Amazon has become a ubiquitous part of the modern world, but now it can even make its way into rental properties. On Thursday, Amazon unveiled its Alexa for Residential program. This program makes it easier for landlords to include Amazon and Alexa powered devices in rental units across the country, including the Echo Dot and other products.
The idea is that Alexa's smart speakers will be available in rental properties from day one. Even before the tenants move in, Alexa can help with self-guided tours by providing information on square footage, monthly rent and more. Tenants can link their Amazon accounts to the speaker to access all of Alexa’s functions. Once a tenant moves out, property managers can reset the speakers without disconnecting from existing smart home devices.
Amazon has taken numerous steps to secure its position as the standard smart home platform and has seen itself as a utility like lighting and plumbing. In 2018, the housing company began adding Lennar, Alexa and Smart Locks to its new builds. Amazon has also partnered with hotels and dormitories to bring its devices into these rooms. This is how Amazon puts itself at the top and makes it harder for its competitors – Google Assistant and Siri – to claim their share of the spotlight.
On the other hand, reusing smart assistants that other people have used creates privacy concerns. Amazon responded to these concerns by saying property managers cannot access customer data. Tenants don't have to worry about their landlords listening to them. By default, voice recordings are deleted daily and are not accessible to human reviewers. If a tenant links his Amazon account with a rental Alexa, he has access to the entire range of data protection functions of the platform.
Amazon's efforts to bring it to more rooms as a service will likely help build Alexa's already impressive lead over the competition, especially given the partnerships Amazon has forged with companies like Iotas, Stratis IoT, and Sentient Property Services . Amazon will also open up the potential for partnerships with more companies.