by Joel McIntyre
A new era of apartment leasing and living is upon us. From self-service leasing and smart home technology to the industry-wide adoption of PropTech, technology is empowering residents, onsite teams and operators alike while creating operational efficiencies.
While these technology features and solutions can really take apartment communities to the next level, a lot of these tools need a robust internet foundation to run smoothly. Apartment communities probably have WiFi, but it’s typically isolated to certain parts of the building, whether it’s the leasing office or designated common area spaces. Unfortunately, a lot of smart home technology isn’t confined to these spaces and is present throughout the community.
Here are some technologies that could be optimized with community-wide WiFi to run smoothly and the benefits for operators:
The majority of apartment tours used to be standard agent-led tours. The emergence of nontraditional tours, such as self-guided, virtual and video tours, has changed the technology needs for apartment communities. The industry has made it clear these various tour options are here to stay.
Self-guided tours also integrate other types of proptech into the overall experience, like wayfinding technology, interactive maps, virtual viewing, access control, ID verification and chat functionality with leasing agents. Self-guided tour and access control technologies have become a foundational component of running agentless tours. Seamless connectivity can help power proptech and self-guided tours to work in all areas of the community. Otherwise the prospect will find themselves offline and in need of assistance. This causes issues for both the prospect and the onsite team.
Smart Home Tech
Smart home devices, like individual apartment thermostats, hubs and speakers, either need WiFi, cell phone reception or z-wave wireless technology to operate. While there are multiple services available to power smart home technology, a WiFi connection is the most reliable option.
Some apartments can have “dead zones” for cell phone reception, leading to lapses in connection and disconnections. A z-wave signal’s performance can be compromised by corners and tight spaces that interfere with the radio waves. Traditional WiFi can have its pitfalls, and large providers cannot always guarantee service and 100% uptime. New wave WiFi throughout an entire community can mitigate these connection issues and optimize smart home device operation.
Onsite maintenance technicians often take online service requests to fulfill work orders and log labor time. Maintenance technicians typically have an app or a service platform where they see incoming requests, any additional details from residents and can mark work orders as complete. WiFi can streamline mobile maintenance, as maintenance technicians will otherwise have to wait until they get a connection to log time and completed tasks.
Executing an efficient mobile maintenance strategy with inconsistent access to a platform would be extremely difficult and time consuming. Operators are always looking to create efficiencies and streamline workflows and a backlog of maintenance orders puts a strain on the technicians, onsite teams and residents. Constant internet access enables maintenance teams to review requests in real time and have the information they need to get the job done.
Apartment needs have greatly changed with such rapid implementation of proptech, smart home tech and mobile maintenance. Community-wide WiFi provides a solution for residents and onsite teams and ensures smooth operation of the various tech tools operators have implemented over the last few years. Ubiquitous WiFi is certainly a critical piece of the foundational tech stacks of post-modern apartment communities.