Smart home technology is becoming increasingly common in multi-family rental properties. In addition to its many benefits for tenants, smart solutions can also greatly improve business processes for property managers — from cutting costs to creating efficiencies. Whether you’re using smart technology to manage individual units and common areas or to streamline your operation in general, it’s important to consider the total cost of ownership and the long-term financial benefits of any new system. To help you make the right investment for your organization, here’s a look at how multi-family smart solutions can be a win for the managers of multi-family properties.
1. Reduce utility costs
One way smart technology can benefit property managers is through reduced utility costs. Consider the expenses of heating or cooling vacant units, common areas, and maintenance or office spaces when they’re not being used. Installing smart thermostats that adjust usage automatically will help you cut costs by ensuring that you are only heating and cooling when necessary.
Smart appliances can also reduce utility costs. If you have properties with in-building or in-unit laundry, smart washing machines can automatically determine how much water is needed, while energy saver products cut down on electricity consumption. While the reduction in water and energy consumption may not offset the cost of a brand new washer or dryer, an incremental investment in a smart appliance represents a sound investment over the long-term.
2. Reduce maintenance costs
In large organizations, maintenance staff may make hundreds or even thousands of calls annually to adjust thermostats to ensure efficient energy usage, primarily in vacant units. But with smart thermostats, you can eliminate these calls altogether, ultimately saving your maintenance staff time and money. Smart appliances also eliminate risk by alerting you to leaks or other potential damage in your properties, so your staff can fix the problem before it becomes a major issue.
In these examples, you’re leveraging the automation and sensor capabilities of connected devices so that you don’t have to rely on tenants to report problems in a timely manner. Smart technology provides a more accurate system of identifying and reporting maintenance issues, allowing your staff to react more quickly and effectively.
3. Improve operational efficiency
Smart technology doesn’t have to be exclusively tenant-facing. There are many smart solutions that may go unnoticed by residents, but could be a major boost to your operation. Consider an access control system like RemoteLock that allows you to control smart locks and manage doors from a single interface. Using RemoteLock helps you eliminate costs related to key and lock replacements in addition to improving processes of your in-building staff, thanks to temporary access capabilities for maintenance, visitors, and delivery personnel. It can also allow you to offer self-guided tours, which is critical in a post-COVID world that has upended traditional processes for both property management companies and leasing agents.
Speaking of tours, with a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature in vacant units shortly before a tour to create a more welcoming environment for tenants. This could help you fill more units while maintaining a healthy bottom line.
While not technically “smart” solutions, there are many other kinds of property management systems that allow you to increase operational efficiency. For example, a tenant portal app that puts power in the hands of your residents can reduce the number of calls your office staff takes from tenants regarding maintenance requests or other basic information. This allows your employees to put more focus on revenue-generating activities while simultaneously improving the resident experience.
Smart home technology is the way of the future for multi-family properties because it allows you to do more with less. Yes, you will have to consider what it will take to train staff and residents on using the technology, and the price of some systems may still be cost-prohibitive as the technology is further developed. But when you consider the increased control, data visibility, and overall improvements the technology can bring to your operation, it’s clear that smart solutions are the smartest choice.
Ready to enhance your operation with new technology? Contact RemoteLock today to see how our powerful access management platform could help transform your multi-family business.