Amazon has introduced a service that vows to make it easy for property managers to install and manage Alexa-powered smart devices in their properties, the company announced on its blog on Thursday (Sept. 3).
Alexa for Residential allows residents to set timers and alarms, get news and weather updates, play music and make other voice commands from the Echo devices in their units. Tenants are not required to have an account and no setup is needed.
If residents have an Amazon account, they can link it and access Alexa's features, including making phone calls and purchases.
“Our vision was to create a service that makes having an Alexa-enabled home accessible for anyone, regardless of whether they rent or own their home,” said Liron Torres, general manager for Alexa Smart Properties, in a statement. “Alexa for Residential goes beyond the smart home. It also enables property managers to provide custom voice experiences for their residents, including information about property amenities and custom services.”
More than 80 percent of renters said they want an apartment with smart home amenities, while 61 percent said they would be willing to pay a fee for it, according to a National Apartment Association survey.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced a partnership with the TRI Pointe Group – the Irving, California-based builder of single-family homes nationwide – to put Amazon-provided technology into TRI’s new homes.
“From busy families, we often hear about convenience, and from homeowners who travel often, we hear about the peace of mind, through the ability to check on their home while they’re away,” Doug Bauer, CEO of TRI Pointe Group, told PYMNTS at the time. “Smart home features are a key differentiator between other new homes, and matches what we find most buyers are looking for.”
Last year, PYMNTS reported in the How We Will Pay Survey that while an increasing share of U.S. households had voice-enabled devices, less than a third used their devices to make purchases. But that was before COVID-19 arrived.
In August, a PYMNTS report revealed that voice commerce has accelerated, with 90 million voice-enabled devices in the U.S. Google and Amazon are betting that their hardware – Alexa for Amazon, and Home and Nest for Google – will be in the race for the $40 billion voice commerce market.