Optimizing the Digital Foundation of Modern Apartment Communities

by Jeffrey Kok

As more apartment communities modernize leasing and operations strategies with technology, a strong digital foundation has never been more essential to apartment development and operational processes. Nearly every facet of the apartment leasing and living experience is now enhanced by tech, but without the proper technology infrastructures and physical foundation to support it, operators can’t continue to push the envelope of innovation. 

To meet the apartment needs of today, from centralized leasing and self-service options to mobile maintenance and smart home features, operators have been turning to community-wide WiFi. While managed WiFi can certainly help support the industry’s new tech, the service works only as well as the community’s existing digital infrastructure. This leaves little room for operators to adapt to evolving renters, onsite team and technology needs.  

Some operators have been looking beyond managed WiFi and focusing on creating a digital foundation for the built environment. A strong digital foundation transforms a community’s technology infrastructure and allows operators to implement a connectivity plan that better matches the unique needs and technologies of each community. 

A digital foundation for the built environment is often an overlooked aspect, but it’s also revolutionizing all the new technology and strategies that have been implemented over the last few years in the multifamily industry.  The digital foundation should have come prior to smart home to build upon a stable and scalable infrastructure.

Defining the digital foundation 
The digital foundation is like your building’s physical foundation; it transforms a community’s technology infrastructure from the ground up by creating seamless connectivity across all systems, technologies and processes. In the new age of apartment leasing and living, we need to reimagine how communities connect. Operators need a strong base for all the technologies they’ve implemented and what they’re trying to accomplish with those technologies. 

A digital foundation delivers a secure WiFi, hardwired, and other various connectivity protocols to deliver a holistic solution that spans every inch of a property. A digital foundation enables truly intelligent connectivity that can withstand the ever-changing digital landscape of rental housing and position operators for future innovations. 

The connectivity differences
Not to be confused with managed WiFi, the digital foundation for the built environment advances a community’s tech stack. Operators require a more reliable and all-encompassing framework that is built to give them more control over their communities and technologies while helping them accomplish their goals.
Traditional Telco WiFi is often a narrow solution and can’t fully support and power modern leasing and mobile maintenance strategies. It is focused on only getting the Internet to the residents.  It also doesn’t afford operators the ability to evolve. A digital foundation is built for them to fit their needs.

Every apartment community is different; if operators understand their tech stack and which goals it helps them accomplish, they can work with the right provider to create a foundation that optimizes all technologies and strategies. 

Setting the foundation for innovation 
The first step in building a digital foundation is identifying every facet of a community that needs connectivity – proptech, smart access controls, fitness equipment, leak detection, energy management, garage access, package acceptance, WiFi calling, self-service leasing – and working with a reliable provider to map out the right digital foundation to sync everything. 

The right providers have a deep, comprehensive understanding of the built environment and collaborate with operators to create a digital foundation that streamlines the WiFi experience for residents and onsite teams. This is especially important as proptech becomes even more complex and operators need to be strategic about their network and implementation and maximize their investments. 

New developments can easily create and implement a digital foundation from day one. While stabilized communities can retrofit, upgrading the digital foundation allows those communities to effectively modernize. By retrofitting a building, owners add even more value to the community and allow it to reap even more benefits in a highly competitive industry – driving retention and satisfaction of residents.  

The key is designing a digital infrastructure based on the operators’ needs and goals, and implementing the foundation necessary to optimize all digital facets of that community. 

Connectivity has become the backbone of modern apartment communities. In order to optimize new technologies and processes, operators are creating a new digital foundation that syncs all their systems and future-proofs their strategies. A digital foundation for the built environment connects communities in unprecedented ways and gives operators a springboard for even more innovation. 

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