6 Innovative Products from the NAA Education Conference

Some of the most interesting products included an augmented reality interior design app, a smart shower system and pet-friendly carpeting.

The National Apartment Association’s Education Conference & Exposition brings together multifamily professionals to network and learn. This year’s event, held in Atlanta, showcased hundreds of products and services—covering amenity management, communications, outdoor furnishing, security, data analytics and more—all intended to improve multifamily housing operations. Here are some of the most innovative and compelling solutions that MHN encountered at the NAA conference.

roOomy Virtual Staging

Courtesy of roOomy

Courtesy of roOomy

roOomy’s virtual staging platform lets users view apartments and listings using 3D/AR/VR-enabled devices. It helps brokers and agents convert leads more quickly by breaking down the visualization barrier, and provides multifamily housing professionals with affordable, engaging marketing tools to show off any floor plan.

Getting started is easy. roOomy’s interior design team creates dynamic, custom 3D renderings to suit the preferences of a certain community’s prospective renters, along with a link to an interactive 3D web viewer that can be easily embedded on a listing page. roOomy’s design apps offer additional visualization capabilities to enhance a customer’s experience, including the ability to purchase products directly through the app from a number of best-in-class retailers.

Agents can show prospects how products will look in their apartments, using the augmented reality-capable roOmy Reality app, which is compatible with the Google Tango platform and available on the Asus zenFone AR and Lenovo Phab2 devices. And to pick up where they left off in the interior design process, users can access each virtual staging in the roOomy Design Studio app.

Eliminate the time and financial burdens of physically staging apartments, while putting the power in your prospect’s hands with the design capabilities of the roOomy product suite.

U by Moen Digital Shower

Courtesy of Moen

Courtesy of Moen

With its latest innovation, U by Moen, the faucet brand set out to add the benefit of smart technology to water. This state-of-the-art, Wi-Fi/cloud-based digital shower boasts mobile connectivity and unprecedented personalization, providing users numerous ways to effortlessly design the ideal showering experience.

Want to conserve water and stay on schedule? Easily set the timer function to keep showers short. Looking to roll out of bed and into the perfect shower? A snooze function enables users to turn on the shower remotely, so it’s ready to go when you are. 

A digital valve enables thermostatic temperature control, allowing a user to connect up to four shower devices, such as handshowers or body sprays. Wi-Fi-enabled, the digital controller features a five-inch, non-touch, LCD screen that informs users of the shower status with on-screen notifications. The compact design speeds and simplifies installation, so that users can situate the device anywhere they please.

Community Messenger by ForRent.com

Courtesy of ForRent.com

Courtesy of ForRent.com

Community Messenger is a text-messaging service that enables real-time communication between apartment communities and their residents and prospects, making it simple to notify residents of package delivery and pickup, scheduled maintenance, rent payment or lease renewal deadlines, social functions, special offers from local businesses, communitywide alerts and more.

Boasting a higher open rate as compared to email or paper correspondence, the text messaging feature central to Community Messenger streamlines communication with residents who have already expressed interest in a particular property. In addition to a desktop web experience, Community Messenger offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. 

SolidTech Luxury Vinyl Flooring 

Courtesy of American Carpet Wholesalers

Courtesy of American Carpet Wholesalers

Mohawk Flooring’s SolidTech line brings a new type of vinyl plank flooring to the multifamily industry, combining the durability and ease of cleaning of a luxury vinyl plank or tile with the aesthetic and strength of hardwood. Unlike most vinyl flooring, the planks themselves as well as the underlying components are waterproof, extending their versatility in bathroom and kitchen applications.
 
Fifty percent denser than average composite core flooring, SolidTech is an excellent choice for multifamily communities because it withstands spills, scuffs and scrapes from kids and pets, as well as resists odors, and can handle heat and extreme temperature changes. The planks securely lock into place, using Uniclic MultiFit technology, which means quick and easy do-it-yourself installation, with professional results.
 

SmartStrand Silk Forever Clean Stain-Resistant Carpet

Courtesy of Mohawk Flooring

Courtesy of Mohawk Flooring

Another highly durable yet soft and stain-resistant flooring product from Mohawk is SmartStrand Silk Forever Clean. Displayed alongside a life-size model of a rhinoceros, the SmartStrand Silk product underwent a challenge to test how well the carpet warded off stains. When placed in a cage with an actual rhinoceros from Alabama’s Birmingham Zoo for one month, the SmartStrand Silk carpet with Nanoloc technology outperformed competing brands. For any pet-friendly multifamily community, Smart StrandSilk is a wise investment that is easy to clean, stain- and spill-resistant and strong enough to stand up to active, everyday wear.

IOTAS Smart Apartments

Courtesy of IOTAS

Courtesy of IOTAS

When Portland, Ore.-based IOTAS asked property managers what they needed to do their jobs better, the responses centered around property- and unit-level data analytics, from knowing how occupancy varies at different times to gaining knowledge into how residents use shared amenities, such as fitness equipment.

IOTAS digitizes communities from within each unit to the common areas, by linking the right hardware with the right machine learning software. In doing so, IOTAS provides property managers with the information and education necessary to optimize the resident experience.

An IOTAS partnership integrates hardware such as smart switches, outlets, thermostats and motion sensors with a central hub. The partnership is easily customized, so property managers can incorporate their favorite smart technologies, such as voice-activated control systems and transit apps. IOTAS works with contractors to implement functionality at the point of install, with no interruption to the building process. And by controlling all vacant unit lights, thermostats and outlets, IOTAS helps deliver valuable insights that can help property managers identify issues before they become costly.