From the 1960s TV cartoon “The Jetsons” to the 1990s movie “Smart Home,” futuristic fantasies have depicted houses full of then-unbelievable gadgetry and robotic helpers. Today, we have access to remote and voice-controlled devices that can do everything from playing our favorite music to monitoring home security to operating kitchen appliances!
Integrating smart devices into your building is an excellent way to improve your building’s efficiency, keep your tenants secure, and create new value for your property. To help you narrow your choices, we've selected some great smart devices to consider for your upgrade.
What Are Smart Devices?
Electronic smart devices can connect to a base network using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE, and other wireless technology. With most smart devices, you’ll have the hardware, software (such as apps), and networking capabilities.
We use these devices daily to help us stay connected with friends and family, monitor our health, and live efficiently. Examples include:
- Smart cars
- In-home voice assistants
- Universal and voice remotes
- Video doorbells and security systems
Why Will Your Building Benefit From Smart Devices?
Not only do smart devices scream luxury living, but they can provide your residents and you with several key benefits.
Increased physical and building cybersecurity are two main reasons to upgrade your buildings with smart devices. A smart security system can protect your residents and their possessions 24/7. In addition, the more layered the system, the easier it is to defend against cyberattacks.
2. Tenant Satisfaction
Buildings should provide comfortable, safe environments for residents. By adding smart devices to your complex, you can meet your tenants’ needs and improve several aspects of everyday life:
- Heating and cooling. With smart thermostats and thermal sensors, residents can keep rooms at the ideal temperature. No more getting up in the middle of the night to turn off fans or adjust the AC settings!
- Indoor air quality. Switching to smart home devices can improve indoor air quality, ensuring that your tenants breathe fresh, clean air. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, people have been paying close attention to their environment’s ventilation and air quality.
- Lighting. Inadequate lighting often causes a lack of productivity and poor quality of life. With in-home smart devices, tenants can control the lighting to their unique needs.
Smart devices can save you a mountain of money in the long run. A robust smart security system will reduce break-ins, theft, and property damage costs. Smart thermostats, sensors, and indoor lighting systems will significantly lower energy bills.
With the savings you’ll gain from upgrading your devices, you’ll be able to put more money toward building improvements you’ve been hoping to make.
How to Choose the Best Devices for Your Building
Upgrading your condo units with smart devices can help you save money, protect your assets, and satisfy your tenants. You have many devices from which to choose, but not all are necessary for your specific needs. You’ll want to consider which devices will work best for your property.
External Smart Security Devices
An external smart security system can keep your property and residents safe around the clock. You can rest easy at night knowing that your automated programs never sleep. Instead, they keep you protected and in the know even when you’re on the go.
External smart security includes multiple components, such as:
- Security gates
- Surveillance cameras
- Door and window sensors
- Outdoor spotlight/lighting system
- Fire safety
Smart security gates help regulate the flow of inbound and outgoing traffic on your property. You can open or close gates from any location using your smartphone, Apple Watch, or Amazon Alexa. With automated technology, you can set specific times to open and close your gates during the week.
The Falco Alarm Co. gate control line is an excellent addition to your buildings. Not only does it monitor visitors coming and going, but the Falco Alarm gate’s live streaming capability adds an extra layer of security. Tenants, and you, can know who is entering the premises at all times.
With state-of-the-art surveillance cameras, you can protect your buildings inside and out. Your building’s security cameras will not only deter many intruders, but they may provide critical evidence after potential break-ins and robberies.
Smart cameras like Nest Cam Outdoor provide 24/7 video monitoring, send you notifications during suspicious activity, and include microphones to scare away burglars.
Door and Window Sensors
Door and window sensors play a key role in any exterior security system. With smart home devices, you can install and monitor sensors where intruders typically enter. These sensors can notify you and the proper authorities if someone or something breaks a window or forces open a door.
The SEHOMY WiFi Door Sensor Detector sends instant push notifications to your phone, providing instant relief for any questionable door or window openings.
Outdoor Spotlight/Lighting System
An outdoor spotlight and lighting system can keep your property secure in several ways:
- Deterring intruders: Adding flood lights to dark corners and blind spots will automatically discourage break-ins and theft.
- Providing high-quality video footage: Outdoor lights will improve your surveillance camera video quality and help you identify intruders.
- Protecting residents: Many residents walk around outside after dark. They can see their surroundings and stay safe with an excellent outdoor lighting system.
The Connected Max Color Changing PAR38 Flood offers the perfect amount of light in white or a mix of colors. By controlling the lights via your phone, you’re in total control.
Many property managers choose smart devices to guard against fires. Smoke detectors and fire sensors can include smart features that will notify you and the fire department in an emergency. They can also shut off air circulation systems to contain the smoke while people evacuate the building.
If you constantly get frustrated with false alarms and malfunctioning smoke detectors, a smart fire safety system might be your best solution. Sophisticated systems can detect high and sharply rising heat, providing the same level of protection with more accuracy.
We recommend smart fire alarm systems from Reliable Fire & Security. The pinpoint accuracy of these alarms alerts everyone in a building of a fire and its exact location.
