WATCH: SmartRent’s Lucas Haldeman on multifamily’s tech era

Smart-home startup founder says automation tech can improve landlords’ bottom lines

The residential real estate sector is becoming more institutionalized, with greater consolidation of ownership among the largest players as Wall Street spurs a number of novel business models such as iBuying. But institutionalization and wider adoption of technology go hand-in-hand, according to Lucas Haldeman.

“You can’t make this an institutional asset class without embracing smart technology,” Haldeman said in an interview with The Real Deal‘s Hiten Samtani. “The costs are too high. You can’t solve it with human power.”

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

To close the gap, Haldeman, a former executive at single-family behemoth Colony American Homes, launched home automation startup SmartRent in 2017. The firm works with multifamily landlords such as Starwood Capital and Blackstone Group, national homebuilders such as Lennar and single-family operators such as Invitation Homes to install and operate smart-home technology in their properties.

SmartRent, which has over 250,000 units on its platform and reported third-quarter revenues of $35 million, went public this summer in a $2.2 billion SPAC merger with a Fifth Wall-sponsored blank-check firm.

In this conversation, Haldeman speaks about what the next generation of smart-home technology can do for the tenant experience and how it can play a role in everything from preventative health care to improving operators’ bottom lines.

Watch the above video for highlights of the interview. To read the whole conversation, click here.