Technology Amenities Residents Look For

In a recent webinar titled “Technology for Your Property: The Tech Amenities Residents Want Today,” hosts Mike Whaling, vice president, business development, InfiniSys Electronic Architects and Karen Rice, chief information officer, Grace Hill, discussed how to incorporate technology into new developments.

New York—In a recent webinar titled “Technology for Your Property: The Tech Amenities Residents Want Today,” hosts Mike Whaling, vice president, business development, InfiniSys Electronic Architects and Karen Rice, chief information officer, Grace Hill, discussed how to incorporate technology into new developments.

Today’s residents expect their apartments to fit their technology needs.

“Technology comes first in people’s lives,” Whaling said.

One easy way property managers can include technology options for their residents is to give them a choice of providers for cable and Internet services. Since not every community offers this, property managers should utilize their marketing to let residents know, because this differentiates the community.

The speakers also said it is important to provide wireless services, because fewer people use landlines (although the apartments should still be wired for landlines).

“It’s important for property managers to provide mobile access,” Rice said.

Whaling also stressed the importance of wireless access.

“People expect more and more to [be able to] do business anywhere,” he said.

However, when setting up wireless access around the community, it is important to work with partner companies, who will know the proper government regulations for setting this up.

“Wireless can get sticky really fast,” Whaling warned.

Another area in an apartment community that could incorporate technology is building security. This could include building access control, electronic locks, video intercoms and web-based surveillance.

Common areas are also places where property managers can include tech amenities, such as digital message boards. These could allow property managers to “get creative and show appreciation to residents,” according to Whaling. For example, they could highlight a resident who has lived at the community for the longest.

Energy management is also a way to feature new technology in a building. These technologies include “learning” thermostats, smart irrigation systems, electric car charging stations and smart shades. And, according to the speakers, government funding might be available for some of these options, which would help offset the cost.

Ultimately, technology should be included in a building to make things easier for the residents, as highlighted by the final suggestion from the speakers to use technology for building management. Whaling and Rice advocated using technology to allow residents to have the ability to reserve amenities and communicate with the staff.