Published Feb 12, 2019

Make 2019 the Year of Smart Apartments

Tim Easley 317615 Unsplash Scaled

Why should multifamily property managers invest in smart solutions?

yellow and white apartment complex in Osaka, Japan

Smart home technology has been the hottest upcoming trend for quite some time. 26% of those surveyed by Hubspot indicated that they were most excited to test smart home technology at CES 2019 last month. As the excitement and buzz surrounding CES 2019 comes to an end, it’s a good time to dissect why consumers are gravitating towards not only a smart home but a smart apartment.

Back in 2016, in preparation for that year’s CES event, Coldwell Banker Real Estate partnered with CNET to produce a survey, polling 4,000 U.S. adults about smart homes. Results showed that 72% of millennials in the survey group indicated they were willing to pay $1,500 or more to make their home smarter, and 44% of the entire group would pay over $3,000. Those numbers certainly speak for themselves, right? Research also shows that homeownership rates were quite low across the board, but particularly so for the millennial age group. That means millions of young adults who are more inclined to invest in a smart home don’t own a home.

Cue a smart apartment.
Investing in a smart apartment will provide renters the same comfort, amenities, and lifestyle that are on the rise today.

Which devices, you ask?

With devices like a smart coffee pot, smart toilet, or smart pet treat dispenser on the market, which devices do renters truly care about? For millennials, who are more environmentally conscious and selective about the businesses they choose to work with, smart thermostats are a must. The thermostats allow them to monitor their energy use, and in turn, keep costs low. Property managers can also have control over thermostat ranges and functions while promoting the smart thermostat as a cost-saving feature.

Keyless locks are another important smart device renters look for in a smart apartment. Keyless access solutions allow renters to be worry free about losing keys or needing a spare when their friends or family decide to visit. With keyless solutions, renters can also generate custom codes for anyone at any time. Services, like Rently Keyless, allow renters to view the any and all lock activity, which can be useful if tenants have guests.

With physical devices, one aspect definitely cannot be overlooked: the SaaS. The software that comes with managing a smart apartment is vital. Renters need to be comfortable with using the mobile app and need to be able to control their space in the palm of their hand. They need to be able to generate codes, check their thermostat, and monitor their activity with ease. Making sure the mobile app (and the customer support that comes with it) is seamless should be another point to take into consideration. Renters should feel comfortable and cared for when they have concerns regarding their smart solutions.

Property managers matter, too!

But with all this terribly convincing talk about the benefits of smart devices for renters, what about the property managers? Investing in smart technology, at the end of the day, not only makes the renter experience more enjoyable but also allows managers to save time and minimize costs. Having smart solutions in place helps with managing thousands of units in the palm of your hand! Most (if not all) smart home technology companies have software that allow property managers to manage units in real time either via a web browser or through an app. Time and cost savings come into play when processes are automated, energy/utility costs are minimized, and renters are happy!

As a manager, it is also important to be aware of who you are buying from. Some companies don’t develop their products in-house, which can be a point to take note of. Because the tech world updates and develops so rapidly, those who don’t have their own proprietary technology struggle to keep up-to-date. As a manager who makes these purchases, constantly having to purchase new versions or needing to wait for updates can end up becoming costly. On the contrary, companies who do create any of their own proprietary technology can push updates automatically. Working with a smart solutions provider who knows the ins and outs of their product can be the key difference when choosing who to buy from.

All in all…

The future of the smart home is only going to shine brighter as technology continues to change. Trends show that more and more consumers are realizing that smart tech is here to stay and here to automate their life. Staying ahead of the game and providing the renter with ‘wow-factor’ amenities will certainly lead to a win-win situation for all.

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