Did Vivint just abandon multifamily smart technology? Rumors have been going around that Vivint appears to have given up on the multifamily apartment space, choosing instead to focus on their traditional single-family market.
This seems to have been confirmed recently, when a source close to the company reported that Vivint has indeed officially exited the multifamily space.
This is big news for Vivint, who in 2019 was one of the top-ranked options for smart apartment technology according to information provider IHS Markit.
It probably also comes as unwelcome news to major developers and property management firms—like Christopher Todd, JLB Partners, and Alliance Residential—that have signed contracts with Vivint to deploy smart technology for their properties.
Vivint’s decision to leave multifamily support is also putting current multifamily properties in a bind, as they’re left to scramble to figure out their smart amenities offerings. It appears that Vivint is agreeing to honor existing contracts but not entering new contracts.
Other smart apartment providers are reporting that they’re already hearing from former Vivint customers, looking to switch to companies equipped with the ongoing support they’ll need in the future.
Joshua Trujillo, Director of Channel Sales for smart apartment platform LittleBird, says he’s been hearing from Vivint multifamily customers. “They’re being forced to choose between proceeding without ongoing support or getting a hardware refund but restarting their smart home initiative from scratch.” LittleBird is currently working with some Vivint customers on a transition solution.
Vivint wasted no time in pulling their multifamily footprint from the web. As of today, all former pages on their site talking about Vivint for multifamily communities appear to have been removed, and the links now redirect to their home page.
Additionally, their YouTube videos about smart home technology for apartments have been marked as unlisted, meaning they’re still viewable but won’t show up in YouTube search results or on the Vivint channel page.
It also appears that Vivint Multifamily has been mostly scrubbed from the LinkedIn profiles of staff members who were formerly associated with that initiative (except for a handful who appear not to have updated it yet).
So, what made Vivint give up on multifamily? We could speculate….so yeah, let’s speculate!
It’s no secret that Vivint’s single-family game is strong. Perhaps the complicated B2B sales cycle and construction timelines of multifamily apartment projects were more than they wanted to deal with compared to the simplicity of selling to a single-family household. They could be getting out of the multifamily game simply for the sake of business efficiency.
Or, perhaps they found the technical realities of implementing smart home technology in apartment communities simply too complicated compared to the simplicity of installing in a single-family home. Residents constantly moving in and out, hundreds of devices together in close proximity, Wi-Fi networks at higher risk for being hacked, etc. It’s a challenge, for sure.
Either way, this is big news for the multifamily industry and for the many apartment development companies that had placed substantial bets on Vivint’s commitment to working with multifamily into the future.
Vivint had first announced in June 2017 on their website that they were implementing Vivint Smart Properties, a division focused on servicing rental properties. They expected to be a part of the rapidly growing multifamily community industry, stating, “We anticipate smart home technology will rapidly become a staple for rental properties throughout the country,” said Tom Few, vice president of business development at Vivint Smart Home.
At this time, Vivint doesn’t seem to have said anything publicly about why they’ve left the multifamily apartment side of their business. We’ve reached out to them for comments and will update this article with any statements they might provide, but for now it’s been pretty silent.
Meanwhile, Vivint continues to promote their single-family residential products and services on their website and they seem to be doing great within that line of business.