Our idea of what we consider “must-haves” in our apartment search has changed significantly since the start of the pandemic. Before we might have looked for spacious amenities, shared work areas, computer labs, conference rooms, pools… but our reality today makes us think more on the side of safety rather than leisure. Unfortunately, all the leisure activities we could once enjoy in multifamily buildings have now become risky or occupancy has been limited.
Whereas before we might use these amenities as places to socialize, meet new people, and enjoy ourselves, now we have to be cognizant of social distancing regulations and building guidelines. Safety and efficiency are what we look for when looking for a place to live. Last week I talked about the challenges of virtual apartment touring. This week I’ll dive a little deeper into that and other ways COVID has accelerated the use of touchless tech in multifamily buildings.
Let’s talk about some of the trends we’ve been seeing in the multifamily space when it comes to touchless tech:
Self-leasing platforms and technology like Funnel seek to make the leasing process completely virtual from touring to signing your lease. It eliminates the need to meet a leasing agent face to face to sign documents and tour apartments. Similar to booking a hotel or Airbnb, this technology has made it possible for you to go through this process from the comfort and safety of your home. However, as I mentioned last week, this virtual experience doesn’t allow you to meet your landlord or neighbors, and you can’t see the overall upkeep of your potential unit. Refer to my article last week for some questions to ask your leasing agent during your next virtual apartment tour.
Touchless ID Verification
An asset to self-leasing, touchless ID verification technology like CheckpointID helps leasing agents prevent renter fraud and the need to meet potential renters in person to sign papers and verify their IDs.
This is one I’ve experienced myself. My building had a touchless maintenance system even pre-COVID. In our resident portal, you can submit a work order and grant the maintenance team permission to enter your unit even when you’re not home. You can even upload photos and write a description of the problem. Touchless maintenance services are a great draw because it protects you and the maintenance team. Products like SightPlan have been helping with keeping these processes streamlined and virtual for everyone’s safety.
Smart Package Lockers
This tech has been around for a while. I’ve seen these lockers in several apartments I’ve toured in the past, usually as a way to keep packages safe when a building doesn’t have front desk security. In COVID times, these lockers eliminate the need for multiple people handling your packages. It’s a good solution, however, these lockers are large and take up a lot of space. Multifamily buildings may not have space for them, leaving the regularly hand-delivered package system as the only option.
This pandemic has created a demand for new technology that allows people to reduce touchpoints in multifamily apartment buildings. But how long will these technologies be embraced? Will they live beyond the pandemic? We’re social creatures and often enjoy human interactions, especially when it comes to making big decisions like renting an apartment. Only time will tell.
What new touchless systems have you seen adopted in your buildings? Let us know in the comments!
Ivana Gatica graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Fine Arts and Writing. For the past year, she has been working as a copywriter in the marketing and fintech spaces helping businesses find their unique voice. She also likes to take on freelance writing opportunities in her free time and loves to write fiction and poetry.