Felicite Moorman remembers receiving a call from a multifamily property manager whose building was struggling with its thermostat system. “For one thing, the system wasn’t designed for multifamily; for another thing, the system had very little property management control capability,” she recalls.
The year was 2013, and Moorman was CEO of BuLogics, which specializes in providing wireless solutions for the Internet of Things. Her company had just launched STRATIS, a wireless access, energy, and automation control, whose app gives property owners and managers the ability to create setbacks on thermostats and heating systems.
In short order, STRATIS has made an imprint on the market. In 2014, it established a partnership with Jonathan Rose Companies, a green real estate policy, development, project management and investment firm, through which STRATIS installed its pilot systems. Last year, STRATIS struck a partnership with the door hardware manufacturer Schlage, which had introduced its Schlage Control Smart Locks that are designed for multifamily property owners, and whose ENGAGE technology enables lock control from the cloud via mobile applications that are compatible with STRATIS’s access platform.
By late November 2015, STRATIS had at least one of its products in 72,000 multifamily and hotel units in between 250 and 300 buildings. Moorman tells BD+C that between 14,000 and 20,000 of those units are student housing built by American Campus Communities. STRATIS’s products also found their way into student housing developed and managed by Campus Apartments.
STRATIS markets its software through distributors, integrators, and installers. “We give them something extra to sell,” says Moorman. She adds that STRATIS’s products are relatively easy to install in new builds or renovations, with minimal resident disruption. “We precommission everything, which cuts down on the [complexity] of installation. I also test everything on my seven-year-old, and if she can’t use it, we try to figure out what happened.”
Property managers have the option of allowing renters to download STRATIS’s thermostat-control app as part of their lease agreement.
Moorman says the next horizon for STRATIS could be key cards, although she concedes there is far greater potential liability using this kind of technology for access into multifamily homes than in hotels. Longer term, Moorman sees opportunities for STRATIS developing access- and HVAC-control products for the single-family housing market, which she acknowledges will be more competitive.