How to Gradually Learn About Switching to Smart Technology
Hand holding up a phone to a door with a smart lock

Through the power of technology and automation, buildings in the 21st century have become intelligent. These Smart Apartments come with advantages that are difficult to say no to, like convenience and improved functionality. Holistic Intelligent Buildings can cut costs, as STRATIS previously explained how automation can optimize energy consumption.

Switching to a smarter property requires research, given that Property Owners, Managers, and Residents have different needs. That’s why it’s also best taken slowly but surely. That said, these are some small steps to help you make a gradual transition:

Consider the cost and ROI

First off, automation isn’t cheap. Smart white bulbs typically cost $25, and colored bulbs cost $40-$60 apiece. Meanwhile, smart thermostats retail for $250. That doesn’t seem like much at first glance, but once you count the number of lightbulbs or appliances you need to purchase and install, the costs can really add up.

But as with any changes or renovations, it’s best to consider these as investments as Marcus notes that improvements add value to properties. This way, you’ll be more conscious of the cost and return on investment of each upgrade. It’s true that a smart lightbulb is a lot more expensive than a regular LED lightbulb, but factoring in the energy it’s meant to save, you can get quick returns on your investment. This applies to bigger changes, too, like swapping traditional appliances for newer and more intelligent ones or renovating the building’s exteriors.

Across the building, smart technology including leak sensors, thermostats, and HVAC can optimize the building’s energy consumption, especially in common areas, vacant units, and amenity areas. Buildings Editor-in-Chief Janelle Penny argues that this makes financial sense, as it can lead to cutting down on operational expenditures and generating revenue.

Understand the interconnected system

For reasons around security and user-friendliness, an Intelligent Building requires a property-wide network infrastructure that connects all devices and platforms. This creates a seamless experience. To ask questions around how a Multifamily IoT solutions provider approaches security especially with this network, this article walks through several aspects of security and corresponding questions to ask about them.

Build your Intelligent Building

• Security: Smart access (smart locks, smart technology for property entrance points) are the most popular aspect of Smart Technology in properties.

• Energy and water: Smart thermostats are known for reducing operational expenditures, and can add to Residents personalizing their space more. Smart water monitoring systems include leak sensors that can detect even the slightest changes in humidity to send alerts to Property Managers and Residents before water damages even occur.

• Smaller additions can be included too: Personal voice assistants can be compatible with an existing intelligent building network. This can increase the functionality of a Resident’s home.

At the end of the day, the question you have to ask is: Does this need automation? Consider how each upgrade can improve a property for Property Managers, Property Staff, and Residents, whether that’s adding convenience and function, or reducing costs in the long term. This mindset can help you create a more realistic approach to the Intelligent building.

Article written by Ashley Drew


STRATIS®, a RealPage Company, creates smart apartments and intelligent buildings and is the only platform of its kind built for the complexities of multifamily and student housing. STRATIS is installed worldwide across the U.S., in Japan, the UK, EU, and Latin America. STRATIS now serves hospitality, retail, and small to mid-size commercial, as well. STRATIS is an Inc. Magazine “Fastest Growing Company in America” and a Top Ten Entrepreneur Magazine “Best Company in America.” STRATIS was recently acquired by RealPage to enable STRATIS Smart Building, a more connected lifestyle, and unleash hidden yield through new revenue streams.

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