Greystar has both recognized the necessity of offering competent smart-home technology and has discovered an interesting option in a growing field of emerging providers, said Andrew Livingstone, its Executive Managing Director.

“The pandemic created a large shift in how we operate, and it moved us forward a decade,” Livingstone said. “It changed how we think about operating apartments. It forced us, out of necessity, to think more futuristically, given the circumstances.

“It firmly created opportunities in apartment access technology, making how we enter our apartment homes a fundamental cornerstone. We’re seeing unprecedented changes with access given recent transactions involving companies that offer this and their valuations.”

Here are 10 things that Livingstone shared about this new amenity:

An efficient, ‘smart’ way. Smart-home technology is generating greater efficiencies for apartment residents and our communities’ onsite teams. Innovation in this space has created a surplus of providers with a variety of solutions and price points.

Tech’s leaps and bounds. The pandemic created a large shift in how we operate, and it moved us forward a decade. It changed how we think about operating apartments. It forced us, out of necessity, to think more futuristically.

No longer a ‘nice to have.’ Smart-home technology is now an absolute must have – not a nice-to-have amenity. It won’t just be in some apartment buildings; it has to be in all the buildings.

It’s Time to invest. We do not have as much smart-home technology in our portfolio as we would like. Our onsite teams realize we need to evolve to serve the needs of our residents, clients “and the ever-changing times we live in.”

Insist on integration. Look for smart-home technology platforms that integrate best with various components—such as thermostats, lights, utilities, access.

Don’t downplay this. Reliable, after-hours service and data security must be considered and should not be discounted, downplayed or taken for granted.

Dedicated Wi-Fi NOT required. Using the in-unit thermostat as the hub, which iApartments delivers, saves a great deal on installation costs. Dedicated Wi-Fi networks to support your smart-home technology is not required. These networks can cost from $600 to $1,000 per door – that’s a significant expense.

Right, out of the box. Our provider’s product works well right out of the box and can be installed during retrofits and new development.

AaaS boosts NOI. AaaS stands for Amenity as a Service. Having software and equipment as a service that can be implemented at any time, regardless of the budget cycle, as we are doing with our smart-home system, allows us to begin generating ancillary income the moment this amenity is launched. We’re charging very modest fees for the added convenience the system offers our residents.

Owners want best-in-breed. It’s an exciting time as smart-home tech brands continue to innovate their services to establish themselves as leaders in this space. While some of our clients have adopted this technology earlier than others, every property owner wants to work with the best products. So do residents.

 

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