RealPage Inc. is a leading global provider of comprehensive property management software and data analytics. Recognizing the importance of providing its executive clients and remote employees with accommodations that reflected the company’s same dedication to superior products and services, RealPage began to search for a seamless, innovative solution that would allow their guests to experience the convenience of comprehensive, ‘Smart’ connectivity.
RealPage envisioned a series of guest suites with a seamless ‘Smart Apartment’ solution to replace the accommodations previously provided to their visitors by “luxury” hotels. A key part of the experience was the integration of numerous ‘smart’ devices, the selection of which was to be uninhibited by the constraints of standard proprietary offerings, allowing the RealPage team to utilize the best, most innovative devices on the market regardless of their make or model. RealPage needed a provider who could offer a singular, user-controlled ‘Smart’ solution that was compatible with multiple devices of different makes and models.
In order to provide employees and guests with a comprehensive Smart Apartment experience, RealPage turned to Epproach Communications. Epproach is the leading provider of high-tech, wireless solutions for the multifamily industry. With Epproach’s unique mobile app, called the Communiqué App, control of RealPage Suites’ many different devices could be seamlessly integrated under a single user experience. Epproach also offered a custom mobile app solution that was compatible with a wide variety of everyday ‘smart’ products that could be distinctly branded as the company’s own.
RealPage knew of the unique capabilities of the Epproach Managed ‘Smart’ Solution due to a history of successful partnership that began when Epproach Communications was tapped to provide community-wide, Managed WiFi networks to several RealPage sites. This initial introduction led to an integration between RealPage’s OneSite program, a back-office management software solution, and Epproach Communications’ branded, mobile app.
Working together, RealPage and Epproach began developing a state-of-the-art, luxury ‘Smart Apartment’ amenity for RealPage Suites that would allow guests full control of their unit’s various smart devices via a custom branded smartphone App.
The Epproach Communications team began by installing Wink Hubs into each of the site’s 43 units. Wink is an industry-leading software and hardware platform capable of uniting hundreds of different ‘smart’ devices under a single hub, allowing users to seamlessly monitor, control, and automate their ‘Smart’ units. Through their partnership with Epproach, Wink has been able to bring their revolutionary solution out of the confines of single family homes and into the multifamily housing industry. At RealPage Suites, the integration of Wink technology provided Epproach’s mobile app with one additional, essential feature: a universal Smart Apartment control center.
Once the Wink Hubs were set in place, Epproach Communications began installing the smart devices previously selected by the RealPage team. These devices included Yale electronic touchscreen locks, CREE light bulbs, ecobee3 thermostats, GE smart fan control switches, Logitech Harmony tv controller and Lutron Caseta light dimmer switches. Controls for all devices were unified under the Smart Apartment interface of the RealPage Suites App, a custom branded mobile app developed and maintained by Epproach Communications. Guests can either access the RealPage Suites App via the Samsung Galaxy tablet included in their unit, or by downloading the app on their personal devices. All devices are supported by Epproach’s state-of-the-art, super-high-speed WiFi and internet services.
The very last piece of the puzzle came with the installation of Sonos Playbars underneath every TV and Sonos One speakers in each room, both of which products come with Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant.
For guests, the experience of staying in a Smart Apartment begins the moment they make their reservation. Shortly after booking their suite, the guest receives an email from RealPage Suites with instructions for accessing both the complex and the suite using a unique electronic code.
On the day they’re scheduled to check-in, guests receive a second email with additional information that includes their WiFi network name and password, along with their unique access code. In lieu of a hotel-style counter check-in, the assigned access code automatically becomes accessible for the guest to use at 3pm on the day of check-in. Similarly, the code ceases to function at midnight following the check-out date. Guests are not required to visit the Reception Suite during check-in or check-out, which provides a convenient, efficient amenity for guests.
Once inside their suite, guests have their choice of several control options to operate their unit’s ‘Smart’ features, either by downloading the RealPage Suites App directly to their smartphones, accessing the App on the suite’s tablet, or by the Alexa Voice Assistant feature on any of the unit’s Sonos products. In addition to Alexa‘s default voice commands, the Epproach team pre-programmed routine commands such as “Alexa, Good Morning” to turn on all apartment lights to offer guests a personalized experience.
Guests can continue to enjoy easy, convenient ‘Smart’ living with RealPage Suites’ Streaming Video services, which includes a complete cable line-up plus local channels.
After a guest has completed their stay, their unique access code is removed from the Yale Assure Lock System, and their RealPage Suites username and password is erased to prevent any further access.
Together, RealPage and Epproach Communications have collaborated to provide RealPage executive guests and employees with a comprehensive, easy-to use solution that allows them to experience all the comforts and convenience a Smart Apartment can provide.
“Living in a smart home, I’m familiar with all of these gadgets and then some. I enjoyed the comforts of home as I woke up in the morning with, ‘Good morning, Alexa,’ signaling the lights to turn on. I never locked the door behind me (as I do at home) because I know it will auto lock in minutes as it’s pre-programmed to do. I turned lights on and off using voice commands. It was also by voice command that I turned up the heat at night when it got cold. It was familiar, convenient and satisfying.”
– Linda Hoffman, Editor, Multihousing Pro Magazine