Developer’s Take on Transformative Tech Trends in Multifamily 

The student became the teacher, and vice versa, as one developer learns the value of tailored multifamily education during this year’s TecHome Builder Summits’ Executive Program. 

This year’s Executive Program covered a wide range of educational topics in the luxury, high-volume and multifamily sectors of the TecHome industry. Among the multifamily guests was Cindy Park—SVP of marketing, strategy and operations for Prado Group, a multifamily developer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Park spoke on the first day of the event in the multifamily session, “Crafting a Community to Appeal to the Masses,” along with Eric Rothrock of Crescent Communities.

The session covered an extensive line-up of the latest techniques and technologies that can propel multifamily developments into the realm of extraordinary. The topics touched upon by Park, especially, offered insights into a revolutionary industry that is being transformed by tech.

“We’re always looking for what’s new and upcoming for our residents,” says Park.

The new and upcoming items touched upon in Park’s presentation include innovations such as:

  • Cindy Park of Prado Group speaks in "Crafting a Community to Appeal to the Masses."
    Cindy Park of Prado Group speaks in “Crafting a Community to Appeal to the Masses.”

    Virtual Door Concierges – This concept involves a large video wall screen replacing the standard concierge area of multifamily communities, saving space and offering a future-thinking attitude the moment someone walks in the door. Video of a concierge desk from anywhere in the country is broadcast live and 24/7 to this screen. Residents can associate daily with the same friendly face of their concierge, while these same concierges can work from anywhere in the country.

  • LEED Dashboard –  A device where developers can monitor their energy consumption and cost savings in real time, a must-have for the latest energy efficiency boom—especially for Park in California, where building codes are strictly pro-efficiency.
  • Knightscope – One of the most exciting elements of Park’s presentation was information surrounding Knightscope, a fully autonomous robot that uses a variety of sensors including video camera, thermal imaging, laser range finder, radar, air quality sensors and a microphone. Park cited that the best use for this technology would likely be in multifamily parking garages in order to monitor spaces and serve as a surveillance device to protect against crime.

Park also covered topics such as how artwork can be used to enhance a community digitally, the future of autonomous vehicles and also the art of the “move-in gift.”

“We used to offer Tiffany vases, but we shifted towards offering a technology item upon move-in,” says Park. “But everyone is going to be doing this with an Amazon Echo, so we wanted to find a way to differentiate what we offer.”

Jeff Wilson of KASITA and Hasier Larrea of Ori Systems in "Big Tech Options for the Tiny Apartment Trend."
Jeff Wilson of KASITA and Hasier Larrea of Ori Systems in “Big Tech Options for the Tiny Apartment Trend.”

Becoming the Student

Park’s presentation also included an allusion to MIT-based company, Ori Systems, which designs robotic furniture with the ability to transform spaces in tiny apartments. Surprising to many, Park included, the CEO of this company was speaking in a session the very next day.

“Big Tech Options for the Tiny Apartment Trend” allowed Park to become the student as she learned about Ori Systems’ technology from founder Hasier Larrea, who shared the stage with another tiny apartment innovator—Jeff Wilson, AKA Professor Dumpster, of Kasita.

The presentation was so eye-opening that Park found herself meeting with Larrea shortly after and strongly considering including Ori Systems tech in her upcoming projects.

It just goes to show, there’s always something to learn.

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