Page 34 - June 7-20, 2023 Property Management Raise Your Voice H ow to go about protect- ing a limited water sup- ply has caused much debate among Coloradans, and the state’s property management professionals are joining the discussion. With our major reservoirs and rivers falling to historically low levels, we’re currently navigat- ing unprecedented times. Man- aging strict water usage rules and water rights, coupled with new government intervention, is causing a headache for rental owners and operators. While the government is busy putting plans in place to ensure that the future of the Colorado River is a positive one, are there solutions property owners and managers should be utilizing to protect their properties and better conserve water? Growing environmen- tal awareness coupled with technological advances have improved the availability of smart solutions designed to combat water wastage. These are highly valuable solutions to property managers even when there isn’t a water crisis, par- ticularly in the multifamily sec- tor where leaks can cause more widespread disruption and damage to business reputation. The three keys to water c o n s e r v a - tion are water d e t e c t o r s , shut-off valves and low-flow meters. They can save property m a n a g e r s valuable time and money simply by detecting leaks at the very ear- liest stages, enabling manag- ers to act proactively before a small leak turns into a costly problem – not only for opera- tors’ bottom lines but for the environment too. Having this kind of early warning system not only empowers property manag- ers to take proactive measures and act on issues early, but it enables them to put preven- tative measures in place too, effectively stopping potential water issues before they hap- pen and raising awareness around consumption. A smart water management system is typically made up of two components: a smart water valve and a smart water sensor. It’s the latter’s job to detect any leaks and respond accordingly; advanced Inter- net of Things technology then enables insights into these leaks, allowing property man- agers to assess the issue and take appropriate action. Some property managers install only the smart water sensors, but this means significant damage can occur before an engineer is able to attend the property. To put the broader picture into perspective, it’s estimated that up to 10% of U.S. proper- ties have ongoing, or undiscov- ered, water leaks, each account- ing for over 90 gallons of water waste a day. Not only is this wasteful from an environmen- tal perspective, it’s also damag- ing from a business viewpoint, with the average insurance claim for a water-damaged home being over $9,700. Every day in the U.S., up to 14,000 homes are damaged by water, suggesting that this is not only an issue Colorado property owners need to tackle, but the country as a whole. Those who use this technol- ogy soon realize there are other advantages too. Guest satisfac- tion increases because prob- lems are spotted sooner. In fact, residents are often unaware there is a problem at all when they are contacted to arrange a repair. n Smart water solutions: a smart business decision? Smart water management solu- tions pay for themselves. Water management systems for all but the smallest multifam- ily developments, for example, quickly offset the cost of insur- ance, resident disruption and repair. According to research, properties that have smart water management solutions installed see fewer low-sever- ity insurance claims – in fact, there is a 96% decline in water leak claims paid to households that have smart water manage- ment tech installed. Meanwhile, 43% of prospec- tive residents choose an apart- ment simply because of sus- tainable features – so closely monitoring water usage is high up the resident agenda every- where. Resident satisfaction and retention can be boosted by having these desirable tech solutions, steadying the ship for multifamily operators as we head toward the busy sum- mer moving season. With Colorado facing chal- lenges that don’t exist in other parts of the country, many property managers are giving this issue their attention at the moment. Reducing water wast- age is one easy step all manag- ers can take so that everyone, including residents, can feel they are playing their part. s How technology is solving the water conservation problem Mike Branam Director of multifamily, PointCentral It’s estimated that up to 10% of U.S. properties have ongoing, or undiscovered, water leaks, each accounting for over 90 gallons of water waste a day.