Last week, TheGuarantors team spent a jam packed few days at NMHC OPTECH. Our corporate and sales teams had the opportunity to network, attend breakout sessions, and learn about the latest in the multifamily industry. We’ve compiled a few key takeaways, highlights, and our favorite photos from the event - check it out!
Trend to Watch: Smart Home and Home Automation Technology
The exhibit floor was crawling with vendors offering the latest in property management technology and risk solutions, but just as prevalent were resident amenities and value add smart home technology. Currently, household penetration of smart homes is 33.2%, but is expected to hit 53.0% by 2023. Although properties have been slow to implement, the smart home market is expected to grow from $76.6 billion in 2018 to $151.4 billion by 2024. At OPTECH, thermostats, plumbing, and locks were seen as most essential and many smart lock startups were seen throughout the expo.
Our take? Prospective residents who viewed smart home technology as a “nice-to-have” will begin to expect it, and owners and operators are realizing they need to keep up.
Difference of Opinion: Best-in-Breed vs. Single E2E Vendor
Seen (and heard) was the debate between leveraging a single end-to-end property management vendor/software versus choosing specialized technology for each part of the leasing and renting lifecycle. Owners and operators that choose a single E2E vendor may see the simplicity of one platform, but it can be difficult to customize to fit all needs and new features may be reactionary rather than leading edge. On the other-hand, those that build a technology stack have the flexibility to pick and choose solutions based on features and performance, but often have difficulty streamlining their operations with multiple products. Despite their opinions, the resounding theme among owners and operators was this: as renters and residents have come to expect more, the industry will see a shift from a landlord-focused experience to a tenant-focused experience - and above all, that takes priority.
Our take? If technology can be optimized to streamline the leasing process for landlords, they’ll be able to use that free time to enhance the tenant experience. Pair on-par operations with a white glove customer experience, and it’s a win-win for all involved.
Hot Topic: Risk Mitigation
In preparation for a potential future economic downturn, owners are thinking more about their risk mitigation strategies. At OPTECH, tenant screening, fraud detection, and alternative methods/data points for qualifying tenants were top of mind. Managing risk on the front end through better screening is part of the equation, but recent rent reforms in New York and California have owners and operators worried about larger losses from even the few credit risks that make it onto the balance sheet. With more solutions to help landlords with end-to-end risk mitigation - they’re learning it’s an option to decrease vacancy while increasing protection at not cost to them.
Our take? Owners and operators will become increasingly comfortable with new solutions to ongoing obstacles. Programs like TheGuarantors are helping landlords serve an increasingly riskier renter base.
TheGuarantors is looking forward to OPTECH next year and all that 2020 has to offer!