Bath Tech as a Marketing Tool

There is one thing that every apartment resident has in common. Every day begins and ends in the bathroom.

By Michael Ratliff, Associate Editor

There is one thing that every apartment resident has in common. Every day begins and ends in the bathroom. A conservative estimate (15 minutes a day for hygiene, 15 minutes a day using facilities) puts a person in their bathroom for 7.6 days a year. That is not insignificant by any means. Your properties’ bathrooms should be viewed as an amenity by your residents and as an asset to your bottom line. Attractive and functional products work well as marketing tools and will also boost resident satisfaction, leading to lower turnover.

So how can you make the boring old bathroom exciting again? Well, that answer is technology. I recently had the opportunity to tour the Kohler design center and factory in Wisconsin to check out some new products. It is clear that technology is moving into the bathroom in a big way, and it is making the experience more efficient, fun and luxurious.

Let’s start off with efficiency. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bath drawn for you at the perfect temperature and depth with the touch of a single button? Kohler’s DTV Prompt Shower System can take care of that. The digital thermostat for your shower or bath also features a “warm up and pause” setting that brings the water to the perfect temperature and then pauses flow until your resident is ready to hop in. At $203 each, this is an easy and inexpensive way to incorporate technology into your resident’s bathroom experience.

Now on to fun. The current generation of renters is constantly consuming media. Who says the bathroom should be any exception? The shower has been one of the last strongholds from our technological dependence, but that all changes with Moxie—a 60 nozzle showerhead/Bluetooth speaker combination. The wireless speaker (which sounds surprisingly good for its size) fits snugly into the showerhead with a magnetic holster. It connects to an iPhone (or any Bluetooth enabled music device) in seconds and has a USB charged battery that will last over seven hours. Add a Moxie into your resident’s unit if you want to see a smile on their face and a renewal agreement in your mailbox. Or throw in a Moxie with each new lease and seal the deal.

What about bathroom technology that pushes the boundaries of luxury? Kohler brings the music experience into the bath as well with its VibrAcoustic technology. The experience is based around six panels in the bath wall that produce music/vibrations that the user can hear and feel. The touch screen interface comes preprogrammed with four compositions, and the user can plug in/establish a Bluetooth connection with their own device.

It would be a crime to talk about Kohler luxury technology without mentioning Numi—a $6,400 toilet that is so advanced that it almost has a personality. While Numi may not be a cost-effective option for apartment owners, it can be seen as a snapshot of what is to come. One great thing about technology is that it becomes increasingly accessible over time. And in all honesty, what apartment renter wouldn’t go mad for a toilet with a motion-activated lid and heated seat, an advanced bidet with temperature and motion control, an integrated air dryer, heated seat, automatic flushing, foot warming fans, illuminated night light panels, and built-in speakers that play FM radio or your MP3 player attached to the remote docking station. Yes, this toilet comes with a touch screen remote control.

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