The Howard Hughes Mission
The Howard Hughes Corporation’s mission is to be the preeminent developer and operator of master planned communities and mixed-use properties. We create timeless places and extraordinary experiences that inspire people while driving sustainable, long-term growth and value for our shareholders.
Anyone that steps foot into The Woodlands community near Houston, Texas, would agree that Howard Hughes is making good on its mission statement. The focus on extraordinary experiences is apparent throughout the whole community. They boast amenities like Restaurant Row, which offers seven full service restaurants. Residents also have access to water sports, a boardwalk, an entertainment pavilion, a dog park, and over 200 miles of hiking trails.
Howard Hughes pushes the limits with their community amenities, but looking inside the multifamily unit, they knew they needed to think outside the box to attract residents.
Michael Caplovitz, Vice President of Innovation, at The Howard Hughes Corporation looked to answer these questions. “What is the future amenity that is going to be desired by the residents of our communities and give them a better experience then they are currently expecting? What is not being offered by other communities around ours?”
Such questions led Howard Hughes down a long road of research and analysis on smart home technology for the multifamily industry. Howard Hughes looked to the future but also needed to address immediate pain points with unit hardware, including common complaints with traditional door locks, for both residents and managers: key management, lock outs from lost keys, and guest access.
Dwelo as a Vendor Partner
Dwelo offered Howard Hughes the future amenity they were looking for through connected smart lights, locks and thermostats. With smart locks, Dwelo helped solve their problems with keys and access management. In a broader sense, the Dwelo solution allowed Howard Hughes to fulfill their mission of providing an “extraordinary experience” for their residents by delivering complete control of their unit through smart devices.
Rent Premiums Owners Dream Of
Howard Hughes started a pilot of Dwelo in 5 units but quickly expanded to 30 units. Immediately after the pilot, Dwelo was pushed to the whole community. “We rolled out Dwelo to the whole property because this is a community experience, and it is the differentiator between our property and competitors in the area” said Caplovitz. “After the pilot, we quickly expanded the Dwelo offering to other properties in 3 states.” Dwelo has been extremely well received by both tenants and property management and has led to rent premiums and a better overall experience.
Howard Hughes attributes this success to the experience smart devices give to their residents. Dwelo’s offering of smart devices (locks, lights, thermostats) paired with its Amazon Alexa skill have allowed Howard Hughes to stand out from the competition. After analyzing the impact of Dwelo at Howard Hughes, Caplovitz said, “I like the simplicity of Dwelo. It’s easy to use and intuitive. It is also a low-cost way to make a big impact on our tenant experience and a solid building block to expand future offerings”.