Smart apartment technology represents major potential value for owners and operators who could turn simple hardware in their units into revenue-generating and cost-saving assets. See these posts about all the reasons why smart technology is a no-brainer. Today, however, we will discuss the importance of a service model for utilizing this technology.
Smart apartment technology is only as good as the people and processes it takes to implement and support. When considering a technology vendor, make sure to ask how these topics are approached:
Scoping and Project Management
Implementation and Training
Service and Support
Scoping & Project Management
The right operational model begins before you ever sign a contract or purchase a device. In order to provide the right experience for residents and managers, an operator needs to know what can feasibly be incorporated into their new or existing property. In other words, someone needs to be responsible for designing the solution and defining what the scope of implementation looks like.
Look for vendors that have a thorough scoping and project management process. During this process, a vendor’s project management team should review building plans and coordinate with construction stakeholders in new construction settings. For retrofits, they should conduct site walks to determine what existing infrastructure is in place and how it can facilitate a smart apartment implementation. A radiant heating system here and a privacy lock there can very easily knock a standard solution off it’s tracks and owners should make sure their provider has evaluated the property’s circumstances before signing a contract.
Implementation & Training
The contract has been executed, but now what? A provider with a customer success mentality will stay involved to facilitate implementation and make sure the onsite team is well-trained in how this new smart technology adds to the dynamic at their community. This is where having a process for different types of communities is critical. The process for implementation in an asset under construction is going to be different than an ongoing implementation done as a retrofit.
Additionally, find a provider that will conduct on-site trainings with staff members to make sure all employees understand how to use the technology for their day-to-day jobs and how it positively impacts the operations of the community. Staff turnover is a reality for any property manager, so be sure that the new provider has a process in place for re-trainings whenever that turnover occurs. Utilizing a smart system in a community is not a one-time implementation service. Instead, look for providers that will be a partner long past the initial on-boarding period.
Service & Support
As with any technology, there are going to be problems from time to time. Anyone who says otherwise is hiding something! But by facing the reality, technology providers can also operate as ongoing service providers, making sure that your investment in this technology continues to add value, long after the initial implementation is done. When choosing a provider consider how such problems will be handled by asking these questions:
Who is going to be servicing the technology? 3rd party technicians or in-house employees of the provider you choose.
How available is the servicing and support for units, residents, and managers?
Is there an additional cost to a unit that needs to be serviced?
Ultimately, when considering smart technology, choose a provider that is involved through the whole process of the service model. Doing so will lead to the best experience for you, your managers, and your residents.
At Dwelo, we offer a full service implementation and support model. Dwelo Smart Services make sure owners, managers, and residents are supported with dedicated project management, onsite training, a team of technicians, and 24/7 in-house support.