Vivint brings the smart home to renters

Multifamily and rental property owners can now offer services through Vivint’s Smart Properties program
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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

PROVO, Utah—Vivint Smart Home is giving multifamily and rental property owners the ability to offer smart home services to their residents through its Smart Properties program that it has been developing over the past year.

Harrison Jenkins, senior director, Vivint Smart Home Multifamily Products, told Security Systems News that the lynchpin for the program is Site Manager, a web portal that Vivint created on top of its smart home platform to help property managers easily start offering and managing smart home services for their renters and residents.

“With that portal, or web application, a property manager can quickly connect a resident to their smart home when they move in and wipe it clean when they move out,” Jenkins said. “They can also control vacant units so that HVAC and electricity costs are kept down during a time of vacancy.”

Jenkins pointed out that offering smart home services can help property owners to differentiate themselves from the competition, as well as rent units faster and for a higher cost, becoming an additional amenity that can be offered, in line with things like a pool and a dog park, for example.

“We noticed an unmet need in the multifamily space with renters who wanted to use our technology, but we didn’t really have a good way of offering it to them,” he explained. “And on the flipside, project management companies, owners, developers and managers were looking for ways to not only differentiate their property but also be the provider of that smart-home experience for their community.”

Vivint is working with community developers like Christopher Todd Communities, a Phoenix-based developer of rental smart home communities that recently signed a four-year agreement with Vivint to provide integrated smart home systems for its residents.

“We chose Vivint Smart Properties because it’s the only solution that gives us all the technology, tools and customer service we were looking for in a single package from a trusted brand,” Chad Bowman, vice president of operations at Christopher Todd Communities, told SSN. “We pride ourselves on offering our residents an innovative, luxurious way of living, and we now consider Vivint Smart Properties vital in doing that.”

Todd Wood, CEO of Christopher Todd Communities, said in the announcement of the Vivint agreement, that the ability to control climate, lighting and door access from a single app on a mobile device was a key consideration. "Technology gives them peace of mind, package delivery to the door and saves up to 12% on heating and cooling costs," he said.

Christopher Todd Communities noted that additional benefits of offering Vivint smart home services have included:

  • Faster lease-up velocity: Homes in the Greenway community lease more than three times faster than comparable market rate communities in the same market.
  • Higher acceptable rental and amenity rates: The Greenway units with the technology package rent for 30 percent more per square foot than average.
  • Increased property value: Installing Vivint Smart Home packages with other key technology enhancements has increased the valuation per unit, with some valued at $16,000 more than comparable rental units.
  • Improved operational efficiency: Vivint Site Manager has reduced time spent on administrative and maintenance tasks by 10 percent.

"The advantages of smart home technology are no longer exclusive to homeowners—multi-family and rental communities are the next evolution of smart home," Thomas Few, vice president of business development at Vivint, said in a prepared statement. "Christopher Todd Communities is ahead of the curve and its residents will benefit."

Jenkins continues to see growth within multifamily units and rental properties, extending the reach of the smart home beyond just homeowners.

“There is some macroeconomic data that is pretty compelling around home ownership rates declining and rental population growing over the next few years,” he explained. “Plus, there are microeconomic factors such as this generation of millennials who are going to be expecting smart home tech wherever they live. So it is the market for smart home combined with the macroeconomics combined with the fact that we are just tapping into the early adopters right now in this space.”