For many operators and developers in the residential property market, 2020 was a busy year, despite the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. 

Demetrios Barnes

Demetrios Barnes, chief operating officer, Smart Rent

Things were no different for us at SmartRent, where we have been rapidly growing our enterprise smart home technology platform with a suite of fully integrated products, services and partnerships.

As part of our growth plan, we launched a pilot programme in the UK early last year. Our arrival could not have come at a more important time. With the mass shift to remote work and the ever-growing focus on personal wellness, we’ve found there is high demand for the operational efficiencies that our platform offers.

From an investment perspective, the entire build-to-rent market – which includes student living, later living and even holiday parks – is a fast-growing sector that we are targeting, as we believe that operators and developers in this space can be key beneficiaries of our SmartRent product. Why? Because people are increasingly expecting a future-oriented and connected lifestyle.

Our enterprise control offering allows us to link all devices to the SmartRent system

If you equip these assets with fantastic amenities and great interiors, as many operators now are, residents will also demand that the technology within their space is up to scratch too. To learn how in-demand smart home technology is, just look at the numbers: it is estimated that people will typically pay between £20 and £100 more per month for a smart apartment.

Not only is smart home technology about increasing benefits for residents; it is also about asset protection. SmartRent also accommodates leak detection and air quality monitoring, so you’re better able to provide wellness scores on your buildings.

Streamlining operations

There are countless benefits to our technology – so, how does it all work? SmartRent integrates a range of individual technologies that all bring something helpful to the table and assemble them in a way that provides enterprise-level with a way to streamline operations.

alloy parking vehicle

Our enterprise control offering allows us to link all devices to the SmartRent system, so operators and developers can have ultimate control over all the technology within their building. We synchronise everything to the property management system, so a team only has to click a ‘Move In’ button before new residents are onboarded to the access control system and provided the code needed to download the SmartRent app, where they can control the lights and temperature in their new home. Likewise, when that resident moves out, managers can click the ‘Move Out’ button, and the resident will immediately be removed from access control, all energy accounts, and any other technology housed within the building. It’s all automated, seamless, and contactless.

What’s more, the technology is moving so quickly that we’re constantly adding new services and integrations to our platforms. When a developer or operator chooses to adopt SmartRent, it’s a rewarding relationship for the years ahead because our platform is continuously being amended and upgraded as technologies and consumer preferences change.

Take two of our latest features: self-guided tours and smart parking. With self-guided tours, we’ve created a technology that allows customers to view properties in a safe and efficient manner by themselves. It is a tool that allows operators and developers to streamline leasing activities, so they are no longer on site at 9pm for viewings that are often no-shows.

Comprehensive offer

As for smart parking, we all recognise the availability of traditional parking management solutions, but they can be costly and ineffective. SmartRent flips the model on its head by adding smart devices to parking spaces, which use sensors to detect whether or not a car is parked there. This data is fed directly to the SmartRent app, so residents can save themselves a trip to the concierge and simply book a space online. Both of these examples demonstrate how we are leveraging all the technology at our disposal for a more convenient and comprehensive package.

We are leveraging all the technology at our disposal to deliver a more convenient package

It is not just new integrations, but also new partnerships, that we are constantly adding to our platform to provide a better, more concise solution. For instance, we are working on a new partnership that will allow our platform to monitor appliances and send automated work orders to external maintenance companies should wearable parts require attention. This workflow helps to quickly fix the issues.

With so many different partnerships and services, SmartRent believes that no solution can be a case of one-size-fits-all. That’s why we offer a completely modular solution that can be customised to fit the needs of each asset type.

Our solution is designed with the retrofit market in mind as well as the new-build market. If it’s a new-build development, we are engaged at the early stages of the construction and design process.

Enhancing developments

Quite often, the SmartRent team works with buildings that were designed for a build-to-sell environment but were then acquired by a build-to-rent operator. In those situations, retrofit requirements are what these buildings need – whether it is swapping keys for electronic fobs or changing thermostat accounts. These offers, in their many forms, are already being taken up by a number of major operators who wish to enhance their development with SmartRent products.

No matter the scope of the project at hand, SmartRent offers next-generation technology that enhances the residential experience and boosts the asset’s bottom line. Whether it is leasing teams, maintenance teams, investors or any other key stakeholders involved in portfolio management, professionals at all levels have found that they can benefit tremendously from the day-to-day technologies that SmartRent provides.