At the National Apartment Association’s Apartmentalize, which took place in San Diego on June 13-16, nearly 10,000 attendees gathered to take in the latest information on the evolving multifamily industry. In addition to the dozens of sessions, the conference also showcased hundreds of exhibitors displaying the newest products hitting the market, looking to make a impact for the owners and operators walking the show floor. See below for some of the emerging companies with products aiming to change the multifamily industry.
Established in next-generation interactive technology and data visualization software solutions, Engrain is revolutionizing how owners, operators and potential residents interact with a property. The company is the creator of SightMap, an interactive app that can be added to any website and allows users to search visually for available units within a property. Fully integrated with property management systems, SightMap introduces a way to visually showcase units in a clean and mobile responsive interface. This also allows property managers to create heat maps for the community, showing them which units are performing the best or worst and the reasons behind that performance. At the NAA Apartmentalize, the company debuted that the SightMap system will now have the capability to be fully integrated with ILS sites.
Engrain also offers TouchTour, which is an interactive touchscreen product. TouchTour provides a fully customizable digital experience designed to showcase a property’s premier assets. TouchTour for multifamily brings large-scale, high-resolution touchscreen displays into a leasing center to give agents a powerful tool to virtually guide prospective renters through the community. In the absence of a leasing agent, visitors can take a self-guided tour of the property that showcase floorplans, image and video galleries, community amenities, local attractions, and nearby entertainment and dining.
Carpet is making a comeback in the apartment industry for those looking to have some comfort under their feet. Although the main concern is durability and cleanliness, companies such as Shaw Floors are looking to break the stigma of carpet being a hazard, especially with renters that have children or pets. Shaw unveiled its newest high performance carpet, dubbed Eclipse, at the show.
The flooring protects against stain, soil, ozone fade and bleach. The product is newly engineered and features a high-performance fiber system that is treated with Shaw Floors’ R2X Stain and Soil Resistance, which keeps spills and messes at the surface of the carpet for a faster clean up. The Eclipse carpet offers 10 tonals in two weights, eight solids in two weights and nine tweeds in one weight. The product is Cradle to Cradle Bronze Certified and is composed of a minimum of 50 percent recycled material. With its high level of durability and performance, Eclipse is easier to maintain and will last longer throughout an apartment, being able to remove a number of stains with a simple hot water extraction, which in turn saves property owners and managers money within their communities.
HD Supply is one of the largest industrial distributors in North America. The company provides a broad range of products and value-add services to approximately 500,000 customers with leadership positions in maintenance, repair and operations and residential and non-residential construction sectors. One of the newest products growing in popularity are the cordless blinds and shades.
These alternatives provide a much safer space for homes with children and pets, reducing the entanglement hazard that comes along with traditional blinds. In addition to safety, cordless blinds offer a practical alternative in terms of ease. With the use of cords, they can get stretched out, dirty, knotted and caught within the blinds. This can lead to some frustrations, not to mention the crooked look of a shade. Cordless options require minimal effort and only need a light push or pull up and down.
According to a recent study conducted by Zogby Analytics and tour24, more than 40 percent of U.S. adults have searched for an apartment in the last two years, yet four in 10 have passed on a property because they couldn’t find a time to see it, while 27 percent prefer to take a self-guided tour with no leasing agent. tour24 was established to put the apartment viewing process back in the renters hand, giving them them power of when to visit a property and guide themselves through the community.
After establishing a profile and confirming their identity, a prospective renter chooses a day and time to visit a specific unit at a property. Shortly before the scheduled time, they will receive an access code specific to them that can be used to unlock and enter the apartment. The tour24 app also provides community information such as Wi-Fi capabilities, community events and specific specifications of the apartment and common area spaces. Once the self-guided tour is completed, the person touring has the option to fill out an application directly from the app.
A real time video solution, Realync’s platform allows leasing teams to connect with prospective renters to showcase exact units available throughout a community. Instead of having the renter come to them, leasing agents can create pre-recorded videos of specific units that can be saved and shared at a later time. This allows the leasing team to establish relationships before prospective residents even visit the property, saving both parties time in the apartment searching process. This is especially time saving when it comes to new construction communities, where preleasing is the goal and potential residents aren’t allowed to actual be on site due to construction.
Images courtesy of each individual company