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Modern Smart Home Must Haves in the Multifamily Space

Modern Smart Home Must Haves in the Multifamily Space

Smart home tech isn’t just for the single-family home. These systems and devices can improve property management, reduce cost and emissions and enhance the tenant experience.

Smart tech is quickly becoming a must-have for today’s discerning renter, and with good reason. The right technology can play a significant role in improving residents’ experiences and enhancing the ease of operations for onsite staff. But where to start? As apartment owners and operators consider which amenities to include—either for new builds or when retrofitting existing structures—they must consider what is going to enhance a resident’s experience the most and offer the most ROI.

Many of today’s easy-to-use tools improve the efficiency of property management. These modern conveniences also lend to a positive experience for tenants, providing them with more comfort and control. Smart home technology not only provides improvements that residents crave, but many tech solutions also come with the added benefit of reducing costs for the building owner and property manager.

Smart Access

Smart access begins with smart locks, which can be used in many ways and are appealing to owners, on-site staff and residents alike. These smart features provide a wealth of benefits for all:

Save Property Owners Money

Owners don’t have to worry about paying a locksmith to change out locks or keys between residents. Leasing agents no longer have the frustration that comes with finding the right key or fumbling with a pesky lockbox. And, in addition to saving significant time and money on key tracking systems that cost thousands of dollars, this eliminates physical keys getting lost, being replaced and keeping track of them as residents move in and out. Another benefit is that maintenance teams can work more efficiently and respond to maintenance requests faster.

Save On-Site Staff Time

At one point or another, on-site staff has had to help a resident who is locked out after hours. Smart locks eliminate this issue because residents can simply use their smartphones or enter their access code to unlock their units. For important safety tasks like annual fire inspections smart locks allow on-site to quickly access units with one-time codes. Management can also allow vendors like painters or carpet layers access to vacant units with these temporary codes, which is more secure.

Keyless locks are also what make self-guided tours possible, freeing on-site staff to work smarter, not harder. Prospective renters can tour the unit whenever it’s convenient for them and property managers don’t have to plan their day around tours. Renters simply sign up, provide a copy of their IDs, then select the units they want to visit. Before the scheduled viewing, the prospect receives a unique access code to tour the property.

Enhanced Security

Residents love how easy it is to use a smart lock and they have the added benefit of increased security. They can set their own passcodes and typically have access to their homes right from their smart phone. They no longer have to worry about whether they remembered to lock the door, because they can make sure they did—or lock their home—right from an app on their phones.

Many folks often need to share access with others when they are away such as dog walkers and house cleaners. The right smart lock can provide a special guest code for a secure way of offering resident unit access. Only persons with the right credentials get access to the unit.

Smart Locks are in-demand, which means renters will pay more for this amenity, making your property more competitive in the market. The increased retention rates and NOI drive up the value of your assets.

Asset Preservation

One of the most overlooked benefits of added tech in a multifamily unit is the provided asset preservation. Much of the technology offered helps keep your buildings and units in tip-top shape whether they’re occupied or not. Today’s smart home technology allows for things like water sensors that immediately detect leaks and excessive humidity that can be damaging to a property if not fixed quickly.

Leak sensors can be placed throughout an apartment where the most common leaks occur – like under the refrigerator, sinks, and water heater – and send out an alert if excess moisture is detected. You can also view how your building’s entire HVAC system, unit-by-unit, is working in a few swipes of a screen. A humidity detection feature on smart thermostats alerts management to situations like if a vendor accidentally leaves a window open in a vacant unit.

And this doesn’t just work with new buildings. Smart sensors can keep issues at bay in the ever popular and charming vintage buildings as well. Issues are reported directly to your on-site team so that something like a burst pipe in a unit where a tenant is out of town doesn’t become a major problem.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a big topic for many companies, and smart home tech can help properties reduce their carbon footprint in several ways.

The smart sensors allow properties to collect energy consumption data for the full building— both vacant and occupied units— and track that data over time to determine carbon footprint impact. That data can then be used to adjust to lower impact. Smart thermostats not only provide residents with the ability to directly control the climate in their unit from virtually everywhere, but they are also extremely energy efficient, saving a ton of money and wasted energy.

Smart plugs and smart switches allow residents to automate control of their lighting or other wired appliances. Forget to shut the lights off before you leave? No problem. You can do it from your phone. These options mean less energy is wasted and electric bills are lowered.

Choosing the Right Tech

Though it’s gaining in popularity, smart home technology for multifamily units is not a new concept. Nest debuted over a decade ago Siri has been around for almost as long. Although the market has improved, it’s also become more crowded, making decisions about which systems to invest in a little more convoluted.

Ultimately, the best approach when implementing technology is to select an enterprise-level solution, because piecemeal solutions only add to the complexity of managing a property and require juggling multiple apps. Ideally, the provider would also use a single smart technology platform that allows users to control all smart devices through a single app and dashboard. The provider should also have on-site training for staff and residents months before installation, and offer 24/7 live support.

Property owners should look for a platform that offers robust integration capabilities, including multiple property management systems that can be implemented throughout a portfolio. It’s a good idea to start with a product platform demo and do some research, including gathering feedback or testimonials from the provider’s leading clients.

