Tech

How IoT supports smart water management in real estate


The need for cost-effective solutions in the home becomes more and more evident as inflation, The consequences of the pandemic and war cause utility bills to soar. As a result, we are seeing more reliance on IoT technology designed to achieve efficiencies, such as water or energy consumption, in the household.

In the field of large multi-family development, the use of IoT has become a common solution. In recent years, proptech has make revolution how these buildings work, become a Essential tool for environmental measures, sustainability and business growth. The popularity of IoT technology in this accommodation sector is largely due to its ability to solve key operational problems, such as operating costs, guest satisfaction, and retention rates.

Often times, multi-family properties can suffer from inefficient maintenance, especially water leaks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Up to 10% of properties in the United States have ongoing and unnoticed water leaks, which each waste more than 90 gallons per day. On a larger scale, such as in a multi-family operation, these problems can lead to significant losses and waste of water resources. Every day in America alone, 14,000 homes are being damaged by water. Not to mention, the average cost of water-related claims has increased from $6,965 in 2013 to $9,700 in 2020 — a 33% increase.

Fortunately, smart home technology has been designed to solve these thorny problems, while reducing the risk of costly bills and damage.

What is a water management solution?

Many property managers have begun to rely on smart water management systems. The technology uses a range of WiFi-connected IoT devices, including leak sensors, shut-off valves, and water monitoring software, providing feedback to a single, remotely accessible management platform. through mobile application. These devices work together to prevent leaks from escalating into costly problems, with the system able to act on its own by shutting off the water supply with a smart water valve or by sending an alert to a manager. property and the maintenance team so that the problem can be resolved earlier. too late.

Get instant notifications when an incident, such as a minor leak, is flagged by a smart IoT system, allowing property managers to shift their maintenance approach from reactive to proactive, as they can dispatch maintenance personnel arrive to assess leaks as soon as they arise — minimizing wasted water and damage.

A connected maintenance system, such as this one, gives property managers greater control over their assets. They gain complete monitoring of water consumption, preventive maintenance issues, and insights into cost-saving opportunities.

Benefits of smart water management solutions

A study by Flo in 2020 found a direct correlation between the installation of smart water solutions and fewer claims of lower severity, with a 96% reduction in water leak claims paid to utilities. households with smart water management technology installed. Considering that the national average claim for non-weather related water damage is $9,700, installing smart technology can result in huge cost savings.

Despite potential hesitations in the current economic climate, property managers should prioritize installing a smart water management system, even if they don’t currently have any water management equipment. The cost of implementing these solutions is relatively low compared to the average cost of a single wave of water damage (nearly $10,000), making it a highly cost-effective investment with a high return on investment. quick return on investment (ROI). Deploying smart water technology can result in significant cost savings associated with early leak detection and damage limitation.

As water management solutions reduce property damage through proactive maintenance, this also provides residents with a better living experience as they experience less inconvenience due to long-term maintenance work and fewer accidents. damaged furniture. This in itself can boost property sales as happy residents are more likely to renew their lease.

Another major benefit of water management solutions is the reduction of water waste. At a time when business owners will scrutinize their bottom line, a solution like this can make a significant difference. Furthermore, having a sustainable approach to water management will appeal to residents, with a school 2022 found that, for 43% of residents, sustainable features were a factor in choosing a multi-family unit.

How do IoT water devices work?

Currently, many water sensors on the market are being upgraded to save more costs. IoT (wireless technology) solutions are now central, meaning that these systems no longer need to rely on ‘sensor wires’ or ‘probes’ for conventional leak detection, despite these This tool is still needed to detect water leaks in hard to reach areas and to achieve wider coverage.

Modern contact sensors equipped with Z-Wave Plus — low energy radio waves traveling through walls, floors and furniture, communicating with the smart control module can be installed faster and at many different locations.

The water sensor is designed to work in tandem with smart water valves and meters. These devices identify small and large water leaks throughout the building and monitor overall water usage, helping operators and owners reduce the risk of loss due to emergencies water, while improving water conservation efforts at the grassroots and resident levels. This means property managers (and residents) don’t have to worry about returning to a water-damaged home, with a fully controlled system that can automatically shut off the water supply at all locations. main water valve. The system can be configured to shut off the water supply in a variety of situations – in the event of a small, medium or large leak.” ONE learn from PointCentral found that a multi-family operator could save $2,000 per year in premiums by installing smart water management technology in 30 major service units.

The system is most effective when all devices work collaboratively. The IoT meters and valves of this technology family are designed to work in harmony and are smart enough to detect anomalies such as prolonged water flow or when an unusually large amount of water begins to flow through a pipe — all deliver instant reports on mobile devices. The meter can sense excessive water usage, temperatures dropping to dangerous levels that could freeze pipes, dripping faucets and running toilets.

However, smart water sensors continue to be more popular than valves and meters. One possible reason for this is that asset managers see sensors as a necessity and valves and smart meters as a luxury. While cost considerations are understandable, investing in sensors alone can have downsides. When problems are detected, the system will not automatically resolve them. Instead, asset managers depend on their maintenance engineers, availability, and response times, which can lead to extended downtime and additional costs. Smart water management has provided a solution to this problem, making it a worthwhile investment for any property manager.

Angel Piontek

Angel Piontek is a Technology Advisor at PointCentral. She is a 19-year veteran of the residential real estate industry and has extensive smart home expertise. PointCentral, a subsidiary of Alarm.com, provides short- and long-term residential property managers with a leading property automation platform that helps monitor and control smart home technology across all assets in their inventory over a secure and reliable mobile network – increasing property awareness, reducing operating costs, and improving guest and resident satisfaction.

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