Residential communities see huge return on investment in smart technology


Multi-family developers are quickly realizing the significant financial impact smart technology has on the net operating income (and overall property value) of their residential communities.

Most amenities are a money pit. They help attract new residents – which is why developers keep investing in them – but they also burn money and waste staff time maintaining them year after year.

As competition increases and residents’ expectations increase, developers find themselves investing more and more money in luxury amenities for residents – swimming pool, valet parking, on-site car wash, dog park. , coworking space, sauna, etc. eating into net operating income. They write it off as the cost of doing business.

However, there is a piece of equipment that works a little differently: smart technology.

Up to 10x return on investment in smart technologies

Innovative proptech solutions like smart access control systems, smart home devices and sensors, and resident engagement features actually generate a financial impact far beyond just attracting residents.

Consider smart access control solutions, for example. Keyless entry reduces the cost of manufacturing, storing and managing physical keys. Smartphone access eliminates the need to purchase remote controls. Digital guest codes prevent residents from keeping doors open or sharing their own codes. Property staff can easily manage contractors’ access without having to move around the property to unlock things for them. All of this combined helps keep unwanted visitors off your property, reducing theft and damage.

These combined advantages would make intelligent access control a worthwhile financial investment, as you will save more than you spend, but you will also enjoy the other major advantages of great convenience besides: the increase in rent. The residents love it, want it and will pay for it.

The disproportionate impact of Smart Tech on property value

The best part is that the multiplier effect of smart technology on operating income increases the value of a community’s property disproportionately to its cost.

Basically, it’s a no-brainer.

Ryan Maguire, Managing Director of LittleBird, an integrated multi-family smart technology platform, says their customers have calculated up to 10 times the ROI when purchasing a complete smart community system, benefiting from the multiple savings costs, increases in income and increases in property value. .

“Regular amenities can’t give you numbers like that,” Maguire said. “You’re not going to get 10x return from a pool, dog park, or quartz counters. Only smart technology can provide these kinds of numbers.

Integrated smart technology platforms outperform smaller solutions

Developers are increasingly turning to integrated smart technology platforms (like LittleBird) that offer a wide variety of smart technology solutions with a streamlined, integrated platform and a single app for residents.

LittleBird is unique among smart technology providers for residential communities, offering a complete and natively integrated hardware and software solution, while most other providers offer a piecemeal approach that requires trying to get multiple providers to play well together. Instead, LittleBird is a one-stop-shop solution for apps and technology overload by delivering everything in a single, simple resident mobile app called Smart Community. Smart Community brings together all of the smart device communication and control functionality residential properties require, making it easier for residents and staff to interact with the benefits of LittleBird.

Maguire says developers are tired of trying to put together a smart tech solution from several different technologies. “These vendors talk about how they fit in like it’s a feature, but in reality it’s a bug. No one wants to deal with multiple vendors and face the finger game when things don’t work out as promised. You shouldn’t need your smart home solution to talk to your access control solution. They should just all work on the same platform, with one point of contact, one bill, and one app experience for residents. “

The combination of smart access control, smart home and resident engagement functions in a single app helps streamline operational expenses, simplify the life of facility staff (save time, reduce hassle and increase efficiency) and creates a user-friendly experience for residents.

Because smart technology is a result multiplier, the more developers invest in smart technology, the more they will see a big impact on bottom line operating income and property value over time.

Increased advantages over other amenities

LittleBird reports that its clients are discovering a seemingly endless list of benefits of smart technology in their communities, which ultimately has a significant impact on their net operating income and the value of their properties. Here are a few examples of the surprising benefits they have seen so far.

Intelligent access control

Smart access control functions include video intercom, smartphone credentials, resident directory, guest codes, etc.

  • Winning over and keeping residents by helping them feel safe
  • Increase security and reduce interpersonal conflict with the secure video intercom for guests and visitors.
  • Eliminate physical access fob costs with smartphone access
  • Reduce unwanted visitors by eliminating door code sharing
  • Reduce domestic nuisances on the property
  • Reduce theft and damage
  • Gather evidence quickly with a comprehensive access report log
  • Save staff time with cloud-based access management

Smart Home / Smart Apartment Technology

Smart home technology includes smart devices managed by residents (lights, lock, thermostat, etc.) and smart sensors (motion sensor, door sensor, window sensor, etc.).

  • Charge higher rent by providing a more modern resident experience
  • Gain new residents by offering a more competitive resident experience
  • Retain current residents with modern smart home features
  • Reduce theft and property damage
  • Save on energy costs thanks to reduced consumption
  • Automatically reset lights, locks and thermostat in vacant units
  • Reduce the use of physical keys
  • Restrict maintenance and contractors’ access to residential units
  • Increase resident safety and reduce conflict with digital guest access to units

Intelligent resident engagement

  • Save staff time by including equipment details and managing reservations in the resident app
  • Increase your income by charging equipment reservation fees through the resident app
  • Increase resident awareness and action with mobile ads
  • Reduce costs and save time with mobile maintenance requests
  • Retain residents by engaging them in the local neighborhood
  • Keep residents connected to your community by giving them the tools to engage with other residents

Smart technology is the new normal

Developers of residential communities are finding that this powerful combination of benefits makes smart technology one of the most valuable pieces of equipment to install on their multi-family properties.

When you add to that a wave of new residents who have become accustomed to having smart technology in their homes, you quickly see why residential communities are running out of excuses.

If you want to explore smart technology options for your own communities, you can visit LittleBird at


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