The technological disruption of commercial real estate has had a profound impact on the multifamily sector. One outcome in particular is the development of smart apartments, which have become heavily sought after by tenants of all ages. With seamless connectivity among devices, building systems, residents, and management, smart apartments represent a fundamental shift in how today’s present and future tenants desire to live.
What are smart apartments?
Smart apartments are the combination of smart amenities, community management, and building automation systems (such as HVAC and Access Control) into one fully connected system. This connectivity provides property managers with important data from the entire building, helping them run the community more efficiently and effectively. And while the term “smart apartment” is mostly associated with newly developed construction, older buildings can be retrofitted to have the same connectivity.
Why are tenants attracted to these apartments?
According to Forbes, smart devices and high-tech building management systems are essential for both attracting and retaining tenants. While building-wide WiFi, fitness centers, and luxury pool areas remain popular amongst residents, tech-enabled amenities are more highly sought after because of the convenience that they provide. For example, smart apartments are able to recognize the residents’ daily patterns and then automate room temperatures, lighting, and other personal settings accordingly, making their daily lives easier and more efficient. Additionally, the “set it and forget it” controls associated with smart apartments have contributed to increased demand and made these properties more attractive and competitive amongst other facilities.
What types of smart apartment amenities are attractive to tenants?
The tech-enabled amenities provided by smart apartments offer an innovative edge that modern tenants desire. These amenities have become so in demand that, according to Schlage and Wakefield Research, 86% of Millennials are willing to pay 1/5 more for a smart apartment than they are for traditional units. Additionally, 65% of Baby Boomers are reportedly willing to pay more for smart apartments with updated tech features. Tech-enabled amenities such as mobile entry keypads, delivery lockers, and smart thermostats are amongst those that are most attractive to tenants.
Smart Locks and Keyless Entry
Smart locks, WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled locks that allow tenants to access their apartments via smartphone, computer, or tablet, are becoming a top commodity for tenants. This is because of the easier access and strengthened security that they provide throughout the entire community. According to the aforementioned survey conducted by Schlage and Wakefield Research, 61% of Millennials are more likely to rent a unit with electronic access, and 55% are willing to pay more for units that are equipped with smart locks.
Today, more than 25% of new apartments offer packaging services via delivery lockers, and because of this demand apartments built before 2012 are also beginning to follow the trend. With delivery locker packaging systems, tenants receive a text or email once a package arrives for them, and then use their key fob or a 4-digit code to retrieve the items from the delivery locker.
Because large apartment communities can receive an average of up to 20,000 packages a year, which must be accepted, logged, and stored by property managers until claimed by the resident, traditional methods of package distribution can quickly become inefficient and tedious for both the tenant and the property’s staff. For modern tenants, multifamily developments that provide package concierge services, including delivery lockers, are attractive because they can help eliminate inefficiencies and minimize package misplacements. Additionally, package delivery locker systems allow tenants to retrieve their packages during all hours of the day.
Smart thermostats, which allow residents to monitor and control their apartment’s temperature without physically interacting with the device itself, are another tech-enabled amenity that tenants desire. These thermostats can be adjusted via mobile devices and are also able to be programmed to operate on a specific schedule. In addition to the added convenience, smart thermostats are designed to track energy usage and then find ways to adjust the room’s temperature so that it remains comfortable while still maximizing the energy used and ultimately saving residents money.
The present and future of modern living is smart apartments. Smart apartment technology can improve many areas of tenants’ daily lives and create comfortable and sustainable living experiences. The connectivity and technology associated with smart apartments are key in attracting tenants.
Read Is Personalization the Key to Multifamily Tenant Retention for more keys to successfully attracting and retaining tenants.