Smart Home Technology
6 Smart Reasons to Create a Smart Community
When managing a multifamily property, a total renovation isn’t the only way to add value to your apartment community. Even small changes can optimize the living experience in the home and appeal to prospective residents.
The installation of Smart Home technology is a quick but impactful update. While this may sound like a major upgrade, it can be as simple as changing out a few outlets and switches. This is an investment that will easily pay off in dividends for both residents and owners. Let’s take a look at these 6 benefits:
1. Differentiate your property.
A 2022 Rent.com survey found that a majority of renters want Smart technology but nearly half (49%) do not currently have these features in their apartment home. This disparity presents a tremendous opportunity for owners to differentiate properties from comparable communities.
2. Attract and retain residents.
Of those surveyed, 82% expressed a desire for at least one smart device or system in their home. When installed, Smart Technology increases the perceived quality of living resulting in more satisfied residents, more favorable reviews, and referrals.
In addition, Wi-Fi devices can become a property marketing tool, a selling point for prospects, and a retention aid for current residents. These features consistently boost occupancy and retention rates.
3. Increase your bottom line.
Renters are willing to pay a little more to have access to Smart Home Technology. On average, the Rent.com survey found that renters will pay $37 MORE per month when their living space is equipped with voice-activated or remote-controlled devices. This could ultimately increase profitability and net operating income (NOI) by over $440 per unit annually.
4. Achieve ROI in less than a year.
According to iDevices, an industry-leading manufacturer of smart home technology, creating a Smart Home can be as simple as installing a smart light switch, outlet, and thermostat link to these products). These three Wi-Fi enabled devices can be purchased for less than $300. With a $37 rent increase, return on investment (ROI) would be realized in about eight months.
5. Improve safety and security.
We often think of smart devices to remotely control outlets and program small appliances. Smart Home outlets and switches, also make it easy to control or turn off an appliance or light that was accidentally left on, even after leaving the apartment home. No more backtracking or residents asking for a safety check to make sure an iron or space heater was turned off.
Smart Technology can also control door locks, such as the Kwikset Halo Deadbolt or the Chamberlain Garage Door Opener that have programmable safety and security features. Other Wi-Fi enabled devices can provide remote notification from safety devices such as fire alarms and water sensors. Video devices can also be tied in to provide additional security, should a resident so choose. Essentially, there are many smart device applications that help to improve safety and security within the apartment home—allowing residents to access their apartment from anywhere via smartphone.
6. Control energy costs.
Wi-Fi thermostats are among the most common Smart Home devices. Aside from the convenience of managing settings remotely, they can help an HVAC system to work more efficiently and reduce energy costs.
With some programming, remote control access, geo-fencing, and ‘If This, Then That’ (IFTTT) technologies, when a resident is away the thermostat’s temperature could be increased or decreased (depending on the season) to run less often. Then, when certain criteria are met (such as the resident crossing a set geofenced area), the thermostat signals the HVAC system to start heating or cooling to meet the resident’s preferred, occupancy temperature.
While HVAC systems provide the largest potential for energy cost savings in an apartment home, devices and lights left on can also waste energy. Customizable programming can ensure lights automatically turn off when the apartment is vacant or lights are turned on for security when the resident returns home.
It’s just SMART
Installing Smart Technology is a mutually beneficial opportunity to improve the resident’s experience while adding perceived and real value to your property. Whether you are doing a full renovation or just looking to upgrade your rentals, small changes can make a big difference in the multifamily resident’s living experience and in the community’s budget—making it a SMART investment.