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    Next-Generation Smart Tech Solutions for Multifamily Customers
    • June 12, 2024

    By Guillermo Rivas

    It’s nearly impossible not to notice the changing landscape in Southern California with the continued proliferation of new construction, much of which is in the extremely competitive multi-dwelling unit (MDU) sector. A 2024 survey by the National Multifamily Housing Council found that 87% of renters demand robust connectivity from the properties they live in—and, according to, they’re willing to pay $38 more each month to have it. More choices for savvy renters means property owners and managers are challenged to manage rising operating costs while offering the latest and greatest tech to attract prospective residents and retain those they already have.

    Enter Cox Communities, a division of Cox Communications, whose continued investment in smart technology is helping address the needs of all stakeholders. While the latest technology must be added to older MDU properties to help them stay competitive, it’s often installed in new builds, which means our work also happens, quite literally, at ground level through long-standing relationships with builders like HomeFed Corporation and Greystar in California.

    What is the Internet of Things

    The Internet of Things (IoT) refers, at its essence, to a network of physical devices—phones, sensors, and cameras, for example—connected to one another and which help owners and residents manage their experience from the curb to the couch. If you’ve rented a storage unit recently, you’re likely able to open the entrance gate through an app on your phone. In an apartment building or complex, you may use an app to access entry to a property, a garage, or even an elevator. With IoT, nearly everything is at your fingertips.

    Cox Communities has partnered with Level M, a provider of next-generation smart tech solutions for multifamily customers, to provide the most cutting-edge technology solutions, which leverage Cox’s fiber-powered network and more than 26  [DT1] years of experience in the multifamily space. Level M partners with  Cox to support the multifamily industry including:

    Offering comfort, convenience, and control to residents—With a single app, residents can do everything from enter through a main gate, enter a hallway with a secured door, access a particular floor in the elevator, and enter their apartment. Residents can also control their thermostat and lights, reducing their utility bills. Safety, security, and convenience are in the palm of their hand from the start.

    Improving efficiency and property management—Gone are the days of triplicate carbon copies or a ring full of keys. Level M alleviates the need to manage property access on-site: Owners can now control everything via app or desktop and provide managers and workers an access code. Where a maintenance worker once had to make multiple trips to address a single trouble ticket, now they can access an apartment at a specified time through an app.

    Avoiding unexpected expenses for owners—The average leak can cost an owner as much as $35k, and with insurance premiums and deductibles on the rise, it’s never been more important to mitigate the impact of leaks. Enter Smart Tech Leak Detection: Leaks will trigger an app or portal notification through a device placed on water heaters and pipes underneath sinks (some insurance companies offer a discount for leak protection). In addition, smart thermostats and lighting systems reduce energy consumption and lead to significant cost savings for both owners and residents.

    Making move-in a breeze for everyone—The revolutionary smart-building connectivity of IoT translates to unmatched reliability, affordability, and flexibility. Gone are the days of scheduling and then waiting two weeks for a cable installer. With Cox’s pre-installed internet program, residents can be connected within minutes of move-in and enjoy fast, reliable internet—and a suite of smart apartment amenities—so they can be online on move-in day.

    Of course, these are just a few examples of the many ways smart apartment technologies impact the growing MDU market, and more change is coming. The evolution and integration of artificial intelligence and virtual reality with existing infrastructure holds endless promise of what’s possible when it comes to supporting the extremely competitive housing industry. As developers shift to affordable single-family “build-to-rent” communities with the latest technology, Cox is helping owners of existing properties update their technology. Upgrading older properties with the latest Smart Tech enables them to remain relevant as a viable choice for renters and be a positive contributor in growing communities.

    Southern California is always growing, and the Smart Tech that feeds our multifamily homes is enhancing the rental experience across the board. As a partner, Cox Communities will continue to innovate while providing robust services, best-in-class connectivity, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to build a better future for all.

    Guillermo Rivas is Vice President of New Business Development for Cox Communities. In this role, he spearheads the development of strategies for multifamily owners to maximize their return on investment by leveraging Cox’s advanced fiber to the home network, Managed Wi-Fi and IoT network solutions that improve the resident experience.

    ​ Orange County Register