ePropertyCare, a nationwide dealer of smart building technology and services, is in the business of making rental tenants feel more comfortable, and making multifamily rental owners and operators feel more profitable. To be able to satisfy these business goals, the company has had to be very selective in assembling and implementing the best combination of smart devices to offer their customers. ePropertyCare opened for business about five and a half years ago. Since the company opened its doors, Kwikset locks have played a starring role in virtually all their sales.

Charles Hadsell, founder/CEO of ePropertyCare, was always in the business of selling smart tech packages to rental owners and operators. In fact, he started out on the rental side as a landlord for small properties. It was in this role that he started to see an opportunity for a company like ePropertyCare.

“I realized as the number of properties I managed grew, that my own business was becoming less efficient,” Hadsell said. “It became clear to me that there had to be a better way to manage multiple properties across several states than finding and paying all these different vendors to provide services to my tenants — like paying someone outside to rekey a lock or adjust a thermostat. It was then that I began to investigate the role that smart technology and devices could play in the property management business.”

And it was shortly thereafter that Hadsell partnered with home security leader Alarm.com, and their affiliated smart property cellular technology platform, PointCentral, to start ePropertyCare. This would be a business that not only makes property management easier — lowering the cost — but also presents managers with an opportunity to offer sought-after, smart home benefits while potentially increasing rents and profits.

Hadsell continued, “The timing with our focus on smart technology was fortuitous. Today’s rental managers recognize they are at a disadvantage if they don’t turn their properties into smart properties. There was a time when a big part of a smart-tech dealer’s job was to educate the customers, whether they were end users or apartment managers. But, in the last few years, that has changed greatly as devices like smart locks have become more mainstream — standard fare that is used to increase rents while lowering operating costs.”

ePropertyCare’s initial focus was selling to landlords with a handful of units, but Hadsell quickly realized that there was more opportunity in larger rental properties like multifamily.

“One owner with 300 units in a building is easier to work with than 300 separate owners or landlords,” Hadsell said. “Today we do offer solutions for single-family rentals, but we are able to scale up to 1,000 plus unit apartments, with our main focus being multifamily.”

ePropertyCare’s standard suite of devices includes a cellular Alarm.com hub, a smart lock and smart thermostat. From there, they can customize their offering to include other devices like water sensors, shut-off valves, lighting control, intercoms and video cameras. And the company’s use of reliable cellular connectivity ensures that they and their customers can stay connected to all these devices with minimal disruption.

The company doesn’t do “one and done” sales of single or multiple devices. According to Hadsell, “The company is more focused on installation, implementation, and ongoing support than some other dealers. We call it ‘smart building as a service,’ meaning we stay involved in the support and maintenance of the technology, ensuring that our customers get the maximum benefit out of all their devices.”

Kwikset locks were a go-to solution for ePropertyCare from the company’s earliest days.

“We knew pretty quickly that Kwikset would be a great fit, because they gave us a very cost-effective and reliable way to deploy the smart technology we and our customers were seeking,” Hadsell said. “With Kwikset smart locks as part of the package, we can provide our customers with access control as well as access history — knowledge of who came to the door and what time they left. Tenants like this level of information, as well as the convenience of remote locking and unlocking.”

According to Hadsell, there are many benefits to working with Kwikset locks, but one of the most important ones is awareness of the Kwikset brand.

He said, “Kwikset is recognized by our customers as being an ideal solution in terms of quality, technology and value. We realized pretty quickly that Kwikset would be a perfect fit and a solution that wouldn’t require a great deal of upsell.”

Hadsell also mentioned that owner-operators are familiar with some of the unique technological advantages of Kwikset locks, like the SmartKey Security feature that lets users quickly rekey their locks.

“Kwikset has been recognized for its SmartKey feature for years,” Hadsell said. “This feature can be so important in a business that sees regular tenant turnover. It also allows property managers to have one master key that they can hold onto and change as needed.”

Another essential advantage of working with Kwikset, according to Hadsell, is the availability of product and the manufacturer’s ability to scale up for large orders in a short time. This has been particularly important as ePropertyCare has grown their business during recent years, when many other businesses were slowed by the pandemic and supply-chain disruption.

ePropertyCare has offered its customers different Kwikset smart locks over the years, sometimes going with contemporary-looking solutions like Kwikset’s Obsidian lock when customers prioritized security and convenience in combination with a sleek, modern aesthetic. Recently, the company’s smart lock of choice has been Kwikset’s Home Connect 620 connected smart lock with the enhanced security of the Z-Wave 700 Series chip.

“The Home Connect 620 checks a lot of boxes for our more cost-conscious owner-operators and developers,” Hadsell said. “These include quality, durability, price-point and ready availability in the marketplace. Last year we outfitted thousands of apartments with the 620.”

Featuring an all-metal design and choice of traditional or contemporary styling, the Home Connect 620 connected smart lock is designed to integrate with a variety of smart home systems and serves as an ideal “entry-level” smart lock. The Home Connect 620 delivers convenience and peace of mind to homeowners with complete remote locking/unlocking via smartphones and tablets, as well as total home control.

“Another great feature is the Home Connect 620’s ability to store up to 250 user access codes,” Hadsell noted. “With this capability, tenants can quickly send personalized access codes to family and guests. Plus, this feature makes the Home Connect 620 a perfect match for the Point Central system and its high-storage capabilities. With its powerful capabilities and great value, the Home Connect 620 is an ideal solution for our multifamily enterprise accounts.”

The numbers point to continuing success for the partnership of ePropertyCare and Kwikset. According to a 2022 study by Rent.com, 82 percent of renters want at least one smart device in their home. The same study showed that 77 percent ranked smart locks as “important” to renters.

Clearly ePropertyCare recognizes how the growing popularity of smart technology in general, and smart locks in particular, can continue to play a role in the company’s growth. 

“The future is bright for ePropertyCare,” Hadsell concluded. “We currently have clients in 27 states, and we’re expanding all the time. Over the last two years we’ve taken our business in new directions by working with more retrofits and new construction applications. And our suite of smart devices including Kwikset smart locks is right there with us, opening doors for our customers and connecting with the needs of their increasingly tech-savvy tenants.”