Property Automation Becoming A “Must Have” for Single and Multifamily Property Managers

by Sean Miller, President of PointCentral

I n the 1970s, forward-thinking hotels began to move away from physical keys and toward keyless entry. This trend spread quickly throughout the short-term rental market and has since found its way into the consumer market in the form of smart locks. In January 2018, a Coldwell Banker study found that 32% of Americans reported having smart home products in their homes, a 24% increase from the previous year. Con- sumers across the country are finding the safety and convenience benefits of smart home technology to be a worthwhile investment. The long-term rental market has seen a similar influx of smart home technology. A Wakefield Research study from 2016 found that 86% of millennial renters and 65% of baby boomer renters prefer and are willing to pay more for a property outfitted with smart home technol- ogy. This has not gone unnoticed by property managers, who are also enjoying significant operational benefits from implementing smart home technology. But where a consumer only needs to control a single home, a property manager needs a system that will allow control of multiple properties – Enterprise Property Automation. From a centralized location, using desktop and mobile apps, today’s property manager can manage access, temperature, HVAC, garage doors and an array of property sen- sors including water, windows, doors,

humidity, outdoor cameras and more. With an initial investment of less than $600 per unit, the prop- erty manager can install a smart lock, smart thermostat and a cellular-based hub (not Wi-Fi) that provides an encrypted, secure com- munications network for controlling access and temperature in the property. And it works beautifully with Amazon Echo and Google Home voice assistants. When smart

systems. PointCentral systems utilize advanced machine-learning intelligence to detect when an HVAC unit is not operating properly. This triggers an automatic notification to the property manager who can or- der routine maintenance and avoid a more costly failure. With properly installed water sen- sors, the property manager can be notified when water is detected in a unit, thus preventing

catastrophic damage (average residential claim from a bro- ken pipe exceeds $10,000 in the U.S.). The smart locks provide many other advantages, espe- cially in vacant prop- erties. Maintenance staff can be automat- ically assigned tempo-

schedules are utilized on the thermostat, Energy Star® has certified savings of 9% to 16% on heating and 15% to 23% on

cooling. PointCen- tral usage data has shown that residents will save on average 15% every

rary access codes which record when they enter and

how long they were in the property. With Unattended Showings, proper- ty managers can extend temporary access to prospective residents who can tour properties on their sched- ule, at their pace. Consumers expect to see this tech- nology when they check in to a hotel and are finding it more and more commonplace in long-term rentals. Managers who invest in Enterprise Property Automation are attracting more residents, streamlining their operations and driving ROI. •

month, which more than offsets the $20 MSRP monthly charge for the system. Residents want smart home amenities and are willing to pay for it, especially when shown their savings exceeds their cost. In addition to the incremental revenue stream, property managers are pleasantly surprised at the oth- er benefits of Property Automation. Top of the list is asset protection, which includes the ability to mon- itor the performance of the HVAC


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