Latch Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Dhruva Rajendra, gave the Visionary Keynote address at yesterday's Smart Energy Summit, hosted by Parks Associates. The summit brought together leaders from across the real estate, energy management, and technology industries to discuss the evolving landscape of energy management.
Rajendra’s keynote focused on trends shaping the future of energy management in multifamily and how LatchOS, Latch’s full building operating system, is uniquely positioned to give energy-conscious residents the integrated functionality they expect, while delivering the cost savings property owners and managers require.
In the next 10 years, approximately half a trillion dollars will be spent on energy in the United States. As the needs of residents and landlords evolve, the emergence of a more conscientious resident will drive change in the relationship between utility providers, residents, and landlords.
The future of energy means changes and increased experimentation across the entire energy stack: generation, storage, and consumption. In 2020, roughly 75% of the new electrical capacity in the United States was generated through renewable energy. As energy generation shifts from traditional providers, there will be increased opportunities for landlords to offer enhanced energy management options to their residents.
As the energy grid continues to develop, consumers will want to better understand the local storage of energy. The Texas blackouts have provided an impetus for experimentation on ensuring that the United States is equipped to distribute energy wherever needed, as more and more devices are added.
The latest developments in energy generation, storage, and consumption are coming to the market at the same time as a new generation of residents entering the rental market; a generation that has an increased awareness about and demonstrated desire to manage their carbon footprint. As a result, multifamily buildings that enable their residents to understand where their energy is sourced, how they are using energy, and how that usage could be more efficient, will have a unique point of differentiation in an increasingly competitive market.
By integrating partnerships with brands like Google Nest, Honeywell, ecobee, Jasco, and Leviton, LatchOS enables property owners, operators, managers, and residents to manage their energy usage through Latch App, which the average resident used 4.6x/day. This gives Latch the unique ability to provide smart home functionality, including energy management, directly to residents, ensuring cost savings for owners and operators and greater satisfaction for residents that leads to reduced turnover.
Rajendra noted that Latch’s approach to smart home product development emphasizes the importance of not over-designing products or features. The baselines for ease of use have been established by the light bulbs and thermostats that residents have seamlessly used for decades. Those products work nearly 100% of the time and function at a very simple, intuitive level. In order for residents to adopt smart home features, the experience has to be better than that baseline.
Rajendra referenced the “toothbrush test” as a key inflection point in Latch’s product development process. New features are put through this test, which answers the question, “Will residents use this feature at least twice a day?” The toothbrush test ensures a focus on providing experiences that are valuable for the end user and will become embedded in their daily life.
As part of Latch’s commitment to ensuring the seamless adoption of new products and features, Rajendra spoke of the ongoing focus on the onboarding process for new residents, as ensuring an initial “aha moment.” This easy to use, intuitive design is core to building trust and an experience that is replicated daily. Onboarding is not a one-step process where users unlock a door or interact with a smart thermostat for the first time— it’s built into the entire product design. Latch products function in the real word, and are used daily. Thoughtful design is not simply aesthetics, but the process of creating consistency of experience that results in continued usage.
Smart home features are more than a cost-saving benefit for property owners and managers. They allow residents to be increasingly conscious about their choices, provide an enhanced living experience, and will drive long-term changes in energy management.
If you’re interested in bringing Latch to your building, contact our Sales team today.