Real estate technology is simplifying life for renters at Wynwood 25. Tenants can pay rent, order laundry service and manage their packages through a single smartphone application starting this week.
Renters in one of Related Group’s 3,000-plus units across Atlanta and Florida will have access to its Livly app. Related partnered with the Chicago-based rental property management software company Livly over the summer after learning about its success in the Windy City. Related will test the first phase of its Livly Resident and Livly Hub for the next three months in 10 apartment buildings.
Livly is one way Related is trying to stay a step ahead of its competition in a growing renter’s market. “When you talk about luxury, you need to stay ahead of everybody,” said Matt Allen, Related’s COO.
Wynwood 25 in Miami as well as Icon Las Olas and New River Yacht Club in Fort Lauderdale are on the list. The app also went live in one project in Orlando, Palm Beach, St. Petersburg and two in Atlanta and Tampa.
Staff will be trained this week on how to use the app, and then teach residents in the weeks to come how to access Livly Resident.
The app may be free for residents but it cost millions for Related and Livly to create. Although Allen did not disclose the exact dollar amount, he said Related became a shareholder of Livly and purchased its stock. Livly, in turn, invested millions to create the app.
“Livly is ahead of others,” said Allen, regarding why Related chose Livly. “They understand what needs to be done and have the ability to expand this.”
The first phase of Livly Resident will allow tenants to pay rent, manage their package deliveries, buy renters insurance, and order laundry and house cleaning services.
Property managers will have access to a centralized communication portal through Livly Hub. Staff will be able to facilitate move-ins, record notes on resident interactions and audit insurance.
“We’ll know what the staff is doing at all times,” said Allen. The app will also identify how much public space, such as storage space, is used. Related will then be able to monetize underutilized space, such as leasing empty storage space.
But the ultimate goal is to benefit the tenant, said Allen: “Whatever fruit we bear from the renter agreement, we’ll see that later.”
Increasingly developers are including technological flourishes in their projects. For example, the 30-story, YotelPad has three robot butlers that deliver room service; the hotel-condo project will be completed in 2020. And a number of communities have begun using an app that allows gate entry via a smartphone.
Not all have worked though. A robotic parking garage at Brickell Hhouse condominium recently resulted in a $40 million fine to the developer.
New services are also being tested. Related wants to establish a vending service for sodas and chips to be delivered to a renter’s unit. It is also creating a WhatsApp-like platform in which a tenant can communicate with ease with their property manager and maintenance team, sending photos of things in need of repair.
Related will test Livly in its 3,000 units with the plan to cover its over 100,000 units after 90 days.