Entry or Access-Related Devices
Consider installing entry- and access-related devices for a well-rounded, smart home system. These smart devices help monitor people and vehicles entering and exiting your property. Smart locks, automatic door controls, and parking sensors provide an extra layer of security.
Smart locks are an easy, efficient way to control who accesses your home. The keyless lock technology allows you to lock and unlock entry points using your smartphone, smartwatch, or another smart device. With smart locks, you don’t have to worry about tenants losing a key or leaving it behind.
The ButterflyMX is the latest in building-wide keyless entry systems. It features a keyless entry system equipped with video cameras, allowing tenants to see visitors visually. The ButterflyMX also sends a detailed log of all entrances to your account, enabling you to monitor who enters your property morning, day, and night.
With the ability to provide individual pin codes to tenants, your staff, and anyone else who would require access, such as mail delivery persons, your building is under the highest entry security.
Automatic Door Controls
Automatic door controls enable people to enter and exit without a door handle or lock. This comes in handy if someone is carrying groceries, has concerns about sanitation, or requires wheelchair-accessible entry abilities.
The Open Sesame Model 233 is the gold standard for automatic door controls, coming standard with two wireless push pads and offering other remote control methods.
You’ve heard of sensors to help cars park. What about sensors to detect cars when they park on your property? You can install parking sensors on your building to know when a vehicle enters your parking lot, parking bay, or garage.
Alloy Parking allows you to control who comes and goes on your property. With automatic notifications, the system keeps you informed at all times.
People use communal appliances every day to stay comfortable and content. These appliances include HVAC units, lighting systems, and washing machines. If you upgrade your building using smart devices, you can significantly improve daily life and household tasks.
Smart HVAC Systems
With a smart HVAC system, you have an easy way to maintain climate control and improve indoor air quality. Wireless technology enables your HVAC unit to connect with sensors, thermostats, and other smart devices throughout your buildings to adjust itself as necessary. More efficient heating and cooling also mean more savings on your electric bill!
The Stratis HVAC Module allows residents to control the thermostats in their own units while giving you control over empty units and communal areas.
Nothing improves a property’s appearance like a lush, green lawn. Unfortunately, many property owners struggle to keep their grass healthy and beautiful. It takes the right amount of care and attention at the right time.
With smart sprinklers like the Rachio 3, you can optimize your irrigation system for exceptional results. It installs quickly and connects to your smartphone, allowing you to adjust and schedule water cycles from anywhere.
Indoor Lighting Systems
Changing out standard incandescent bulbs for smart light bulbs is an easy, affordable way to upgrade your building. Smart light bulbs connect using an app or voice-control device like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. You’ll no longer have to walk across the room to flip on the light or flick it off.
Smart lights from Homebase offer complete control over the lighting in your communal areas, even from a distance.
Internal Smart Security
An internal smart security system can help you, and your tenants stay safe while indoors. You can connect your smart devices to security cameras to monitor the premises while you’re away. You can also keep an eye on high-traffic areas, such as lobbies, halls, and entryways.
Simplisafe security is monitored by professionals who instantly alert property owners of any concerns and provide 24/7 support to keep residents safe.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wash your clothes more quickly and know precisely when to go get them? You can control a smart washing machine or smart dryer using your phone, and you’ll get a notification when a load finishes. These machines can also detect moisture levels and clothing type to optimize the washing and drying time.
BDS Laundry Systems' smart laundry machines alert residents when machines are available and allow for service request submission via an app. You can even start the machines remotely!
Smart Gym Equipment
Years ago, a solid workout required either a gym membership or cramming a bunch of bulky exercise equipment into a living area. Now, you can upgrade to include a smart gym on your property. Smart gyms use technology and data collection to help users achieve their fitness goals healthily and efficiently.
Smart Cycle Machines
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, gyms also went into lockdown. To compensate, people turned to at-home workouts and personal exercise equipment. As a result, smart cycle machines have become increasingly popular.
Smart cycle machines like Peloton are stationary bikes with built-in technology to provide the best experience. Your residents can set up daily workouts on demand, access live coaching, and track their results.
Smart Strength-Training Mirror Systems
With smart strength-training mirror systems, you can save space and say goodbye to dumbbells. Smart gym equipment like Tonal allows users to build muscle and tone their bodies without an entire workout room. Tonal leads the way in home gym technology, offering things like:
- On-demand workout sessions
- Live exercise classes
- Digital weight resistance up to 200 pounds
- AI-adjusted weight resistance
Smart treadmills are a great way to get a serious cardio workout. Machines like the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 include state-of-the-art technology to make every session exciting and efficient. This smart gym equipment often includes:
- Built-in touchscreen
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Virtual trainer-adjusted speeds
- Adjustable inclines
- Heart Rate and calorie-burning data
With smart rowing machines, users can get an intense workout from kayaking or canoeing. Rowing machines have resistance mechanisms and built-in Bluetooth linking, Wi-Fi connectivity, and HD touchscreens to provide access to thousands of live or on-demand workout sessions.
The Echelon Row Connected Rowing Machine provides a full-body, low-impact workout that takes up little space on a foldable machine.
