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Five Common Questions About Smart Home Technology

Five Common Questions About Smart Home Technology

The era of the smart apartment home is upon us.

Like the owners of single-family homes, apartment residents have come to appreciate the convenience and lifestyle benefits of smart home devices. According to a recent report by the National Multifamily Housing Council and Kingsley Associates, more than 70 percent of apartment residents are interested in smart thermostats while 67 percent and 63 percent are interested in smart lighting and smart locks, respectively. Meanwhile, more than 56 percent are interested in smart/dynamic glass. The report also shows that residents are willing to pay for smart home technologies.

But despite this general and growing enthusiasm for smart home solutions, apartment communities that implement them are bound to face a wide array of questions from residents.

Below are some common questions and a framework for suggested responses.

1) What are the benefits to me? Smart home devices can provide apartment residents with a level of convenience they haven’t experienced before. Emphasize to them how these technologies can allow them to control and monitor their homes remotely and can even help them save money. For example, smart thermostats can reduce energy bills by 10-23 percent.

2) How much will it cost? This will vary, of course, depending on the solutions you’re implementing and the providers you’re using. But be direct and clear with your residents and explain to them that the cost is either incorporated into their monthly rent or that they will be charged a separate monthly fee.

3) Do these technologies/devices come with security risks? Unfortunately, no technology is 100 percent risk-free. But you should look for products and providers that meet the SOC 2 certification and explain what this means to residents.

SOC 2 is a third-party certification from the American Institute of CPAs – the AICPA’s Service Organization Control reporting platform. The certification shows that a supplier partner has met the necessary requirements in security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and consumer data privacy. 

4) Do I have to worry about the management team invading my privacy? Don’t pull any punches with this response. Explain that the onsite staff will have some degree of visibility into each apartment’s smart home system, but only to provide maintenance teams with access to homes as needed, respond to emergencies and manage units after a resident moves out.

5) This device doesn't appear to be working - how do I get it back up and running? This answer will also obviously vary widely depending on the product and the nature of the problem. But the point here is that your leasing associates/maintenance techs need to be well-versed in your smart home solutions and how to troubleshoot and resolve problems. Better yet, operators can partner with a supplier partner that will provide 24/7 support (over the phone or in-person) from smart home experts that residents can access directly to get their problems resolved.

Generally speaking, residents are excited about smart home technologies and welcoming of this new era. But that doesn’t mean they won’t have questions and concerns. To provide the optimal smart home experience, apartment communities need to be ready with satisfactory answers.

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