Why BTR operators need to implement smart home IoT solutions

With fuel prices rising and ESG being top of mind for Build to Rent operators and investors, the role of smart home IoT has never been more important.

Development which operators needs to implement smart home IoT solutions - Realpage | BTR News

Most operators still rely heavily on manual methods for collecting and analysing building maintenance and operational data. However, and especially in the wake of rising fuel prices, the case for implementing smart home solutions is growing by the day. Property owners and developers also face increasing pressure to accelerate their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives to reduce maintenance costs and improve resident experiences. The internet of things (IoT) is instrumental in achieving these goals.

By RealPage

By enabling the collection of data from multiple sensors and other access points throughout the property, and providing actionable information to residents and property staff provides the ability for better energy management, and enhanced resident experience. Furthermore, the highly scalable nature of IoT, especially when combined with cloud computing and mobile solutions, means it’s possible to implement hundreds of sensors or other devices across multiple sites in just days.

Here’s a closer look at the key benefits of implementing an IoT-powered resident experience platform in Build to Rent properties:

Asset protection

As every property owner knows, urgent maintenance tasks have a habit of appearing with no warning, and costs can easily end up getting out of control. To mitigate these events, it’s important to take a more proactive approach.

By installing leak detectors on a washing machine for example, or other areas prone to water loss, damaging leaks can be detected, and an alert is sent to the property owner and resident’s smartphone immediately. That way, they can act quickly to avoid costly water damage.

Optimise energy consumption and reporting

The Build to Rent sector in the UK and beyond is seeing an increased focus on sustainability and efficiency which is being driven by investors. While pressure to adopt more environmentally friendly construction and management techniques has pushed prices up significantly, implementation of smart home IoT systems can help offset the costs while also improving sustainability.

Energy consumption represents a major cost centre for any building, which is why proactive, data-driven management has an increasingly significant impact on the bottom line. Smart IoT sensors can monitor lighting, heating, ventilation, and other equipment and automatically adjust according to factors like usage patterns and occupancy levels.

Since IoT devices can be controlled remotely, property owners or residents can easily turn off or dim lights or reduce heating levels when they’re away from home. This should grant some peace of mind to anyone who’s ever worried about accidentally leaving the heating on while they’re on holiday.

Improve resident experience

Just as any business depends on delivering an excellent customer experience to ensure long-term success, so too do Build to Rent operators need to ensure the best resident experience. Smart home systems offer unparalleled control and convenience by letting residents track and control things such as unit and amenity locks and room temperatures at different times of day and their energy consumption.

Smart utilities and other smart home technologies are not just becoming increasingly popular – especially among younger generations – they are fast becoming an expectation. With internet-enabled solutions like Google Home, lighting controls and Nest thermostats becoming more prominent, installing smart devices and energy solutions adds value to your offer.

With a full-featured resident experience platform, residents can enjoy complete control over things like access, thermostats and lighting from a consolidated smartphone app. With remote access controls, they can also let people in to deliver parcels or allow friends
in, even if they’re not at home. For building operators, it’s easy to grant and revoke access rights for tenancy durations, as well as control unoccupied units and communal areas remotely.

Facilitate accessibility anywhere

A true smart home solution gives property managers and residents complete control over their buildings and residential units from their smartphones. Property managers can do their part for the environment by enhancing energy efficiency and maintaining granular control over energy consumption in communal areas and vacant units, while also streamlining maintenance. At the same time, residents can enjoy complete control over their apartments from their smartphones – to allow themselves to fully customise their living environments.

A truly unified solution goes even further by offering complete mobile app-enabled control over the building from the street to the sofa. For example, residents might use a smart

lock to enter the building or access common areas and control lighting and heating in their residential units all from a single mobile app. Furthermore, the ability to control living units remotely allows residents to set their preferred heating and ventilation levels ahead of their return home, or even grant roommates and friends access to their homes remotely.

Enhance security and governance

Connected buildings can enhance security and governance by providing auditable data trails pertaining to areas like maintenance, security and energy consumption. This gives property owners complete visibility into how their buildings and systems are operating, while a steady stream of real-time data enables informed decision-making. Based on these recorded metrics, such as temperature variables or leak alerts, owners can continuously improve their management routines.

IoT connectivity can also enhance the physical security of buildings themselves. For example, residents can use their mobile apps to configure virtual geographic boundaries as defined by GPS. This enables the system to automatically determine whether a resident is home or away, and to dim lights and turn off heating and air conditioning accordingly. Some systems also allow residents to create guest mobile credentials, while property owners can temporarily grant access to third-party vendors and maintenance teams.

For enhanced digital security, there are also providers such as STRATIS IoT who are fully compliant with Service Organization Controls 2 (SOC2). This guarantees privacy of personal information, high levels of availability and uncompromising data processing integrity.

Build for long-term sustainability

With ESG now being top of mind for property owners and developers, it has never been more important to implement smart, data-driven systems to scale and simplify management. Smart home IoT solutions and a centralised cloud-hosted solution delivers a seamless user experience across any network infrastructure.

STRATIS RealPage powers smart buildings and Build to Rent properties to create a more sustainable living environment that enhances resident experience and helps operators meet their ESG goals. Contact us today to learn more about our resident experience platform.