becomes an inconvenience. However, as Mike explains, “when you have a single app solution residents can move seamlessly throughout a building.” He called it the “customizable living experience”, as residents gain complete control over the property. For example, if a resident was to leave to go on vacation, the apartment has the ability to switch to a saved setting for efficiency, including turning down the thermostat for cost savings

4. Technology integration is a game changer

Everything from streamlining access and guest entry to in-unit smart tech can be integrated into a property management software, creating a significant opportunity to save on costs, improve operational efficiencies, and differentiate the community. What was historically a really reactive environment has shifted to a proactive and even preventative maintenance model. Now, with monitoring in place, if moisture is detected by water sensors or inefficiency is picked up by a HVAC monitoring system, these issues can be dealt with in real-time before they escalate into costly damages. 

5. “It’s a really important time to choose the right partner” 

Choose a partner that has the ability to take over existing systems with a retrofit solution, or if you have a blank slate, the tools to fit a native solution. “Proptech is a hot space to be in,” Mike declared. The beauty of tech integration is that it works seamlessly behind the scenes. Imagine your resident is moving out of a property. They, of course, lose access to the building and apartment. But as a result of the integration with your PMS system, the apartment door will lock when the resident leaves and the thermostat will automatically switch into a vacant unit mode for optimized energy efficiency. This means your maintenance team doesn’t need to check the unit is secure or change any settings for cost savings. The tech does it all for you!

Tech has quickly become a necessity in not just the multifamily real estate landscape but in hospitality in general. A sentiment Taylor explored when he confirmed that property managers failing to implement these tech features could potentially fall short of prospects’ expectations. Why? Because for the younger generations, like Millennials and Gen Z, who are renting for much longer, tech is a huge enabler of their flexible lifestyle. They’ve grown accustomed to the convenience and now expect these adaptations that allow things like package deliveries and ordering food. “Easy life type technologies that have grown in the last 10-15 years, it’s something (younger generations) consider to be a foundational requirement in (their) living environment.”

Want to know more about a tech solution that integrates seamlessly with your existing PMS and hardware? Talk to one of our team members today