Dick Sherwin, Member Wireless Hall of Fame
Multifamily Buildings Need An IoT Strategy
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Irving Wladawsky-Berger, although the Internet of Things (“IoT”) has been a “long time coming” it is “about to go into overdrive”. Wladawsky-Berger reports that a recent study by Bain & Co. predicts the overall market for IoT would double between 2017 and 2021.
Recently, Xfinity Communities released a report: “The State of Smart Technology in the Multifamily Housing Industry” based upon a survey conducted by the Lewis Insight and Research Team. While we don’t agree with some of the conclusions, there is ample anecdotal evidence, in our experience, that many of the report’s observations are similar to our own.
Based upon our implementation of our Network as a Service (“NaaS”) in a series of multifamily buildings in which the owner or developer incorporated smart home technology such as in apartment thermostats and door locks, as well as thermostats and lighting in amenity areas, residents have indicated the desirability of this type of home technology when renting or remaining at the apartment complex.
Xfinity’s report goes on to say that smart home technology using the Internet of Things (IoT) keeps current residents satisfied and that 78% of respondents indicated the importance of adoption of smart technologies in maintaining high satisfaction.
Barriers and ROI
However, challenges to the implementation of IoT and smart homes in multifamily do exist. Cost associated with the acquisition of equipment, can be a deterrent to implementation. Many of our multifamily building owner clients now point to operational cost saving and convenience factors as additional reasons to implement smart home technology.
Thanks to IoT, doors can be opened remotely without having to use personnel when contractors need to access the apartments during lease expiration and renewals. Being able to control the thermostat especially after painting or cleaning can create significant savings for the building owner and contribute to ROI.
By deploying a NaaS that provides connectivity for smart home technology, coupled with the ability to offer high speed data services in amenity areas and in-apartment, and provide voice and text services via WiFi Calling in buildings with serious cellular issues, the building owner will reap a host of operational benefits, while providing high resident satisfaction.