What will apartment living look like in the future?
One thing we know for sure is that the apartment buildings of the future are going to contain technologies that are almost impossible for us to imagine today.
A robot to cook the dinner? Flying cars? Holographic TVs? Anything is possible.
Less spectacular, but no less powerful, will be ‘smart technologies’ in the home, which work behind the scenes to create innovations and efficiencies.
Even today, smart technologies are helping us to run our lives more smoothly and make our homes more efficient, and they will be an essential element of future homes, especially apartments.
According to software comparison company, Software Advice, 23 per cent of renters already own a Virtual Personal Assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri to help them manage their lives.
What is a ‘smart home’?
‘Smart technologies’ are often wired into a building itself. The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) can connect home devices – such as light switches, thermostats, or locks – with the resident’s smartphone or voice controller. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to boost the effectiveness of these tools to maximise efficiencies.
So what do these tools look like in an apartment building? Some examples of smart technologies use in apartments are:
- Power tracking or energy efficiency systems that use IA to advise how to make the best use of energy consumption so as to limit use and lower costs. For example, IA can estimate what time lights should be turned on a what time to switch them off, by ‘learning’ when the resident is usually home. Gartner claims smart lighting can potentially reduce lighting costs by as much as 90 per cent.
- Geofencing, where technology recognises when the resident is approaching the building, and prepares the home for their arrival, for example, by turning on lights, or adjusting the thermostat.
- Being able to control devices with your smart phone when you’re not at home. ‘Did I leave the iron on?’ will no longer be a thing.
New research by the RMIT found smart home technologies generally fall into three brackets: security devices to ensure safety, automated or multitasking tools to improve productivity, and aesthetic tools to enhance quality of life.
How do owners benefit from smart home technologies?
The examples above show the advantages of smart technologies to residents, but building owners also benefit from smart technologies.
Firstly, smart apartments are highly desirable, and becoming more so as we live increasingly connected lives.
Smart apartments can be appropriately positioned in the market and attract a premium, and are also likely to have lower vacancy rates.
A survey published in 2016 showed that 86 per cent of millennials were willing to pay more for a property with smart technologies.
A survey of renters by Software Advice found that renters are “much more likely” to rent if the apartment if it is marketed as a ‘smart home’, with thermostats and smart lighting the most popular features. Video monitoring, smart locks, and VPAs were also highly sought after.
Smart technologies can also help managers and owners run buildings more efficiently. Power tracking and energy efficiency systems, as mentioned above, can reveal energy performance data for whole buildings, which can be used to create energy savings and reduce costs, as well as delivering environmental credentials.
Smart technologies can also help build communities in apartment buildings, both by freeing up the building manager’s time so they can spend more time face to face, but also with community features – such as event calendars and instant messaging.
Connectedness: not just a ‘nice to have’, it’s essential
New buildings can have connectivity built in from the start, or existing buildings can have smart technologies retrofitted into them.
Tips for using smart technologies in apartment buildings:
- Tenants should be able to use their own hardware.
- Make sure settings for each apartment can be customised by the tenant.
- Ideally, problems with the systems can be identified quickly, ideally before the resident has even noticed the hiccup.
Today’s tenants demand a certain level of connectivity. Wifi is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s essential. We all expect the convenience and efficiency of connectivity, and as technologies develop and improve, the attractiveness of connectivity is only going to increase.
Buildings that offer creative and innovative connectedness – making properties more appealing and efficient – will be highly sought after, now and into the foreseeable future.
Beyond Strata uses smart technology to unlock each building’s potential
At Beyond Strata, we believe technology can unlock the true potential of buildings by increasing efficiencies and saving on running costs.
Most modern buildings today are ‘smart’, but but without a technology-focussed managing company, owners may not receive the full benefits of those smart technologies.
At Beyond Strata our aim is to unlock the potential that is possible in smart buildings to residents and owners.
Beyond Strata’s intelliStrata platform uses state-of-the-art technology to ‘communicate’ with smart buildings, providing increased visibility to both residents and owners.
As soon as we take on a new building, we look for ways to make it ‘smarter’, and we integrate each building’s data feeds into our own platforms.
Every owner of Beyond Strata’s managed buildings get access to a dedicated portal for the building, which provides all the information owners need at their fingertips.
If you would like to know more about the intelliStrata platform or Beyond Strata please visit www.beyondstrata.com.au.