The proptech revolution has arrived.
As the multifamily industry continues to evolve, more and more owners and property managers are looking for ways to leverage technology. It’s easy to understand why. Property technology has been proven to generate revenue, boost competitiveness, elevate efficiency, decrease operating costs, and improve sustainability. During economically uncertain times, this type of upgrade can be a game-changer.
Proptech platforms that have been making waves in the industry include Homebase, SmartRent, Stratis, and Latch. Depending on which solution you choose, proptech can be a big investment of money and time. With the right system, this investment will pay you back with interest.
Making a good choice begins with asking the right questions during your proptech demo. Trust us, switching proptech platforms after a year of poor service is a hassle that is best avoided.
Here are the top 5 questions to ask during your proptech demo to determine which solution is best for you.
1. When should I expect a return on my investment?
This is one of the most important questions to ask during your demo. Proptech is a big investment and it should empower you to increase revenue without just raising rent through new amenities like managed WiFi and access booking. This is why it can be a good choice even for properties that are struggling with profitability.
Proptech companies should be able to provide you with data on how revenue and occupancy rates increased after implementing the platform at other properties. They should also be able to estimate what that revenue increase might be in your circumstance and how that will impact your NOI. From that data, you can determine how quickly your proptech investment is likely to pay for itself.
2. How will this improve my residents’ experience?
We all know that proptech increases efficiency and sustainability, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the resident experience. It’s important to ask what residents can expect from your new proptech system during your demo.
Consider asking: Will they be able to unlock their doors with an app on their phone? Will they be able to adjust thermostats and lights remotely? Will they have instant WiFi when they move in, in-unit grocery delivery, or the ability to send shared keys to visitors? Adopting a proptech system should make your property more desirable through convenience-boosting features.
To reap the full benefits, these features must also be easy to manage. Piecing together devices from multiple companies often results in a disjointed experience because residents have to use a different app for each smart device. An encompassing proptech system will enable residents to control their entire smart apartment experience through one app.
Proptech companies should be able to tell you which features they offer and whether they are connected in a single app. They should also be able to share how residents have responded in the past. Make sure you have a chance to navigate the user interface for yourself to gauge how easy the app is to use.
3. Is this platform easy to install and maintain?
Turning your property into a smart apartment may seem daunting, but the team should be able to share exactly what you can expect.
It’s important to note when each piece of technology should be implemented. How long does installation take? Which parts of the installation process are properties responsible for? Does the proptech company do retrofits? Managed WiFi installation can be particularly complex. Companies that bring in the internet circuit may save you a lot of time.
After installation, all proptech systems require some ongoing maintenance to continue running smoothly. Here are some questions that will help you gauge how time-consuming that process will be for your onsite teams: How often do properties need to perform lock maintenance or update firmware? How long does this process take? Does the proptech company provide reminders to change lock batteries? Who is responsible for managed WiFi maintenance? Property management teams are always busy, so choosing a system that is easy to maintain will make a big difference for staff.
4. How do you support your customers?
Customer support can make or break your experience with proptech, so it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Do property management teams have access to live chat support? What are typical response times? Does the company provide onsite support? Can residents reach out to the support team directly or do they have to go through property management?
NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a metric that measures customer satisfaction, and it’s a good way to gauge how satisfied property owners, managers, and residents are with their proptech platform. Homebase uses NPS to get regular feedback from residents and staff, which helps steer product development. Proptech companies should be able to provide you with their NPS and explain what it means.
5. What will this proptech platform look like in 10 years?
It’s always important to think about the future when making any investment. This is especially true about proptech because the industry is growing rapidly. When you choose a proptech company that is at the forefront of the change, you know that your investment will increase in value as the years go on.
Proptech companies should be able to talk you through their product roadmap and give you a sense of what features are in the pipeline. How do they receive new feature requests? How do they plan to expand their ability to generate revenue, improve the resident experience, and make management easier? Companies that are always improving are more likely to make big strides in the coming years.
Since WiFi connectivity is at the core of all proptech, owning your property’s WiFi infrastructure through managed WiFi will empower you to easily adopt new technology as time goes on. Investing in GPON is the best choice for sustainability because it allows you to expand your WiFi speeds as resident needs change. Proptech companies should be able to share how they can set your community up with sustainable and long-lasting infrastructure.
The future of living is calling.
Proptech demos are an important step if you are deciding whether to invest in proptech or choosing the right system for your community. Asking these 5 questions ensures that you are making an informed choice about your property’s future. With the right proptech system, you can look forward to convenience and profitability for years to come.
Ready to try it out? Schedule your demo with our team of smart building experts.
Homebase brings the smart apartment experience to new build and retrofit multifamily with trusted technology that delivers intuitive building access control with smart locks, automation of property management, new revenue with property-wide WiFi, and IoT technology amenities residents enjoy. All completely installed and managed for the multifamily innovation leaders of this decade.