Finding the Silver Bullets in Multifamily Development Technology

Press Release

Matt Tracy 1

By Chris Wood | Multifamily Executive, Concept Community 

Apartment development tech continues to face an uphill battle against ROI-minded investors and adoption-resistant user audiences.

Matt Tracy is the managing director of innovation and technology at Atlanta-based RangeWater Real Estate, where he’s been charged with identifying and selecting new technology for the developer and manager of 100,000 units across the Sun Belt and Mountain States. On the development side, he’s evaluating contractor-worn cameras for jobsite reality capture that can be migrated to building information modeling (BIM) platforms or other digital twins for design, construction management, and building operations.

What’s critically important for all phases of development and operations of new communities is the integration and installation of managed Wi-Fi networks, Tracy says, without which the IT of tomorrow, be it building tech like water leak sensors or management tech like maintenance requests, will be rendered mostly ineffectual.

“Managed Wi-Fi creates the network and Internet of Things (IoT) compatibility to fast-forward to the future of monitoring buildings and using predictive analytics to understand when systems are going to fail,” Tracy says. “Then you can take that knowledge and optimize maintenance on turns to avoid support calls after a new resident moves in. Planning those upgrades is more efficient versus being in reactive mode and also creates a better experience for the resident because they didn’t have to call maintenance at 4 a.m.”

Tracy says one of the more difficult challenges of adopting development technologies is true of trying to adopt any new technology in multifamily: convincing investors of the value and the ROI. In the case of managed Wi-Fi, the challenge is exacerbated by the difficulty of doing infrastructure retrofits and the tendency of most apartment developers negotiating 10-year contracts with their internet service providers.

“So if you don’t put it in on day 1, you have to wait a decade to change it, and without the digital foundation it becomes hard to try any new technologies,” Tracy says. “Who is going to adopt the new flashy $50,000 solution if it involves a $500,000 managed Wi-Fi upgrade?”

Read the full article in Multifamily Executive