Case Study


Camden Property Trust (“Camden”), one of the largest publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) in the United States and long-time customer of Poetic, wanted to re-imagine affordable smart access for apartment living. The S&P 400 company sought a tailored and secure retrofit solution to provide an excellent customer experience, improve the efficiency of its maintenance staff, and eliminate the need for keys and fobs.


installed units by 2021 with Chirp Smart Access


keyless, contactless, virtual leasing option


app to control all property access for residents


Designed a fully digitized and automated system, Chirp Systems (“Chirp”), which eliminates the need for physical keys/fobs and related labor/staffing costs

Developed an app that allows resident control of community gates, building and corridor doors, garage entrance, amenity spaces, and smart access to each unit

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

Enabled automatic detection and single-tap access for an improved customer experience



Chirp Systems

The Chirp Systems Story

How systematic data analysis paired with unwavering and imaginative problem-solving allows businesses to remain competitive

For over 28 years, Camden Property Trust, a multi-family REIT with 167 apartment communities across the United States, has provided living excellence from coast to coast. In 2014, Camden partnered with Poetic to re-imagine its digital presence and continue exceeding market expectations and improve online conversions. Inspired by the success of this multi-phased, data-driven project, Camden leadership envisioned new ways to leverage technology to provide an enhanced resident experience.

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 explore ideas that, at the time, seemed out of reach or cost-prohibitive.

A recurring topic, both in conversation and data, was access control. Between residents losing their keys, keys checked out for maintenance tickets/deliveries/guest access, and apartment homes needing to be rekeyed between occupants—physical locks, keys, and fobs proved to be a costly expenditure for such a large portfolio. Staff was 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 increased costs and negatively impacted the resident experience. Residents want to manage access for visitors, easily get food delivered to their doors, and privately access amenities while feeling secure—that simply wasn’t possible with the existing systems available.

After examining existing smart lock and access-control products in the market, Camden determined it would need Poetic’s expertise to develop a customized solution. While many smart lock products could eliminate keys or replace manual tasks, none came equipped with the technology and interface needed to effectively meet multi-family-specific security and automation needs.

The 15-month timeframe would allow Camden to have an unparalleled smart access solution. In addition to being cost-effective, the solution would be fully digital, secure, and feature a sophisticated and intuitive management system catered to multiple user types. With the scope and goals specified, Poetic began to quickly develop an application prototype that would bridge the gap between existing technology and the aspirational goals of the Camden team.

By incorporating frequent touchpoints and maintaining open communication, Poetic keeps client satisfaction at the forefront and tackles pain points in real-time.

Poetic implemented its proven, multi-phase process to execute the project, leveraging market research, modern technology, iterative sprints, and sustainable growth strategies. The Poetic® Process is inspired by both Agile and traditional Waterfall Software Development Life Cycles (SDLC). Preliminary phases are rooted in the Waterfall model, which lends itself well to goal alignment and project scope definition, while the subsequent phases follow a more Agile model with weekly/bi-weekly sprints.

Through this process, the Poetic team developed Chirp—a fully automated, digital system that met pre-determined requirements and also allowed future enhancements and unique opportunities. The system combined industry-leading lock hardware from Yale Residential with Bluetooth technology developed by August Home. The partnership with August Home delivered a high standard of security and encryption on firmware and the ease and flexibility of mobile software. As a result, the single app successfully empowered resident control of community gates, garage access, building and corridor doors, and smart access to their individual apartment home, with a single tap.

From 2020–2021, Camden will deploy Chirp technology in the majority of its 167 property portfolio, a total of over 50,000 units. The attractive price point enabled widespread adoption among Camden communities and the added security and convenience that allowed residents true curb-to-couch access. The residential and business benefits combined with the touchless capabilities further differentiated Camden, particularly in a pandemic environment. In September 2020, Camden signed an agreement to deploy RealPage® CommunityConnect Smart Access controls, which will utilize the Chirp technology in 50,000 units by the end of 2021.

Serving as a trusted advisor to Camden, Poetic’s innovative ideas transformed secure smart access and virtual leasing in the multi-family industry. Camden is one of many Poetic clients that utilize the Poetic™ life-cycle to identify scalable opportunities and exceed customer expectations. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, Poetic is proud to provide solutions that enable our clients, like Camden, to navigate and adapt to ever-changing industry demands.