Proptech has developed to such an extent that it can solve problems before they even arise. With the cost of data storage and connectivity both falling, it's no longer just a buzzword. Here, we look at the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it might change the future of property management, particularly in the Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
IoT is a suite of technologies and applications that equip devices to generate information about the locations they're in—and to connect these devices for instant data analysis so that "smart" action can be immediately implemented. In practice, that means using a range of sensors to collect information about the environment in which they're placed, which then allows the user to act on what they've found.
What does that have to do with BTR?
Everything. As one of the most property management heavy sides of the rental industry, BTR stands to benefit, particularly from technology that can read the environment it is in and filter its findings back. As the Deloitte report on the Internet of Things points out, IoT's main benefit to BTR is that it provides the ability to offer "pre-emptive maintenance" and that its "automated maintenance request management enables renters to remotely customise and personalise their home environment through IoT-enabled appliances."
Reducing the need for manual involvement by property managers means they can do more with less. The technology will also allow BTR buildings that implement it to offer deeper, bespoke experiences and efficient, personalised property management with cost benefits for tenants. That could mean the installation of sensors to monitor the performance of white goods that, if they sense a problem, can automatically generate a repair request to the building's property management team. Their ability to predict potential outage could massively minimise the damage to the appliance. Other IoT innovations could include sensors to monitor moisture in the wall, which then inform property managers about potential leaks before pipes burst or mould develops. All of these pre-emptive maintenance reactions save money and increase a tenant's feeling of security.
IoT doesn't just offer safety and security; it can also offer comfort, which allows its BTR users to differentiate themselves from the competition. IoT can be used to regulate an occupier's daily environment, linking air conditioning and lighting to movement, reducing energy costs and adapting their wants and needs. It's this ability to answer the question before it's been asked that sets IoT apart and ensures that increased investment in IoT and Proptech like it will continue to drive the industry forward.
For more information, download this free BTR industry report from MRI Software, featuring contributions from Fixflo MD Rajeev Nayyar.