The newsLINK Group - Upgrading Amenities

Editorial Library Category: Multi-Family & Property Management Topics: Amenities Title: Upgrading Amenities Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Today’s millennial tenants want ease and connectivity, and that means having access to the latest technology in their homes. Recent university graduates in particular are especially likely to want homes that feature technology in the form of smart thermostats and fobs or smartphone apps that give them keyless entry to their apartment, the fitness center, the garage, the mailroom, the pool area, and the storage unit. Editorial: Upgrading Amenities 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Today’s millennial tenants want ease and connectivity, and that means having access to the latest technology in their homes. Recent university graduates in particular are especially likely to want homes that feature technology in the form of smart thermostats and fobs or smartphone apps that give them keyless entry to their apartment, the fitness center, the garage, the mailroom, the pool area, and the storage unit. Residents also like Package Concierge kiosks that can accept deliveries from companies such as Amazon and then send a text or email to residents about package arrivals. (There are also refrigerated parcel lockers for people in areas without an abundance of grocery stores or personal cars.) Package Concierge kiosks are a natural partner for programs such as Amazon Prime, and people who have experienced the combination don’t want to move anywhere else unless their new community offers the same benefit. New gadgetry also includes: Video call boxes so that tenants can use their smartphones to let friends into their homes remotely. Transit-tracking televisions in common areas. Custom units with Hue lights and Sonos sound systems. Lobbies with social media walls. Virtual and augmented reality tours of new buildings and units. Hue lights are made by Philips. They are LED lights that can be controlled remotely and that make it possible for people to change the color, intensity, or brightness of their lights. Why does that matter? Light affects our ability to sleep. Changing the light’s wavelengths can help people sleep better. Products include bulbs, light strips, standalone lights, ceiling lamps, and decorative candles. There are also accessories such as dimmer switches and remotes, smart tap switches, and motion sensors. These lights also integrate with products from all the major vendors (Amazon’s Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home) so that you can use your voice to control them. Sonos sound systems consist of wireless speakers that use Wi-Fi to control your music through a smartphone app. They also have touch controls and built-in Alexa voice control. The multifamily industry as a whole is listening to tenant demand for amenities, especially those that are internet- related, affect energy and water efficiency, and that minimize waste and environmental impact. For example, all new buildings are built to be smart, and about half of all older multifamily buildings are being retrofitted. The industry is also experimenting with new ideas for how an apartment complex should look and feel. In 2015, architects chose an apartment building called The Interlace, located in Singapore, as the year’s best building. It incorporates current thinking about how to make high-density housing into livable (and beautiful) communities. You probably don’t have the luxury of starting from the beginning, but you can still work to improve communities by making them more efficient and focusing on internet capacity. What do you do if you have existing buildings and you can’t afford to retrofit them with all the new technology? The place to put your energy and cash is in higher-bandwidth fiber-optic cable throughout the buildings, including the individual units. Why should you choose fiber optics if at all possible? First, some background. There are currently three ways to connect to the internet: Copper. This has been the main way to wire any home since people began installing telephones. It does a good job of transmitting voice signals but the bandwidth is very limited. In some applications, it has become an obsolete technology. Fiber is lighter, cheaper, and smaller. But in all fairness, copper cabling and hardwire manufacturers have worked hard to expand the capacity of the cables they build, and the

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