Case Study

The Challenge

Camden Property Trust wanted to re-imagine how smart access could be affordable while enhancing the resident experience. The S&P 400 Company sought to improve the efficiency of its maintenance staff and greatly eliminate the need for keys/fobs, realizing efficiencies in managing access.

Key Metrics
50,000+

Units at the end of 2021 with Chirp Smart Access

100%

Keyless, Contactless, Virtual Leasing

18 mo.

Paybacks in under
18 months

↓$300

Capital cost < $300/door for entire system

Pain Points

Bottlenecks created through physical key usage

Access-related staffing expenses

Limited resident access and experience

Access control solution that is fully secure, economical, and viable

Service: Innovation as a Service, Product Strategy & Design, Brand Identity

Skills + Technology

Strategy

UI/UX Design

App Development

Hosting + Support

Infrastructure Architecture

Database Management

Solutions

A fully digitized and automated system that eliminates the need for physical keys/fobs and related labor/staffing costs—unlocking revenue potential worth several hundred dollars per unit, per year

A single app that allows resident control of community gates, building and corridor doors, and smart access to each unit

Proximity readers at each building door to provide a guest or delivery person with proper authorization from the resident

Automatic detection at doors and gates, enabling single-tap access

Improved Online Reputation Assessment (ORA) scores through added security and authorized maintenance entry points

The Chirp Systems Story

Unlocking new opportunities and evolving your business plays an unarguable and fundamental role in remaining competitive. But how exactly are market opportunities unlocked? While we can’t predict the future—systematic data analysis paired with unwavering and imaginative problem-solving, allows us to come pretty close.

For over 38 years, Camden Property Trust, a multifamily REIT with 165 properties across the United States, has provided living excellence from coast to coast. In 201X, Camden partnered with Poetic to reimagine its digital presence to continue exceeding market expectations and improve online conversions. Through the success of this multi-phased, data-driven project, Camden leadership found themselves wondering—what other market opportunities and potential revenue streams were hidden in their ever-growing mountain of data? 

To better understand how technology could serve the business and its residents, Camden ventured into an ideation workshop with Poetic business intelligence experts. The workshop allowed both teams to comprehensively assess current systems and also explore ideas that, at the time, seemed out of reach.

A recurring topic, both in conversation and data, was access control. Between tenants losing their keys and homes needing to be rekeyed between occupants—physical locks, keys, and fobs proved to be a costly expenditure for such a large portfolio. Additional staff was also required to ensure secure distribution of new/lost keys, package delivery, and visitor entry. The bottlenecks created from the use of physical keys and fobs not only affected the maximum profit margin of the property trust but the resident experience. Tenants wanted to be able to directly receive packages around the clock, easily get food delivered to their doors, and privately access amenities while feeling secure—and that simply wasn’t possible with the existing systems available.

Chirp technology realizes capabilities, convenience, and NOI once thought impossible

After examining and piloting off-the-shelf access-control products, Camden determined it would need to develop its own solution with the help of Poetic to produce a product that was both economical and fully viable. An important objective for the Camden team was identifying a comprehensive solution at an all-in price point of less than $300 per door. From experimentation and iteration to implementation, the Poetic team developed Chirp—a fully automated, digital system that could successfully resolve analog, manual tasks, and the root of critical pain points. The system delivers the best lock hardware from Yale Residential and the best Bluetooth technology developed by August Home. The partnership with August Home delivers a high standard of security and encryption on firmware and the ease and flexibility of mobile software. The single app successfully empowers resident control of community gates, building and corridor doors, and smart access to each unit with a single tap.

From 2019–20, Camden deployed Chirp technology in over half of its 165 property portfolio, a total of over 25,000 units. The all-in price point allows maximum net-operating income and the added security and convenience allows residents true curb-to-couch access. The residential and business benefits have further differentiated Camden and the touchless capabilities are appreciated in a pandemic environment and beyond. In September 2020, Camden signed an agreement to deploy RealPage® CommunityConnect Smart Access controls, which utilizes the Chirp technology, in 50,000 units by the end of 2021. 

The success of Chirp is not only important for Camden but the future of the industry and virtual leasing. Chirp technology realizes capabilities, convenience, and NOI once thought impossible and serves as a monumental achievement in the sustained Camden and Poetic partnership. Camden continues to drive resident satisfaction by leveraging online reputation management and innovative, forward-thinking methodology. As Camden continues to grow, Poetic will continue to help transform its enterprising ideas into industry-shifting realities.