- Residential Energy Innovations
- Smart Home Technology
Smart Home Solutions Expand into Multifamily
The concept of a smart home is gaining mindshare among consumers. Popular devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Philips Hue, and the Nest Learning Thermostat are demonstrating value in bringing connectivity, analytics, and automation to the home. However, residential Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have largely been targeted toward high income consumers in single family homes, as this target market is easier to penetrate than others such as multifamily. The multifamily market has been largely untapped by digital technologies as business models in this segment of the market can present challenges related to high purchase volumes, device, data ownership, and occupancy turnover.
And yet, the multifamily vertical is emerging as an attractive market for smart home technology. Building owners and managers are looking for cost-effective ways to differentiate their buildings, generate additional revenue from higher unit prices, and save on operational costs by equipping their buildings with smart home technologies. Vendors are beginning to navigate the nexus of residential and commercial buildings with solutions that are more scalable, easier to deploy, and designed specifically for the multifamily sector. Consumers are coming to expect that IoT technologies are part of their homes, whether in a single family or multifamily dwelling. Stakeholders are starting to realize the gap between single family homes and multifamily homes—and the ample opportunity that is available for early market entrants.
Partnerships Push the Industry Forward
Though the market is in early stages, there are already several players deploying multifamily solutions. In July 2018 Google, Nest, Dwelo, and Alliance Residential announced a partnership to install a technology package in 25,000 luxury apartments, which is the largest smart apartment rollout in US history. The package includes a Nest smart thermostat, a Google Home Mini, smart locks, light switches, and wall outlets. These products are integrated via Dwelo’s cloud-based communications platform. The package is branded as the Alliance SmartHome and controlled through the company’s app. Other companies involved in the multifamily space include Vivint Smart Home, which offers a service called Smart Properties for property managers to design their own smart apartment ecosystem, STRATIS, which offers software as a service for 225,000 multifamily and student housing units, and IOTAS, which provides a smart home experience for renters, among others.