Entrata Connect: Smart Home Partnerships

The secret is out—renters are keen on smart home capabilities. What used to be a luxury feature is now an expectation.

More than 80% of renters say they want an apartment with smart home amenities, and more than 60% are willing to pay a monthly fee for a voice-activated virtual assistant. But part of the allure of a smart home apartment is the seamless experience that accompanies it. 

As such, Entrata has partnered with numerous smart home providers to further elevate the connected home experience for property teams and residents alike.

“When residents demand change—which, let’s face it, happens pretty much every day—we think it’s important to have technology partners who can adapt quickly,” Entrata President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Harrington said during Entrata Connect Episode 2. “We’ve been working with the multifamily industry for several years to help figure out how to make smart communities a reality.”

Partners include Google Nest, Ecobee, Amazon Alexa for Residential, Google Home, and Ecobee SmartBuildings. The company has also expanded existing integrations with Brivo and Butterfly MX. And recently, Entrata announced an integration with Samsung SmartThings, which will provide wide-scale benefits for property teams while enhancing the resident experience. 

“Over the last few months, we’ve been working with Samsung to develop a full integration,” Entrata Senior Business Analyst Rachelle Van Wagoner said. “It will allow residents to control Samsung smart appliances directly from their ResidentPortal app.”

With the SmartThings integration in place, property teams can offer residents the ability to adjust settings on various Samsung appliances, including refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers and ovens. Residents can control refrigerator and freezer temperatures remotely and receive immediate notifications if the door is accidentally left open. They can initiate washing or dryer machine cycles from afar, monitor cooking progress and adjust oven temperatures. 

“It’s the same app they use to pay rent and submit maintenance requests,” Van Wagoner said. 

Property teams, meanwhile, are integrated with Samsung’s appliance diagnostic tool, which creates the capability to proactively and automatically create real-time and preventative work orders for the appliances. Property teams will also experience efficient onboarding of appliances and a seamless move-in/move-out process, in which they’ll possess the ability to grant and revoke access to smart appliances without manually mapping accounts.

As the smart home revolution presses on, onsite teams are uncovering new situations every day and learning how to fine-tune their processes in ways that make the most sense for their communities. As part of the expanding possibilities, a community’s amenities can now be transitioned to smart amenities, which allow teams to choose if and when residents can gain access to a certain area, or control the devices associated with the amenity. 

“For example, if a fitness center is converted into a smart amenity, teams can dictate what time a resident can access the fitness center and which devices they can control,” Van Wagoner said. “Perhaps teams want to allow residents to unlock the door and turn on the lights, but not adjust the thermostat. With a smart community dashboard in place, that can be a reality.” 

The partnerships with proven smart home providers are creating limitless possibilities for residents and property teams. Naturally, more devices and device types also mean more things to manage. That’s why communities with the capability to control them in centralized locations will provide the most seamless experience—for both residents and associates. 

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