“We have a three-pronged approach to technology and amenities: common areas, our own internal leasing offices, and the units themselves,” says Scott Moore, chief information officer at Atlanta-based Cortland, which operates 52,000 units. “Each of those areas has a different level of risk,” Moore says. “Obviously, if you’re putting something in the common area, you only need one device. But if something’s going into our apartment homes, we may need to invest in 400 of them at a given property. So anything that goes into our units has to be something we believe has the ability to adapt or stay with the community for a long period of time.”
As an example, he points to smart locks, as well as Nest smart thermostats, which can be updated via software, rather than having to change out the individual hardware itself. “It’s the Tesla model of upgrading the car through a software update. That’s the same thing we do with those types of devices.”
Taking that kind of updatable approach at the unit, while focusing on strengthening a building’s technology core, is a mainstay for operators looking to future-proof properties today.