Once considered a novelty in the multi-family residential space, fully integrated property technology or proptech is rapidly turning into a necessity for large developers and property management firms.

Look no further than Latch, whose array of smart products provides remote control over building access, delivery management, heating, lighting, and more. The company’s recent IPO valued the company at $1.56B and today 1 in 10 new apartments in the US are built with Latch products installed.

What exactly is proptech?

The push toward proptech systems like Latch extends beyond the installation of smart locks. It’s no secret that COVID-19 created unique challenges for the real estate and property management sectors, from providing tours to handing over keys to onboarding new tenants or homeowners.

Proptech supports contactless and on-demand experiences for tenants, homeowners, property managers, and real estate agents. Like many other changes brought on by the pandemic out of necessity, the convenience proptech offers is now here to stay.

How is proptech different from smart home tech?

In broad strokes, proptech isn’t that much different from existing smart home technology.

However, proptech now allows property managers to manage all their smart locks from one interface instead of individually.

Moreover, proptech systems tie multiple components of building control together into a single hub, so you can not only manage all smart locks from one place but also things like heating, lighting, internet access, and so on for each individual unit.

Connectivity considerations

For proptech devices and platforms to be effective, they need to be reliable. That means they need a stable and always-on internet connection, as well as a thoughtfully planned network infrastructure that enables easy hand-off to tenants.

How these networks are physically laid out is something builders need to be consider early in the construction planning stage. This includes ensuring fiber or Cat6A access points in each unit. Additionally, Wi-Fi-transparent media panels installed throughout a large multi-family building make it easy to house, organize, and even troubleshoot unit-specific proptech devices.

Proptech devices, for instance, need to be accessed and managed by property owners and then certain access rights shared with tenants upon move-in. Additionally, tenants require internet access for their own devices.

One solution that’s on the rise is pre-installed internet service to units that powers access to all proptech devices, and which newly arriving tenants simply log into, without the need to sign up with a provider or arrange for installation.