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How to Overcome the Challenges of Smart Home Features in Apartments

smart apartment home challenges

Digested from Multifamily Executive

New apartment technology comes with pluses and minuses. Find out what pitfalls may come with these technologies and the benefits they can bring.

Smart home technologies, such as smart thermostats and keys can entice people to sign a lease and set a community apart from its competitors. They can also be a potential source of ancillary income, a means of better community management and an important conduit for data collection, Mill Creek Residential’s Vice President of Operations Kellie Hughes writes for Multifamily Executive.

But there are major challenges to incorporate Smart Home technologies in apartments, including a lack of centralized control systems, a larger number of technologies to choose from and steep learning curves for on-site associates, according to Hughes. Many of these technologies not only require extra training of onsite staff, but they may also cause more resident calls asking for assistance, which drains onsite resources.

“Another potential hazard to consider is degradation of a community’s Wi-Fi,” Hughes writes. “When installing the many smart-home items in a consolidated, dense environment like an apartment community, you have a lot of convergent signals going back and forth. That forces you to decide whether to change frequencies on devices or perhaps include Internet service in the rent. But then you’re responsible for the speeds and bandwidth.”

But the centralization these systems offer is a potential game changer.

“The ability to monitor the lights, thermostats and doors of vacant units from a centralized system could save utility expenses and maintenance time,” Hughes writes. “It could also provide additional customer service capabilities. If a resident is out of town and forgets to adjust her settings, for example, on-site teams could easily make adjustments for her.”

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