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Amazon Offers Alexa-Powered Tools for Property Managers

“Alexa – pay my rent.” Amazon wants property managers to include Alexa in their units. “Alexa for Residential” can create customized skills for every apartment renter.

NEW YORK – More than 80% of renters say they want an apartment with smart-home amenities, and 61% say they’d be willing to pay an extra fee for it, according to a survey from the National Apartment Association.

Amazon wants Alexa to become an amenity that property managers can tout in their buildings and even use to facilitate self-guided tours of vacant units. It announced a new service to help property managers install and manage: Alexa-powered smart devices inside their properties. It would make Alexa devices a semi-permanent fixture that property managers could remotely reset whenever residents move in or out.

Alexa for Residential also allows property managers to link additional smart-home features and create customized Alexa skills for every unit in a property. And it would allow residents to manage rent, maintenance requests, amenity reservations and more. Property managers can also use Alexa-enabled devices to show vacant units without being in the room. They can answer common questions, enable self-guided tours, or demo the smart-home features available in each unit.

Residents would be able to access Alexa-powered smart-home devices without setting up an account or device themselves. Voice prompts can control Echo devices, such as reminding them about recycling day or controlling their smart-home features with voice commands.

Amazon stresses that property managers won’t have access to customers’ data, and voice recordings are automatically deleted daily. Customers can link their own personal Amazon account to the device to access greater privacy settings, too.

“Our vision was to create a service that makes having an Alexa-enabled home accessible for anyone, regardless of whether they rent or own their home,” Liron Torres, general manager for Alexa Smart Properties, wrote in a blog post announcing the new tool.

Amazon has been targeting real estate recently to get more of its smart-home products inside homes. Earlier this year, Amazon partnered with homebuilder TRI Pointe Group to add Amazon technologies into new homes.

“From busy families, we often hear about convenience, and from homeowners who travel often, we hear about the peace of mind through the ability to check on their home while they’re away,” says Doug Bauer, CEO of TRI Pointe Group. “Smart-home features are a key differentiator between other new homes, and matches what we find most buyers are looking for.”

Source: Blogaboutamazon.com and “Amazon Debuts Alexa for Property Managers,” PYMNTS.com (September 2020)

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