Smart Tech for Multifamily Properties: The Pros and Cons
Equipping your multifamily properties with the latest trend in smart technology may seem like a forward-thinking approach to real estate. After all, when many property owners are already taking this step, you should, too, right? Maybe so. But investing in this level of innovation is not just all about pros, it may also have some cons that you should have to weigh in, as well.
Pros: Good reasons to implement a smart system in your multifamily properties
Perhaps, one of the most common questions you would ask yourself as to why the need to improve your properties by installing some smart home technologies on it. After all, having to upgrade your prized properties this way would entail additional costs which may or may not incur returns.
While it is a given that this type of add-on may boost the properties’ level of security, add as a convenient amenity, or be a means to cost-cut in energy, your primary consideration for opting in this choice should boil down to the returns.
Ideally, you would want these fancy technologies to not just live up to their promises on making the people’s lives better, they also must at least generate ways to break even the expense and augment the properties’ fair market rental value. This is a kind of investment, after all, and you would want ROI from it.
But there is one way you could mitigate the possible cost that comes with equipping a building complex with expensive and sophisticated stuff, that is, to focus only on adding the core parts of the system while using each tenant’s smart device as auxiliary to the system for their own benefit.
For instance, residents who already own a voice-operated and smart device like Google Home or Amazon Echo should be able to link to the system in such a way that it gives their room unique benefits from modern technology.
For prospective tenants who are seeking that “next level” kind of lifestyle, fusing smart technology with the multifamily housing complex would play a role as an inexpensive yet crucial incentive or concession to sell the rent.
Smart Technologies to Consider
As an owner, you would want to provide all the best which modern technology can offer your tenants. But as having a comprehensive list of perks would mean a big addition to your expense’s bottom line, you would instead want to be picky with what to incorporate. Preferably, you would want only the features which grant the most perks and leave the trivial ones out of the option.
As such, you would want the following technologies that offer the following:
- Digital doorman and smart locks
Giving the tenants the freedom and leniency to operate who goes in and out of their rented space is a privilege that is not always possible without the aid of technology. By tapping on cloud-based technology, tenants will be able to allow entry into their rooms even when they are remote with just a tap of a button. This is especially important in cases when the tenant had expected guests or deliveries that the landlord was not informed about beforehand.
- Remote lighting control
There is a great potential for energy cost-cutting when giving tenants the ability to turn their space’s lighting on and off using their smartphones compared to the traditional switch. While there is another way that makes this step easier, such as with the tap of a hand, still the idea of using something that is commonplace to each individual as a remote is just good.
- Water sensor
Tenants who live a hurried life may occasionally encounter problems at their place which a person with less hustle may not. This includes leaving certain amenities, like the faucet running, while they are outdoors or at work. By giving such tenants the remote capability to get notified whether such an incident is a case or not and have the ability to resolve them from afar is a major boon that saves the person the anxiety as well as the expense of the event.
Cons: Why you should reconsider making the upgrade with your multifamily real estate
As appealing as the idea of transforming our multifamily properties into a smarter version of their former selves, not all decisions to join the bandwagon would result positively on the owner.
For instance, while class A type multifamily real estate will find the incorporation of smart tech to be an imperative feature towards raising their edge against the competition, class B and class C types might be more selective in what they could assimilate or be overall optional, boiling down to cost-effectiveness.
Class B and Class C types of this kind of property have the privilege or disposition of making the upgrade at a later time when it is wisest, while type A cannot as it will lose the competitive edge.
Having something as handy as devices that facilitate auspicious functionality may be a perk, but it has its own risk. Thus, another major concern about adopting smart technology as part of a multifamily real estate is the issue of security of the system against unauthorized access and deliberate cyber-attacks that could compromise the system and everyone who partakes in it.
If you are an owner who is techie enough to have an understanding as to the superficial layer of protection of such a system, like the employ of anti-virus software, anti-malware, and encryption, then the basic security of your investment is already covered.
But if you find that having the cognizance about the fundamentals to be not enough or are not confident enough in your own understanding of how the technology works, including its loopholes, there is always an established IT company that will render support towards bolstering smart system defenses.
However, it is also worth understanding that no matter how fortified the system in place is, backdoors might still exist, particularly among the tenants who would be participating in the use of the installed amenities. In order to offset this issue, owners
must establish some rules and guidelines that uphold the safe operation of the system, including the building of awareness of what will happen if otherwise.