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Flexible Technologies Help Multifamily Operators During Challenging Times

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Flexible Technologies Help Multifamily Operators During Challenging Times

Explore different strategies for success amidst changing market dynamics. Understand the importance of flexibility in smart building technologies and how to decide on the right business model to navigate challenges and seize opportunities in unpredictable times.

Flexible Technologies Help Multifamily Operators During Challenging Times

Throughout the pandemic, multifamily developers and operators saw a massive surge in demand. With residents no longer commuting and instead working from home, new needs arose: newer and faster laptops, webcams, microphones, docking stations, standing desks, and better lighting. This shift led to shortages and significant price increases (in some cases, price gouging) in consumer goods—do you recall the scarcity and high costs of webcams in 2020?

It turns out that work from home didn’t just change our consumer electronics preferences, but it also changed the way we wanted to live in our homes. Being productive working from home is not easy, at least not for most people. It requires dedication and quiet time, and it is much more effective when you have dedicated workspaces. Consequently, residents found themselves desiring more from their living spaces, as they began spending considerably more time at home.


Multifamily developers and operators stepped up to the plate, delivering beautiful new apartments designed with the perfect amenities to facilitate work from home. But, they didn’t stop there. Along with new amenities came an increase in rents, which allowed developers to invest in smart apartment technologies with minimal monthly fees absorbed by the property for each unit.

Residents could now reserve yoga rooms, provide guest access, pay rent, find dog-walking services, subscribe to internet services, message property managers, and be notified when packages are delivered. These incredible experiences and the recurring fees of their associated software were easier to tolerate when rents were increasing at historic rates. The operating expense (OpEx) of multifamily technology platforms and their associated  SaaS business models were a perfect fit then.

Fast forward to the present day, on the brink of 2024, and we are seeing a shift in the rental market. Rent growth has either slowed, ceased, or, in some areas, declined. This fluctuation in revenue growth is prompting developers and operators to reassess their multifamily technology strategies, particularly the recurring OpEx costs. Despite these challenges, developers are still building, but they are looking at new, flexible solutions that allow them to adapt to these unpredictable market conditions. They are becoming increasingly critical of hardware investments that require ongoing subscriptions for basic functionality. Likewise, residents are wary of feeling trapped by building hardware that requires additional monthly subscriptions for basic services.

Enter SALTO Systems

SALTO has a core set of BLUEnet-enabled hardware. This hardware provides properties with ultimate flexibility. SALTO Business Partners can design smart locks, door controllers, wired readers, and common infrastructure for every opening—units, amenities, perimeter access, garage entry, elevators, and more. These designs can be very flexible without locking properties into a particular SALTO software platform, technology partner integration, or ongoing fees.


What does this mean for multifamily developers? Specify a core set of SALTO BLUEnet-enabled hardware and choose the experiences and financial model that makes the most sense for your property

  1. CapEx: Implement SALTO Space for an incredible access control experience allowing properties to manage residents, staff, and guests through a single software platform. Updates are free and there are no recurring costs.
  2. OpEx: Choose SALTO’s cloud-based multifamily platform, SALTO Homelok, for a simple all-in-one hybrid access control solution managed within the cloud. SALTO Homelok is designed for the multifamily market automating property management tasks and empowering residents to manage their visitors and guests.
  3. OpEx: Start with SALTO Space as a base platform and choose one of SALTO’s incredible multifamily technology partners to create a truly customized user experience tailored to your property and your needs. SALTO Space is an open platform embracing integrations empowering multifamily developers and operators.

In an industry where adaptability is crucial to success, recognizing the dynamic nature of markets, evolving renter preferences, and shifting property ownership dynamics is crucial. While an OpEx access control solution may appear enticing during the design phase, the landscape post-completion might call for a strategic shift towards a CapEx model to minimize ongoing costs.


Opting for hardware platforms that empower multifamily customers with flexibility becomes a business advantage. This approach enables operators to tailor digital amenities to align with changing preferences and allows owners to meet the diverse financial needs of stakeholders. Embracing this approach ensures that multifamily properties remain agile and responsive to the changing demands of the real estate market.

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