At Rently, we truly believe that our customers should be at the heart of every decision we make. After all, our company was built out of the desire to solve the problems renters and property managers face. So, in this spirit, we hosted a Rently Smart Home Summit in Santa Barbara. Our goal was to learn what our clients’ questions, needs, and desires are in regards to smart home software and hardware.
We invited a group of our largest single family clients to three days at the Hotel Californian in Downtown Santa Barbara for presentations, collaboration sessions, and networking.
Smart Home Summit Agenda
On the first night, we held a Welcome Networking Reception where attendees could get to know each other and discuss what they hope to take away from the Summit.
Day two kicked off with a keynote address from our founders Merrick Lackner and Clark Li, and our Chief Operating Officer Andre Sanchez. Our Product team then outlined our roadmap for our Smart Home software and hardware.
After, we broke out into three groups (marketing & leasing, construction & build-to-rent, and operations & technology) for discovery sessions. During these discovery sessions, attendees worked with the Rently team to outline problems and sketch solutions.
After lunch, we came back together as a group to discuss our learnings from the breakout sessions. More networking opportunities were available during the sunset yacht cruise along the coast and a group dinner.
On the final day of the Summit, members from our Product team explained our product development philosophy and invited attendees to join our Product Advisory Board. Our guiding principle for our development process is to reduce friction throughout the renter lifecycle. With that in mind, we initially gather insights based on market data and user interviews. We then build the features off of those insights and share our prototype with users. Their feedback then helps us refine further. All these steps and inputs create a valuable feature or product for our clients.
Our COO, Andre Sanchez, wrapped up the Summit by hosting a panel with representatives from our hardware partners Kwikest, Yale, and Resideo. They discussed their future product development plans and where the technology is headed overall.
Smart Home Summit Key Takeaways
We couldn’t be more pleased with all of the engaging discussions and insights gathered. A few points came up over and over throughout the Summit. Some key takeaways:
- Operators have a strong desire to reduce the amount of service trips made out to the property. How can our technology increase operational efficiency while decreasing the inputs required from operators?
- More data needs to be collected and shared seamlessly between systems and devices for marketing, leasing, and operations analysis.
- Scalability of smart home tech products/services in existing + growing portfolios remains a challenge for operators/managers, as needs and problems vary in different markets. There is a need for customized solutions, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Resident education is a crucial part of a successful deployment. How do we sell prospective and current residents on the value of the smart home devices installed in their home, and how do we educate them on how to use their devices to their fullest potential?
- The market is moving past “if” they will adopt smart home technologies. It’s now a matter of “when, how, and which provider.”
It’s clear the market is ready to adopt smart home technologies across their portfolios. However, there are key considerations to work through before deploying. First, operators need to ensure the solutions they implement fit their specific needs. As such, their smart home provider needs to offer flexibility in solutions offered. Their provider also must be an open platform that collects and shares data with the client’s existing softwares. Post install, the provider must offer ongoing support and education for staff and residents alike. Finally, the provider needs to be open to collaborating with clients to meet their unique and developing needs.
As previously mentioned, Rently is a solutions based platform aimed at understanding users’ needs and developing solutions to solve their problems. We collaborate with our clients to create products that streamline their workflows and provide ongoing value. We also take this open approach to working with other software and hardware providers to produce an end-to-end platform that facilitates the complete renter lifecycle.
Looking to the Future
We look forward to continuing to develop our services alongside our clients and industry partners to meet the market’s needs.
In this vein, we plan to host similar client summits in the future to keep a pulse on the industry and shape the future of proptech. Our next Rently Smart Home Summit will be for our multifamily clients in the summer of 2022.