By Ben Lane posted November 5th, 2018 on housingwire.com
Over the past year, Amazon has pushed further and further into real estate with its smart home devices. Much of that expansion has been focused on single-family homes, but it was only a matter of time before the smart home came to apartments as well.
And soon, all it will take for a person to pay their rent is to utter the phrase “Alexa, pay my rent,” and it will be done.
One of the first steps in that process is a new deal between Zego, a hub that links smart home devices within an apartment and connects the resident to the building’s management and maintenance, as well as a marketplace for local services, with S2 Capital, a growing national multifamily investment platform specializing in value-add properties.
Through the deal, S2 will bring Zego and Amazon smart home devices to 30,000 of its apartments over the next three years.
Through the arrangement, smart-home enabled units will include an Amazon Echo, which will enable residents to control smart home devices such as smart locks, lights, thermostats and wall plugs with the Zego app, or simply by asking Alexa.
Additionally, residents will be to use their Echo device to connect to Alexa to play music, make calls, set music alarms, ask questions and more.
And eventually, residents will also be ability to pay their rent and communicate with apartment staff through their Amazon devices.
The deal has upside for both companies and a runway for more collaboration in the future, as both S2 and Zego are on the upswing.
S2 was founded in 2012, and in that time, the company has acquired more than $2.1 billion in Class B and C multifamily communities and invested more than $200 million in upgrades and renovations.
Zego has already been implemented in more than 16,000 units in 80 multifamily communities nationwide, and tripled its workforce over the past year to keep up with the rising demand.
And now, both companies are ready to move further into the future.
“We have built a team of seasoned real estate professionals and technology visionaries to deliver a solution that is setting the standard for the next generation resident app,” Zego CEO Adam Blake said.
“Our partnership with S2 is a significant move and validation in the market and their subsequent collaboration with Amazon helps us make units more attractive to prospective residents, while improving operational efficiencies for property owners,” Blake added. “We are committed to bringing this technology to the masses, and with this news, it’s clear smart home technology is no longer reserved for luxury homes and apartments.”
Scott Everett, founder and CEO of S2 Capital, said that the company sees the appeal of bringing smart home devices to non-luxury apartments, as some residents are willing to pay more in rent for a smart home-enabled unit.
“We have acquired more than $2 billion in apartments and have invested more than $200 million in upgrades and renovations in the past five years,” Everett said.
“We’ve always been committed to seeking out best-in-class technologies that help us continue to evolve the apartment living experience,” Everett continued. “Having worked with many providers in this space, Zego is a trailblazer in its ability to deliver on the promise of a holistic resident app experience, enabling us to provide residents what they want from their smart apartment, as well as what property managers need.”