Why Submeter Common Areas?
A common area with three brown plush chairs facing each other

When you think about water leaks, the first thing that comes to mind may be an overflowing toilet, dripping faucet, or other household areas. But in multifamily communities, a huge source of leaks can also be in common areas, such as pools and irrigation systems. Since these areas utilize and consume large amounts of water, the damage from leaks can be even more costly, and indicate infrastructure problems that may require immediate attention.  

If only resident unit submetering could translate to common areas, it could serve as the first step in detecting anomalies and leaks. You may wonder, since common area submetering doesn’t exist, how can maintenance staff be prepared to address leaks in these critical areas? This assumption would have been correct, until now.  

Aggressively attacking water waste 

RealPage, a global leader in providing software and data analytics to the real estate industry launched STRATIS Smart Buildings, the smart way to power multifamily living from access control, sustainability, community-wide Wi-Fi, and more. RealPage Smart Water™ is a unique new product that leverages submeter technology to help PMCs drastically reduce the cost of managing water on both common areas and residential units. With its features for quickly detecting and notifying site teams about leaks and consumption anomalies, we estimate that it will save properties approximately $67 per unit annually, while also providing greater visibility into those parts of the property that are not typically metered (i.e., irrigation and pool systems).  

This first-in-the-industry property and portfolio-wide solution can detect anomalies, pinpoint leaks, usage spikes, and submeter system issues to alert on-site staff in real-time of any impending catastrophic losses. This includes common area submetering to act on leaks and manage water consumption in real-time. This gives on-site staff actionable visibility into property maintenance and operators and owners valuable information on the health of their portfolios.  

Smart Water gives operators and owners actionable visibility into the operations of their properties. In addition to capturing leaks and alerting on them, it communicates how much water has been saved through leak resolution, how much water is attributed to common area versus resident consumption, and what the cost per unit of water is at all times, among many other valuable metrics. Savings on the cost of retrofitting existing submeters by adding the leak sensor is about $50 per unit and can be installed in about 10 minutes by maintenance staff, which is a small price for the guaranteed return on investment. This is a difference from the other building management systems that attempt to address water management, which are typically too expensive for operators and require building engineers for daily maintenance and management.  

Property management companies (PMC) commit to reduce water by a certain percentage in line with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) or Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). So that means if 30% of all water consumed on the property is lost to leaks, these PMCs can hit the goals easily by installing leak detection and elimination. And even a 20% reduction in water consumption can generate a savings of about $5.60 per unit per month.  

The first solution of its kind, this economical property-wide and portfolio-wide solution targeted to multifamily and student housing specifically addresses water management for both common areas and residential units. This real-time analysis, leak detection, and alerts to site staff and residents are invaluable for property, environmental, and economical health.  


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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