After finding success at the TecHome Builder Summit, IOTAS leaders hope TecHomeX can help them further develop a new business strategy.
The next year is going to be a big one for young smart apartment company IOTAS. Currently, its platform is in 17 markets around the country, and by the end of the year, it will be in 25 states plus major Canadian markets, including Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
The company also is adding more devices and experiences to its interface. IOTAS recently partnered with August Home and its new multifamily locks. It expects to have full integration with Nest products by December. Google Home integration should be ready next year to go along with its Alexa voice capabilities.
Among the biggest developments, though, is that some of its platforms finally will be live. Because of the lengthy building process, many of the projects in which IOTAS hardware is being utilized are still under construction. When finished, those apartments will be some of the earliest to feature IOTAS technology, giving the company physical locations that can serve as live showrooms for other potential customers.
Some of these contracts came as a result of relationships struck during the company’s sponsorship of the TecHome Builder Summit. Because of their success there and the direction their business is headed, IOTAS leaders have decided that also sponsoring TecHomeX California would make sense.
“The connections we made at the TecHome Builder Summit have really proven fruitful,” says IOTAS VP of sales & marketing Matt Greene. “We have been working and collaborating with companies we met there like Alliance Residential, Gables Residential, Berkshire Communities, Continental Properties and Crescent Communities and are either actively engaged in conversations or are executing on partnerships with smart home automation within their communities.”
Of the company’s one-on-one meetings at the TecHome Builder Summit, Greene says he has had follow-up engagement with about 75 percent of them and is maintaining those relationships, some of which have already led to IOTAS installations. He adds his boardroom presentation was very powerful, helping develop a few good leads that turned into business from some developer groups.
Altogether, Greene says he saw significant ROI from the investment in the event, and he thinks adding a TecHomeX sponsorship to the IOTAS portfolio is a logical next step. The company does not market itself solely to builders, so the varied audience of TecHomeX, coupled with the valuable market of California, presents a unique opportunity.
“What’s really important to us as a company is we’re working with all those disparate groups,” notes Greene. “Builders, developers, architects are all, in a certain sense, champions to what we’re doing, which is nice.
“California is a big growth market for us. We have multiple properties going live with our platform in LA. We’re live in Santa Barbara. We have opportunities in Orange County and San Diego. We’ll be installing in San Francisco soon, as well. So, California is going to be powerful because we’re going to have quite a few of our properties live right in that market.”
Getting into the same forum with architects also provides IOTAS an opportunity to expand on a new business strategy. The company is starting to work directly with architectural design firms for new construction. By taking this route, it helps separate IOTAS from other companies entering into the multifamily smart home integration space that are strictly going after developer groups, who often don’t know much about tech.
Additionally, Greene says if IOTAS can prove itself to the developers’ trusted advisors, like architects, that can make them want to include the platform in their plans from the start and avoid confusion at the property-wide level. And, getting developers to bake the hardware cost into the formula, and not having it considered an add-on, is huge.
“If we can help them design some of the unit flows and it becomes more open plans, we can make sure the property doesn’t have to buy so many devices because the additional hardware cost is definitely a roadblock for some of these groups,” says Greene. “But, if they can still have the same experience from a resident perspective with fewer devices, and they can still charge that premium and have that from a property-wide level with less up-front cost, just the value itself is immense.”