In our latest real estate tech executive interview, we’re speaking with Tom Few from Vivint Smart Home.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Tom Few. I’ve been in the smart home industry for the better part of three decades. I’ve spent the past six years helping Vivint Smart Home identify new business opportunities and markets. This led me to my current role as general manager of the multifamily group at Vivint.
As a leader in the smart home technology market, Vivint has been a close friend to the real estate community for 20 years. A few years ago, we recognized rental and multifamily communities as the next frontier of smart home innovation. Today’s renters are savvier than ever and want a modern, services-filled living experience. We purpose-built a suite of products that would make it easier to add smart home technology to both new and existing properties. Vivint Smart Home benefits property operators and exceeds the expectations of modern residents. We also make the leasing process easier for both the leasing agent and the resident.
2. What problem does your product/service solve?
Millennials and centennials are digital natives. As they drive up demand for rental housing, smart home technology is becoming a must-have for any successful property. Millennials are currently the largest living generation and, according to Pew Research, 74 percent of them rent. But they want more than just a home with connected devices — they want a truly intelligent home. Creating a magical smart home experience that will entice them to sign a lease requires more than a smart speaker that plays music and lets them order pizza, and more than just the ability to control their lights and thermostats from their phone. It requires everything working together to make their lives more convenient and efficient.
We launched our solution for the multifamily industry in 2017. Our smart home systems allow a resident to use a single app to control lights, locks and temperature; arm and disarm their security system; and view live video and recorded clips from anywhere.
We also built Vivint Site Manager, an interactive dashboard designed specifically for the time-taxed property manager. The dashboard enables an onsite team to use all the smart home technology in the community to quickly and seamlessly onboard new residents as well as manage service requests and vacant apartment homes. However, our suite of services doesn’t stop there. Only Vivint offers Smart Home as a Service. This includes handling the installation and all ongoing service needs for every system we install.
3. What are you most excited about right now?
When we introduced Vivint to the multifamily industry in 2017, we had to spend a lot of time educating property owners and managers—and their leasing agents—on the benefits of smart home technology. We had the opportunity to shape the conversation and we’re honored to continue that conversation and drive even more innovation in the industry.
4. What’s next for you?
We just introduced zero down financing to help property owners and managers add smart home technology to their properties with no upfront cost. Nearly any property owner or manager can now afford smart home, whether for a new build or to retrofit
existing properties. This dramatically increases access to smart home technology and levels the playing field for the multifamily community.
We’ve also spent a lot of time perfecting the resident and property manager experiences with our technology. Now that we’ve nailed those important pieces down, we’re looking outside the individual apartment homes to make entire properties smart.
5. What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I began coaching girls’ softball several years ago when my daughter started playing. She’s moved on to something new, but I continue to coach because I love the opportunity it gives me to help instill confidence, focus and a sense of community in the
young women who will help shape our future. I’m also very involved in Vivint Gives Back, Vivint’s charitable foundation that focuses on helping children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Among a lot of other things, we build special sensory rooms for children with autism in schools and homes and package hundreds of thousands of meals for children with disabilities in third world countries.
Thanks to Tom for sharing his story. If you’d like to connect, find him on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).
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