Smart Technology is the new buzz word, and…what is it? Smart technology. Yeah, we love it! It’s exciting! I’m 100% here for it, and I don’t even get what this watch does.
When you think about it, smart tech doesn’t have a neat and tidy definition – it’s more of a concept. We always talk about smart devices, but this merely scratches the surface. Watches, phones, kitchen gadgets, speakers, pet tech, and fitness devices are products that get the smart label because they generally feature services or options that can be automated. But smart stuff doesn’t just mean devices. There’s the next level of fancy pants smart tech called IoT, which consists of devices that have coordinating apps that we humans can use to control their functions and features. Last but not least, let’s not forget that smart connected devices recieve their intellectual label due to their internet connectivity (ya know, like bluetooth). In a nutshell, smart technology consists of smart devices, IoT, and smart connected devices.
With all of this big brain technology running rampant in the market, new tech devices just don’t stand a chance now, unless they’re branded “smart.” It’s this very concept that applies to all the techy trinkets and gizmos in multifamily living spaces: modern smart technology is the expected standard while old, basic technology is seen as, well, dumb.
No longer is automated-anything considered a luxury, reserved only for the mega-rich Tony Starks of our day. Anyone who owns a smartphone or tablet can boss around their own stuff. Coffee pots, instant pots, toasters, even humble-yet-smart skillets now come with a low price tag and a high appeal for creating a clean, futuristic home environment.
Why is smart tech making its way into multifam living?
In short, because the people are demanding it. Millennials make up most of the legion of renters nowaday and they’re straight up tech hungry! They’ve grown up with emerging technology in their hands, movies that paint the vision of an automated and tech-engrossed style of living (insert your favorite Marvel movie. See? I did!), and instant online communication that prevents them from appreciating nearly-extinct landlines. It’s not even a case of being comfortable with technology, it’s the fact that they’re nearly uncomfortable without it. Can you even remember a time that most of the people around you didn’t carry a device? Was it a decade ago? Further back than that, most likely.
This new approach to life turned on is different than in generations gone by. Millennials and Gen Ys are more into experiences than knickknacks. They also want the options of flexibility, convenience, and the ability to check-in around the world. This trend has produced a modern society that can work remotely and travel more. You can pretty much order any kind of lifestyle you want today. What it means for teens that are turning into adults is that they now have before them the option to control their home space and all that’s around it. If you want to monitor it, order it, automate it, or watch it there’s a service or device that probably provides it.
Benefits of smart technology in the multifamily space
Show me the money
Lest you think these notions are just a bunch of flashy gadgets waiting for a landfill future, think again. Smart home technology is proving to be a game-changer in some financially fundamental ways.
Let’s consider the cost of doing business, for example. The potential for saving money by using home automation and smart devices is staggering. We’re talking about thousands of dollars in savings by eliminating waste. Automated thermostats that don’t keep the tab running when there’s no one in the home, scheduled lights that don’t suck energy for no reasons… you can see where this is headed, right?
Saved dollars benefits everyone, residents and owners alike. As the cost of utilities goes down, residents find themselves with a greater supply of discretionary dollars. On the multifamily industry side, residential communities can keep their rent prices competitive. These are the economics that everybody likes to see.
Going greener than ever
Keep in mind that Millennials are a generation of multi-faceted thinking. It’s not just about saving money; it’s taking into account the cost of the future, too. They see the world we live in right now, but for the first time in probably all of history, the majority of up and coming adults see tomorrow, as well. They want to make a difference in the world around them, see what their sacrifice will merit, and know their future children will inherit.
Environmentally-minded residents want to do business with companies who are focused on making things green. So, the companies that emerge as winning the greenhouse war are the ones taking the industry lead in sales. Devices outfitted with sensors, monitors, and text alerts that watch over indoor home temperatures are now giving Millennials the power to do their part in cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions. And of course, they’re willing to trade a few extra dollars to do it.
And can we just talk about time?
The luxury of today is TIME. Saving time today in our gilded age of tech phenomena is arguably more of a luxe goal than saving money. It’s now a form of entertainment really, to see who can press minutes into seconds, and seconds into milliseconds.
While using smart technology, you can set it, forget it, and think about something else! One of the current challenges for tech companies now is helping people become more productive than ever before.
Security, but make it my own
Peace of mind, and tons of it. One of the most obvious benefits of smart tech has been the absolute turn-around in personal security. Before all we had was a can of mace and a friend to walk us out to the car. Now, I can watch on a monitor or app the real-time movements of my friends, my gramma, my dog, and my boss anywhere they go. And talk about a change in the way we view house thieves. Did someone steal your Amazon package? No worries, here’s a video that I can share with the whole neighborhood! Not to say that crime has been eliminated; but the worry and the wonder behind shady activities has a lot more of a self-driven authority and follow up now with the owner taking charge for their own safekeeping.
Along with just monitoring who’s doing what, even the way we walk through a door has changed. Access control into buildings has never been better. Smart Access solutions like ButterflyMX and LittleBird have made it possible to securely enter your home, welcome in guests, use custom codes, and utilize video intercom capabilities. These tricked out tools mean it’s now a whole lot safer than shoving your home key under an inconspicuous door mat or rock. To be able to see who’s at the door before letting them in is at the behest of pretty much everyone.
You into innovating?
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”-Henry Ford
So now that we’ve got it, where do we go from here?
Even though the locksmith shop on the corner probably won’t be closing any time soon, smart tech is only going to grow to our advantage. The multifam world is meant for this kind of technology. It’s not just fun, it’s helping to connect people, and not just on Facebook.
Souping up your smart tech game, the right way
With all the benefits that modern tech has provided us, one could argue that our ability to stay in-person, face-to-face connected and socially cool may take a slight punch to the gut. As multifamily communities enhance their amenities and smart services, they’re actually in the unique position to turn that social-drawback truck around. How? Communication.
By integrating smart technology into your community with the intent to create overall value, you can use smart technology’s communication perks to create a strong sense of connectivity and involvement amidst residents. Consider smart solutions that allow you to use streamlined, unified communication to reach the entire community about wellness fairs, barbeque parties, cooking demos, and yoga classes. Try a platform that gives residents the option to communicate amongst themselves (with your oversight, of course). Give a feature that organizes your updated amenity information a whirl. Tools that connect residents to their local neighborhood and businesses are worth a shot too. And hey, save everyone the headaches by investing in a solution that offers services like these under one roof rather than forcing residents to manage (or forget about) a stockpile of disconnected apps or websites by using an app that everyone’s got. The need to communicate has never been bigger. Connecting us with one another, bringing folks together, helping us reach out like never before – can we go so far to say that smart tech helps us boost our humanity?