Smart Pool Equipment
There’s nothing better than a swimming pool on a hot afternoon. Many prospective tenants look for condos and apartments with a pool, so having a pristine one will boost your property value and ratings. Upgrading with smart pool equipment will put you one step above the rest.
With a smart pool heater, you can keep your swimming pool at the perfect temperature. Smart pool heaters use sensors to detect how hot or cool the water is. Besides ensuring that the water feels great, this equipment heats the pool effectively so that you can enjoy it on cooler days.
A Smart Pool 18 heater is customizable, so your pool is always at the perfect temperature. They're discreet, effective, and energy-efficient.
Smart cleaning systems allow you to maintain a clean pool even when you’re not around. These systems sense debris, gunk, and other water pollutants and deal with them automatically. You can run pool maintenance and cleanup through connected apps and smart devices like smartphones and smartwatches.
The Maytronics Dolphin line offers heavy-duty cleaning that keeps a pool fresh and ready for use at all times, no matter how much traffic the pool sees.
With constant use, swimming pool water can become unsanitary. You’ll want a smart water monitoring system to keep track of the water quality and perform regular chemical tests. This system works with other smart devices to ensure your pool water stays clean and pollutant-free.
The Water Guru SENSE sends monitoring info to the mobile app 24/7, letting you make adjustments as soon as they're needed.
Individual Apartment Devices
In addition to upgrading your entire building complex’s technology, you’ll want to upgrade individual apartments or living units. Your tenants will feel comfortable and secure in the place they call home.
Are your residents expecting guests or a long-awaited package? Smart doorbells like the Ring Video Doorbell 3 have motion sensors to let them know what’s happening at their front door. They can connect the system to other smart home devices—such as Alexa or your smartphone—to receive important notifications when someone approaches.
You’ll want to install a smart home alarm system when upgrading your building using smart technology. This system helps protect your tenants with 24/7 monitoring and security alerts. Residents can remotely control the alarm system using their smartphones and voice commands.
The Frontpoint starter pack has everything you need to keep your tenant’s apartment safe. From a door sensor to a motion sensor, your tenants can rest easy knowing they’re safe.
Electricity bills can be expensive. Help your tenants save money by installing smart thermostats. Smart thermostats like Nest Thermostat E can adjust indoor temperature whether the resident is at home or on the road. With wireless connection capabilities, you can change the temperature using your smartphone or voice assistant.
A refrigerator can do more than maintain a cold environment for your food. With a smart refrigerator like the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, your tenants can have a central hub for all things food-related. A smart refrigerator’s built-in touchscreen can help with:
- Creating grocery lists
- Ordering food items
- Leaving messages
- Sharing schedules
Connecting the fridge to their smartphone lets occupants see what they have to eat while already at the grocery store. They can even use it to play music while working in the kitchen.
Smart Light Bulbs and Light Switches
An easy way to upgrade your building involves swapping out regular lights for smart ones. Smart light bulbs and light switches allow occupants to adjust the lighting in their home using an app on their phones. They can turn on, turn off, or dim the lights without getting out of bed or off the couch.
Smart lights from SmartRent are perfect for tenants and owners alike. Tenants can also set light intensities in different rooms - brighter light in bathrooms and softer lighting in bedrooms.
Smart outlets are an excellent choice if you’re not ready to go all-in with smart home tech. Your tenant can plug these devices into an outlet and control any device without you having to rewire the entire building. Smart outlets enable residents to adjust lamps, air purifiers, and Christmas tree lights anytime, from anywhere.
The Wemo Smart Plug allows users to set schedules to control multiple devices remotely without actively making changes.
Most residents use their dishwashers at least once daily, keeping their kitchens clean and ready for use. By upgrading to a smart dishwasher, they’ll be able to wash plates, cups, and silverware more efficiently and conveniently. Smart dishwashers have enhanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing your tenants to control them from their smartphone or virtual assistant.
The Mavis Laven Smart Dishwasher is compact and efficient, perfect for units of any size.
Stoves, Ovens, and Ranges
Cooking can be fun but frustrating if the food doesn’t taste as delicious as expected. Fortunately, smart kitchen appliances help a cook through each part of preparing dinner. A smart stove, oven, or range will give cooks the confidence to bake, fry, slow cook, roast, and boil like a pro.
Smart kitchen appliances like Anova Precision Oven offer the following capabilities from the cook’s phone:
- Monitoring the oven
- Controlling the heat
- Loading cooking settings
- Reviewing recipes and instructions
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Monitors
Smoke and carbon monoxide can have fatal consequences for you and your tenants. When upgrading each home system, install devices to monitor these harmful elements and keep everyone safe.
Nest Protect tests itself automatically to ensure it's at its best and alerts users via speech and notifications if anything goes awry. It's perfect for keeping your residents safe.
Ready To Make Your Building A Smart Building?
Integrating smart building controls into your property has countless advantages like improving safety, attracting new tenants, improving energy efficiency, and even justifying higher rents. Just about any property is a candidate for a smart building upgrade, so contact us today to find out what’s possible for your property.