Apartment renters prefer smart home amenities and a door-bell camera may be more likely to get a tenant to sign a lease than a swimming pool, according to a new study.
“Residents want to live in a high-tech apartment community, which not only means having high-speed internet and smart home products in their units, but also ditching the pesky rent check and digitizing the process of making maintenance requests,” according to a new study from Utah’s property management software company Entrara.com.
The new survey reveals the vast majority of residents are willing to increase their monthly rent payment to have more technology in their apartments, including smart home amenities and high-speed internet, according to a release.
The survey findings highlight a key opportunity for increased revenue in rent growth and renewal increases for property owners.
"While pools and other creative community features have often been seen as the draw for prospective residents, the survey shows that what residents really value upon move-in, and are willing to pay for, are technology add-ons and amenities," Chase Harrington, president and chief operating officer, said in the release.
"Shifting the focus of development, marketing and training efforts to these technologies is going to be key for apartments as residents begin to demand living in a smart, connected environment."
Four key findings of the survey include:
Apartment renters say technology more important than a pool
No. 1 – Electronic payments and living in a secure, smart community are more valuable to residents than a pool or covered parking
Residents' top amenities they would be willing to pay more each month for are:
- Basic technology package (e.g., high-speed internet and/or cable TV)
- In-home laundry services
- Online rent payments
- Secure access
- Gym/fitness center
- Smart home features (e.g. keyless entry, smart thermostat)
No. 2 – The majority of residents are willing to pay more for a smart apartment
More than 3 in 4 residents would pay more for a package of their top three smart home amenities (i.e. security cameras, keyless entry, smart thermostats). More than half of residents (57 percent) are willing to increase their monthly rent by at least $20.
No. 3- Residents' most requested smart home amenities center on security and convenience
While smart home technology offers a wide range of use cases, residents place the most value on those that provide peace of mind and awareness of what's happening around them. The most important smart home services to residents are security cameras (e.g., doorbell cameras, ceiling cameras), keyless entry (including special codes for guests), smart thermostats and a security system.
No. 4 – Apartment renters are not loyal to smart home devices from one brand
One-third of residents do not have a preference for smart home products from a specific company, providing more flexibility for owners and managers to select the technology they provide in their communities. Among residents with a preference, 16 percent would be more likely to select an apartment community with Google Home, 12 percent with Amazon Echo and 11 percent with Apple's HomePod.
The study aims to help apartment owners better understand apartment renters and how they can increase occupancy, renewals and rent growth by illuminating the actual amenities and community features residents want, and the lengths they are willing to go to live in a community that caters to their preferences.
To read the Entrata survey summary, click here.
Generated by Entrata and fielded January 11-16, 2018, the survey collected online responses via Qualtrics from 1,050 U.S. consumers who are over the age of 18 and rent an apartment.
Founded in 2003, Entrata® is the only comprehensive property management software provider with a single-login, open-access Platform as a Service (PaaS) system. Offering a wide variety of online tools including websites, mobile apps, payments, lease signing, accounting, and resident management, Entrata® PaaS currently serves more than 20,000 apartment communities nationwide. Entrata's open API and superior selection of third-party integrations offer management companies the freedom to choose the technology and software that best fit their needs. For more information, go to www.entrata.com.