New Amazon Deal Bolsters In-Unit Smart Technology

Real Estate

In-unit smart technology is building momentum. RealPage company STRATIS IoT, a technology platform that links apartment smart home systems to personal devices, has partnered with Alexa for Residential through Amazon. The partnership will provide voice access for the STRATIS IoT platform through Alex-enabled devices. As a result, participating residents will have voice control over more than a million devices that are already managed by STRATIS IoT.

The program will launch with Echo Dots in each unit that will be preconfigured to interface with STRATIS IoT. In the first phase of the program, Amazon Echo Dots will be implemented in 303 units at a Greystar property in Denver, Colorado. Upon move-in, residents will be able to access smart apartment features, like keyless entry, smart lights and more, on their devices and through voice control. Upon move-out, tenants are automatically de-linked from the device. It is a big step forward in providing residents seamless access to smart home technology during the duration of the lease.

Smart technology has been slowly making its way into the apartment market. A survey from National Apartment Association conducted late last year found that 62% of apartment owners are focused on installing unit-level smart home devices. Specifically, smart locks, lighting and electronic billing are the first smart technologies to make it into apartment units, and the ones that residents look for the most. The survey also found that all age demographics are interested in smart home technology, whether for convenience, control or efficiency. More importantly, in-unit smart technology is a way for owners to attract and retain residents—and in some cases these features can translate to higher rental rates.

During the pandemic, smart features have not only been an amenity preference but they have become a necessity. Smart home technologies have helped to give safe access to units via smart locks and have allowed owners to safely tour and show apartments through virtual tours. These features in many ways have kept owners in business during the pandemic. The smart technology trend originally started in the single-family home market, helping owners show multiple homes in one day, but during the pandemic, apartment owners have used similar techniques to show units.

Earlier this month, RealPage acquired STRATIS IoT, which is one of the largest integrators of smart devices in the world with usage in 380,000 apartment units.

The new partnership between STRATIS IoT and Amazon is the first ever platform to provide fleet management solutions for Amazon Alexa products, and it underscores STRATIA IoT’s mission to develop a global platform. The company currently operates US, Japan, the UK, EU and Latin America.

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