The demand for advanced technology in IoT has proven critical these past two years in the multifamily and student housing communities. Many communities offer some form of smart home technology for resident attraction and retention which enhance the resident experience. More and more owner/operators are seeing the value of smart home automation within their communities for residents while making work easier and more efficient for their onsite teams. In fact, the recent survey results from NMHC/Grace Hill, residents ranked their preferences of smart home devices with 60% stating smart locks to the highest ranking of 70% preferring smart thermostats included in their communities.
What is IoT?
Let me break it down for those of you that may not be totally sure as to what Internet of Things (IoT) means. IoT is the network of physical objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data through commands over the internet and can perform one or multiple sets of tasks with other devices and systems over the internet.
The quest for a Wi-Fi network with superior capacity and access for multiple devices per resident with optimization for in-unit and smart home IoT that also include the community areas has become owner/operators’ main priority. Brett Lindsey, CEO of Everstream and chairman and founder of Snip Internet states, “Building owners are looking for operational efficiencies they can use,” he says. “They are going to be looking for ways to use IoT to drive efficiencies in the buildings, so it’s even more important to have quality bandwidth available.”
Is Smart Technology for New Buildings Only?
Leading industry smart tech service providers can install the technology in new builds as well as retrofit existing buildings. While installing smart technology for apartments does not require the building to be new or have a top tier technology infrastructure, it does require a strong, reliable Wi-Fi to keep the multiple devices operating at all times. Some communities provide hubs that run on cellular connectivity to help keep the devices connected when Wi-Fi is not reliable or available. A key to optimal performance that owners and operators should be aware of while making this significant investment in their communities is sufficient bandwidth circuit size, user speeds and having ample wireless access points in each unit.
Devices, such as security cameras typically operate on the property network connection, which use fiber and ethernet to operate and typically will not impact a residents’ quality of experience when connected. Essentially, smart devices will not impact network performance as one may have originally thought. Owners and operators can rest assured that their residents are able to get the most out of the network performance while enjoying the many benefits of smart technology within their communities.
Expectations For the Future
As IoT continues to grow and smart home technology becomes more prevalent, property owners and operators will find it necessary to make sure their community’s network can accommodate these changes. The amount of data each smart device gathers and transmits will increase as innovation and technology continues to develop, which in turn contributes to the need for a robust and stable network. Statista reports that by 2026 the number of IoT-connected devices will increase by 6.58 billion at a total of 18.15 billion globally connected devices.
If you’re looking for guidance about your community’s network capability before getting smart devices installed at your communities, ROVR Score can help. Get a free demo today.