When selecting a smart technology partner or product brand, important things to consider are:

  • How’s the customer service?
  • Do they offer on-site training and 24/7 support?
  • How easy is it to implement, maintain and use daily?
  • Will it integrate seamlessly with existing software, and who will handle those integrations?
  • Will this generate income and/or reduce expenses? How will it affect the NOI?

Keeping in mind what matters most to your residents and to your bottom line—access, preservation and sustainability—will set you on a course for success.

Article as appeared in Realtor Magazine: December 13, 2022

Mark-Taylor Residential Partners with iApartments to Centralize Leasing and Maintenance Services

iApartments Inc. to Digitize All Mark-Taylor Communities   

(Tampa, Fla.) – October 31, 2023 – Today, iApartments, a leader in smart apartment technology for multifamily communities, announces a formal partnership with Mark-Taylor Residential (Mark-Taylor). Functioning as a private developer, owner, and operator, the company ranks as the largest apartment developer in Arizona’s history and the second-largest owner of rental communities in the state. Nevada.

The partnership aligns with the growing need for multifamily property owners and management companies to adopt innovative solutions, streamlining leasing and maintenance operations. Smart technology, driven by automation, effectively reduces overhead costs and enhances operational efficiencies to benefit both management teams and residents.

How iApartments enables Centralized Leasing & Maintenance:

  • Supports “shared property personnel” model
  • Fully automates and manages self-guided tour scheduling and access to vacant or model units
  • Seamlessly integrates with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
  • Alerts remote maintenance teams to promptly act on water leaks or HVAC issues

Visit iApts.com to learn more or book a demo

“The value of the iApartments platform is its powerful ability to support centralized operations by leveraging smart technology across the most important aspects of asset management and maintenance operations. Many of our clients have evolved from fully staffed onsite teams to a hybrid model that shares roles and responsibilities between properties,” says CEO of iApartments, Dave Magrisso. “We could not be more excited to help transform Mark-Taylor’s portfolio of communities into fully digitized, intelligent residential buildings.”

Each iApartments feature assists in upholding Mark-Taylor’s promise of delivering 5-star service.

“This collaboration represents a pivotal step within our strategic game plan as we pioneer a centralized operations model that sets a new benchmark for excellence,” emphasizes Vice President of Marketing and Technology at Mark-Taylor Residential, Dustin Lacey. “iApartments’ forward-thinking platform empowers our teams to operate with greater efficiency and seamlessly delivers actionable data that integrates with our Central Office software.”

iApartments’ smart home solution provides connectivity with no Wi-Fi required. Each residence is equipped with industry-leading smart hardware – a smart lock, leak sensors, smart thermostat, and the optionality to add features like smart lighting or voice assistant devices.

About iApartments

iApartments transforms multifamily properties into smart apartment communities. Founded by multifamily and smart home trailblazers, iApartments combines its next-gen automation technology with a disruptive approach that removes the upfront challenges for new and retrofit communities, so they can leverage the power of an enterprise-level platform with simplicity. Its turnkey smart home solution improves asset protection, enables smart access, and automates and manages self-guided tours to enhance residents’ living experiences, maximize operational efficiencies for property managers, and increase Net Operating Income (NOI) for property owners while also delivering on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals. Since 2020, iApartments has experienced accelerated growth and become trusted by the world’s largest apartment operators.

About Mark-Taylor Companies

Established in 1985, Mark-Taylor Companies is a privately held, Arizona-based developer, owner, and investment manager of multifamily communities. The company ranks as the largest apartment developer in Arizona’s history, the second largest owner of rental communities in the state and is the investment manager to over 22,000 units.

Learn more about Mark-Taylor, its Arizona and Nevada communities, and what makes the organization a premier specialized multifamily management firm by visiting https://www.mark-taylor.com/

iApartments to Speak on Smart Tech Management at OPTECH 2022

Chief Product Officer Steve Fiske Named Panelist at Leading Multihousing Operations Event  

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 25, 2022  Today, iApartments, leader of intelligent home technology for multifamily communities, is announcing that Chief Product Officer Steve Fiske will speak at the OPTECH 2022 in Las Vegas. Sponsored by the National Multifamily Housing Council, OPTECH is the hub for forward-thinking multi-housing operations leaders to connect about how to leverage simplified, integrated, and sustainable technology for better performance. iApartments will join panelists from companies like Greystar, BH Management, and Quarterra for a discussion about how property owners and operators can overcome challenges as it relates to integrating smart tech.

“As a veteran in intelligent home technology, I am thrilled to share insights and collaborate with other experts on ways to help apartment owners and managers,” said Fiske. “As prop tech continues to grow and evolve, it’s important for the industry to come together at preeminent events, like OPTECH, to showcase what’s working.”

iApartments is experiencing impressive momentum for its approach that delivers turnkey smart home capabilities for apartment communities, including a more than 450 percent increase in properties served. The company partners with leaders in the market, including Yardi, RealPage, and Entrata.

