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Powering Smart Communities: Connecting Through Reliable Technologies

Powering Smart Communities: Connecting Through Reliable Technologies


The current flood of proptech and smart home solutions in the multifamily marketplace is long overdue. While the rapid tech ramp-up in recent years helped to bring real estate companies up to speed with many other business sectors, it also permanently raised renter expectations. Those expectations altered the competitive landscape in the industry, creating an adapt-or-die environment in terms of proptech implementations.

However, the sheer volume of new products has also muddied the waters for owners and management companies. Sifting through the available technology options is daunting, and apartment operators cannot afford to spend time and resources continuously piloting products only to arrive back as square one.

So, how can management companies select solutions that will stick and deliver ROI by establishing connected communities?

What operators really need is technology that works.

More importantly, they need solutions that work well together and enhance the value of other implemented technologies. Property operations can be streamlined and residents empowered through the deployment of a few key tech building blocks:

Community Managed Wi-Fi

Strong and reliable internet is the foundation of a smart community. While residents demand it, staff, prospects and IoT devices can all benefit from this critical infrastructure.

  • Residents deserve immediate access on move in day through a seamless, in-app, onboarding process. Their mobile devices should stay connected as they maneuver throughout the community, from their home to the pool and from the garage to the elevator.
  • On-site staff, or podded teams, are more efficient and responsive when they have consistent mobile access to maintenance applications, and can leverage that mobility to optimize property performance and boost resident satisfaction.
  • Prospects can have an enhanced experience when prompted to join the network during their self guided tour. It helps them precisely navigate turn by turn and gives them a taste of the connected experience as a resident.
  • Smart home hardware, common area cameras and other connected devices also benefit from a property wide network solution. Consistent uptime and low latency are cornerstone functions of a smart community.

Legacy vs. Cloud-Based Access Control

Once merely used for perimeter entrances and parking garages and common areas, access control has evolved to encompass every element of the resident, staff and visitor life at a community.

Legacy systems were offline, not integrated with property management software and designed to keep visitors out. With the dramatic changes in on-demand services, package delivery and self-guided tours, modernizing access control for multifamily is a must for survival. Cloud-based systems can utilize existing physical credentials, or operate using mobile passes providing hands-free access across the community.

Frictionless platforms protect communities through the use of smart access locks and control panels, with integrations to property management software, HR systems and CRM platforms.

  • On the corporate side, the centralization of access data helps with process and policy standardization, as well as reporting and oversight.
  • On a property level, it enables property teams to customize how residents, associates and guests move within the property. It also provides seamless access creation and removal, streamlining the self-guided tours experience.
  • For the community at large, the use of video intercoms, paired with community surveillance cameras, enables remote monitoring of entry gates, access points and amenities, enhancing security by ensuring that only authorized staff, residents, vendors and guests can enter common areas.

Software Management Dashboard

The ability to effectively manage and oversee access to the entire community is invaluable. But it is when those controls integrate and live in the same dashboard as other property management systems that the efficiency of operations is increased exponentially.

Everything from access control, smart parking platforms, smart home devices, and asset protection devices like humidity monitors and leak detectors can be housed in a single, holistic software management dashboard. Everything complements the functionality of PMS and CRM platforms. The centralization and potential for automation also creates ancillary revenue opportunities. A comprehensive, robust platform enables operators to manage resident and prospect data in one place, and establish actionable data and reporting tools.

The Key Takeaway

A foundational approach to technology implementations builds the structure from which future tech deployments can flourish. Focusing on essential products and software, as well as integrations, enables each solution to reach its full potential and creates a level of community connectivity that both associates and residents want to be a part of.


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