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Smart-Home Technology Provides More Than Energy Efficiency

Smart-Home Technology

Residents are accessing these integrated technology solutions not only to cut down on energy use but also to provide security monitoring and convenience.

Smart homes have become popular for their energy-savings capabilities, but security and convenience are quickly becoming important as well. An April webinar conducted by Rentping Media highlighted what top amenities residents seek from smart-home devices and how they can be used to improve not only apartment homes but also the overall apartment community.

Dan Daugherty, founder and CEO of Remotely, and Lucas Haldeman, chief technology and marketing officer at Colony American Homes, noted that although residents enjoy some of the “peace of mind” benefits of smart-home devices (e.g., knowing when windows and doors have been opened, when children arrive home or what pets are doing), more are looking to these systems as a matter of convenience. 

For example, Daugherty has observed increasing interest in having cameras in common areas, such as the laundry room or the game room, allowing residents to use an app to see availability of appliances or games before making the trek. Haldeman added that residents’ No. 1 request has been for text notification when a washer or dryer has completed its cycle. 

Residents also want to be able to improve their habits through energy monitoring and even health monitoring. Daugherty stated that beacons and home-automation technology could allow residents to track their workouts in fitness centers — not only what machine they used and how long they used it but also how many calories they burned. 

Other add-ons could include refrigerators that create on-demand shopping lists when residents run out of particular items. 

Apartment-community managers and owners can monetize the use of these devices to help defray costs. Haldeman charges $20 for a base package (an app and control of locks and thermostat), with additional services offered at a markup. Daugherty also noted that utility companies will pay up to $35 per year for usage data. 

Communities can also benefit from utilizing these technologies to streamline efficiencies, such as receiving notification when an HVAC unit breaks.