  • WHO: iApartments Chief Product Officer, Steve Fiske
  • WHAT: OPTECH Town Hall: Connectivity and Intelligent Building Strategies
  • WHEN: Thursday, November 3, 2022, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
  • WHERE: The Pomerol at Wynn Resort, Las Vegas

In addition to the panel, the iApartments team will be on-hand at booth #1133 to feature their technology and share more about their groundbreaking approach.

 

Multifamily Disruptor iApartments Sees 500 Percent Increase in Units Served Year-Over-Year

Intelligent Home Technology Provider Adds Key Partners, Leadership Hires to Support Growing Demand     

TAMPA, Fla.Sept. 14, 2022 / Today, iApartments, leader of intelligent home technology for multifamily communities, is sharing notable momentum that firmly positions the company as one to watch in the proptech space. Founded in 2018, the company has seen explosive growth over the past year, including a more than 450 percent increase in properties served and a 585 percent increase in units served year-over-year. The increased demand for its solution has caught the eye of several key players in the multifamily space, spurring key partnership integrations with property management software leaders like YardiRealPage and Entrata.

“Smart home technology for multifamily is a proven and booming market – and as veterans in this industry, we know what it means to serve the evolving needs of apartment owners and managers and are doing so again as second movers with iApartments,” said Dave Magrisso, CEO of iApartments. “Instead of making a decision based on their only option, multifamily owners and managers now have the luxury of evaluating for the best option when it comes to smart home technology. As a result, we are seeing explosive growth for our approach that helps communities evolve from smart homes to intelligent homes to improve the living experience for residents, as well as NOI for operators.”

Company offers smart home technology in residential building

Tampa’s iApartments, armed with at least a $10 million investment, seeks to capture a niche in the smart home market by specializing in multifamily buildings.

There was a time, not too long ago, when the term smart home conjured up memories of the gadgets seen on cartoons back in the early 1960s and Walt Disney World’s vision of the future circa the 1980s.

While some of those gadgets have come to life — no flying cars yet, but we carry computers in our pockets and have conversations on video screens — the reality is the tools that turn a home into a smart home do simplify life for many people without completely altering the world we live in.

They make them safer. They make them more comfortable. They create an ease.

The other things smart homes do is make money for people who sell and install the technology.

One Tampa company is among those now in the business of safe homes — but its approach is a little different.

The company is called iApartments, and it was started by trio of veterans of both the technology and the multifamily home services industry.

What the company does is right in the name: it works with owners of multifamily dwellings to install features like smart thermostats, smart locks and sensors in individual units and throughout apartment buildings. These are operated through a all-in-one thermostat smart hub that controls locks, lighting and switches and is operated with a smartphone.

The idea for iApartments came from Dave Magrisso, who previously founded a company called Valet Waste. What Valet Waste did was offer concierge trash service to apartment buildings. People would — and still do — put their garbage outside their apartment door each night and it would be picked, minimizing trips to far off dumpsters. Magrisso sold the company in 2006 and it is now known as Valet Living.

A couple of years ago Magrisso was hearing a lot of buzz about smart homes. So he reached out to friends familiar with multifamily complexes and former customers to see what it was all about. “He is a salesman’s salesman,” iApartments Chief Product Officer Steve Fiske says, “so he just started trying to find what the true need was.”

What Magrisso found is people all over the industry were saying smart home technology in apartments was the wave of the future and that, eventually, every apartment would come equipped with it.

The next question, says Fiske, was as obvious as it was providential.

“He would follow it up with, ‘Oh, when are you implementing it?’ and ‘Oh we’re not’ would always be the response.”

Fiske met Magrisso when Magrisso was thinking about how he could get into the business.  The two were working with start-up incubator Tampa Bay Wave at the time. he says coming together with Magrisso was “serendipitous.”

Fiske, you see, was one of the founders of Unikey, a smart lock company that gained national attention when it received funding on the television show Shark Tank in 2012.

Fiske says in the early days, Unikey worked with other smart home companies — including Nest and Ring — and tested pilot programs in apartment buildings. That experience, he says, taught him about some of the pitfalls and challenges.

“When he and I met it was very fortuitous. We were kind of able to fill in the gaps around that model and really build it out,” Fiske says of Magrisso.

The company’s third partner is Mohammed Syed, its chief technology officer.

iApartments was founded in 2019. Fiske says the company’s business model is built on being able to retrofit buildings, making it cost effective and turnkey for owners and management companies.

Fiske declines to disclose how much investment money the company has received thus far but did say “we have raised an eight-figure seed round through, primarily, strategic investors.”

He also declined to share revenue figures, though company officials say the goal is to have commitments for more than 200,000 apartments in the next few years.

The space is there to grow. According to iApartment, less than 2% of apartment buildings are equipped with smart home technology.

To reach its goals, and as part of its natural desire to grow, the company recently named Scott Stamilio chief revenue officer. Stamilio has experience in multifamily sales as part of ePremium Insurance.

Fiske says the company is currently in discussions with building owners and management companies nationwide.

“We’ve essentially been flying under the radar so we’re finally coming more out to the market,” he says. “But we’ve been heavily selling for the past two years.”

Article:By Louis Llovio| 12:00 p.m. July 29, 2021