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What is Smart Device Integration?

Homeowners aren’t the only ones getting into the smart home game. The term ‘smart home’…

Homeowners aren’t the only ones getting into the smart home game. The term ‘smart home’ itself suggests to some that non-homeowners are completely locked out of the trend—but renters are now transforming their apartments into smart palaces using the latest in portable, pint-sized smart devices. What does this mean for property owners and managers? New tenants are moving in with a box full of devices they know and love, and operators of multifamily communities now need to focus their efforts on smart home integration.

What does integration mean? 

U.S. households now own an average of 11 connected devices, ranging from smartphones and TVs to voice assistants and light bulbs. At least 118 million people engage with a smart speaker once a month at minimum. 

Smart tech improves our lives by allowing us to turn down the lights with a tap on our phone, or fire up our favorite playlists by speaking a simple command. They remove the need to operate each device with independent buttons and switches stationed in different locations around your dwelling. 

The convenience is more than marketing bluster—smart products make our lives so much easier that they save us a whopping 200 hours per year

Smart home integration is how this magic happens, by pulling control over dozens of devices into one central interface. What kinds of devices do multifamily complex managers need to prepare to integrate into their smart systems? 

  • Smart lighting: Instead of worrying about replacing a smart bulb and repairing it every time one breaks or goes out, owners can have smart lighting installed. Smart lighting like smart switches allows tenants to control the lighting using their phone or even their voice. 
  • Smart plugs, like the Aeotec Smart Plug, are another popular go-to for renters. These ice cube-sized blocks plug into traditional outlets to bestow smart features on analog appliances. Using a smart plug, you can automate holiday lights, easily turn off power-hungry appliances when they’re not in use, or even turn off the slow cooker from your office. 
  • Voice assistants: For many tenants, voice command assistants like Amazon Alexa for Residential and Google Home serve as the central headquarters for their symphony of smart devices. These models interact with the most popular plugs, lights, and sensors, allowing users to control their entire ecosystem from one interface. 
  • Smart Locks and Access Entry are becoming increasingly popular among renters and property operators. The ability to grant and monitor access points without fumbling around keys, or even needing to physically be in front of the lock, offers tangible benefits like added convenience and security for the tenant. The convenience of keyless entry also extends to property owners desperate to put an end to late-night lockout pleas, enabling residents to open their doors via a mobile app. 

A whopping 65% of Americans own at least one smart device and rely on the convenience it brings to their lives. It’s the latest creature comfort that many residents don’t want to part with on move-out. 

By allowing potential tenants to seamlessly plug their own devices into your apartment’s smart suite, you’re providing them with peace of mind. They don’t have to fret about learning an entirely new system to move in, but can continue using many of the devices they’re most comfortable with. 

Smart hubs: How you can plan for device compatibility 

A smart hub is the beating heart of your smart integration plan. It’s the mission control for your tenants, the tech that ties together every switch, plug, lock, and lamp. Here, residents can control and schedule all of their devices, even when they’re away from home.

With the shopping bag of devices tenants are toting to their new unit, a hub is the best way you can assure devices can work well together. Smart devices speak a variety of technical languages to communicate with one another, called Zigbee, Z-Wave, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Hubs eliminate compatibility issues by serving as the central translator, ensuring that no matter what devices come along with new renters, they’ll seamlessly slot into your ecosystem. 

They’re also a top way to future-proof your smart home investment by ensuring your system will always be compatible with the next latest and greatest trend.

Benefits of smart device integration

There’s nothing worse than dazzling prospective residents with a fully loaded smart apartment, only for them to find that their favorite devices are incompatible. In addition to impressing move-ins, smart integration has a bevy of other benefits. 

One of the biggest concerns when shopping for smart home equipment is compatibility. A powerful integration plan bucks this worry, letting residents move forward with confidence that exciting new tech will work seamlessly in their digital utopia. 

A strong integration plan can also bolster your ROI. Whether you adopted smart technology from the ground up or through a retrofit, you want to make sure you can get the biggest bang from your investment. By giving residents the power to plug in their favorite smart devices, they’re more likely to use the important features of their smart apartment.


As smart technology continues to dazzle both homeowners and renters alike, property owners and operators need to view their amenities through a digital-friendly lens. Another 127 devices connect to the internet every second, demonstrating an explosive demand for smart home integration. Is your apartment complex ready to meet the growing influx of smart apartment devices?

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