After spending the past two weeks traveling down the east coast with my family doing the roaming virtual school and work thing, the time behind the steering wheel allows me the opportunity to think. Due to a high level of curiosity, especially during times of uncertainty, and a desire to "understand," I spent a fair amount of my time thinking about "what will it look like?"
So, below are some questions I have for the access control and smart lock industry regarding multifamily, smart apartments, and condominiums.
- What will Yardi do? With the recent acquisition of STRATIS IoT by RealPage, will Yardi follow suite and bring in their access control system? Or will they continue to just partner? What does it mean for the other players like IOTAS and Homebase.ai?
- Are the lock manufacturers going to expand their access control software systems beyond what they currently do now? Will they start to look like building operating systems?
- Is the recent news by Google and Amazon the beginning, or is it the end? How much deeper will they go? Will there be a value arbitrage?
- How do the investments made by property management companies, REITs, owner-operators, and developers into access control and lock companies shape the growth and selection of access control and smart locks? Are the largest companies all going to own their own? Does it mean they are only going to work with the one they have invested in? What does that do to innovation?
- How will specification of access control and smart locks change with time, technology, and new ways for products to get to market? Feels like there is a massive opportunity for change here.
- At what point do gadgets and safety products merge? When do they become the same? There is value in both, but we see products typically on one side or the other.
- Has access control become a feature of a much larger value proposition versus just safety and security or locking and unlocking? I think it has, and I think it should, but old habits die slow.
- And if so, what does it mean for how products are made, the features they have, and who "owns" the market?
- Will budgets open up more and faster because of health concerns on existing buildings to adopt new technology? Do the incumbent systems have the ability to adapt, or will they need to be ripped and replaced?
- Will multifamily housing turn into the latest coworking spaces communities need and are the access control systems ready to support those use cases?
Those are just some of the questions I have. There are plenty more.
What do you think and how do you see it?
Exciting times! Back to the road.