Read-time: 3 minutes; 5 if you watch the videos
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you already know that Alexa* is Amazon’s virtual personal assistant that is gaining a massive following and importance in the marketplace. With over 30,000 skills, Amazon is aiming to make your life, and how you interact with your home, easier with voice-requested (and response) services. Check out what they're doing with hand-free home entertainment & streaming:
This is Gonna be HUGE!
Alexa is just one of a suite of smart home technologies that have emerged in the past few years, and the numbers are staggering! Here are a few data points:
- In 2018, the smart speaker market is expected to be worth $2.68 billion
- The smart speaker market is expected to grow at 34.4% CAGR until 2023
- Amazon owns 52% of the smart speaker market share
- Amazon has sold more than 20 million Alexa enabled devices through Q3 2017
And this isn't just Amazon doing damage - Google is gaining ground quickly with their Home and Home-mini devices.
"Smart speakers continue to be the world’s fastest-growing consumer technology segment, with year-on-year growth in Q1 2018 of 210% as shipments reached 9 million units." - Canalys, May 2018
Opportunity for Apartment Operators
With the growth of this market, it will be challenging for multifamily apartment operators to take a wait-and-see approach. Voice is already having an impact in multifamily as these devices, or other smart home gadgets, have been used as lease-signing incentives. As with other technologies, these are the early adopters that are indicating a technology that will garner main stream appeal.
Here are a few more statistics that should matter to multifamily operators:
- 69% of users are using Alexa to request information
- 34% of users are using Alexa to make purchases
- 19% of users are using Alexa to order food
These survey stats from Visual Capitalist are significant because they show that users have quickly gotten comfortable with allowing Amazon to access, provide, and dictate information to/from a third party via their Echo devices.
What does this mean for apartment operators? In short, it presents a great opportunity to provide residents with access to apartment services via these devices that are showing up in apartment en-mass. The logical services to think about offering to residents are:
- make maintenance requests
- pay rent
- check for packages
- community updates via daily briefing
What is ServusConnect Doing with Voice & Smart Speakers?
There is a lot that goes into creating a skill that is super-easy-to-use, let alone maintaining one. Large multifamily operators with software development groups that are capable of designing, coding, integrating & maintaining a skill(s) for multiple platforms (Amazon, Google, Apple, etc.) will likely create their own branded skill(s) at some point. This will not be the norm for most multifamily operators.
This is why our team at ServusConnect is investing heavily in creating easy-to-use skills for multifamily operators to easily promote and deploy to their residents. We've starting with our "ServusBot" skill for apartment maintenance requests, which is integrated with MRI Software's Residential Management Suite and available today. Here is a quick look at the experience for a resident.
This skill makes it incredibly easy for residents to verbally request service, have that feed directly into your property management software's unit record and immediately and out to a technician in the field via the native ServusConnect Mobile Maintenance apps - no paper or e-mail required; no trips to the office to pick up new work orders!
This significantly improves the resident experience. Entering and tracking work orders becomes friction-less process and maintenance teams are equipped for rapid response!
The Future is Bright!
Will Smart Speakers become the default "core" of our homes? Is VOICE the key way that we'll interface with the brands that surround us moving forward?
The early indications are that it will be, but ultimately time will tell.
In the meantime, this innovative technology is a great way for apartment operators to craft an innovative & memorable experience for their residents!
*Amazon, Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.