There are more renters in the United States today than at any point since 1965. While some people rent out of necessity, many people are choosing to rent instead of buy. Young adults (and increasingly, retirees) see enormous value in apartments and condos. They rent for the lifestyle.
As technology continues to shape our lives, our expectations are changing as well. We want our apartments to do more than just provide four walls and a roof. We want our living spaces to actually make our lives better.
Smart apartments are changing our perception of what apartment living can be. From flexibility to community, smart apartments magnify the benefits of ordinary apartments and add new capabilities never before imagined. They are quickly becoming the preferred choice for renters.
What is it that renters love so much about smart apartments? Let’s look at how they enhance nearly every aspect of apartment living.
Reason 1: Flexibility
People no longer want to work at the same job for 35 years and retire. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median length of employment in 2016 was 4.2 years, down from 4.6 just 2 years prior. Millennials are willing to uproot their lives and move to a new city for any host of reasons. Apartments let people move without the hassle of selling a house and hauling a bunch of junk.
Smart apartments make moving out and moving into a new place even easier.
If you recently moved into an apartment, you probably remember calling the water department and internet service provider. You might have gone a couple days without wifi if you forgot to schedule an installation ahead of time. In the age of near-universal connectivity, isn’t it strange these utilities don’t just “work”?
Residents shouldn’t have to figure out these things on their own. Smart apartments promise truly turnkey living by integrating everything into one platform, from wifi to your energy bill. There’s no need to schedule an installation for internet. It will be as easy as choosing your plan and flipping a switch.
In the age of near-universal connectivity, isn’t it strange these utilities don’t just “work”?
Reason 2: Cost Effectiveness
It surprises people to learn that renting is often less expensive than owning a home. That’s because owning a home comes with thousands of dollars of hidden expenses, from homeowners insurance to down payments, to replacing your roof. This is all before factoring in the cost of your time to handle maintenance on your own. If you’re planning to stay in a place for just a few years, renting an apartment is usually more economical.
Smart apartments magnify these cost savings. Thanks to smart lights, thermostats, and HVACs, renters see an immediate decrease in their utility bill. Smart thermostats alone can save users $10-20/month. When an entire building is smart, the cost savings can be even more substantial.
Reason 3: Urban Living with Suburban Convenience
More than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. Major metros are still top destinations for millennials, and more than ever, retirees. It’s no surprise that apartments are the most accessible and affordable way to experience city living.
One drawback to city apartments is the lack of amenities you find in a suburb, like dry cleaners and major grocery stores. Smart apartments help bridge this gap by providing the conveniences of suburban life on demand.
Lula is an on-demand marketplace for professional services and homecare pros. They partner with smart apartment buildings to provide these services to residents. From house cleaners to dog walkers, services like Lula have you covered.
Smart apartments also enhance other services like Amazon Prime. With keyless entry, your Prime Pantry box can be dropped off right inside your door.
Reason 4: Experiences as the New Luxury
The definition of luxury has changed. No longer is it about having the most stuff. Today, luxury is measured in time and experiences. That’s one reason why apartments have become so popular: The flexibility and proximity to urban centers enable more experiences. They also limit the amount of things we can hoard.
Smart apartments enhance the experience-driven life even more. On-demand amenities save you time by taking care of chores like cleaning and grocery shopping. And thanks for your utility savings, you now have more money to spend on the things you love to do.
Some smart apartments go even further. With on-demand transportation services on site (like Uber, Zipcar, or bike rentals), smart apartments make it that much easier to get to your next destination.
Reason 5: Community
Smart apartments do a lot for the individual renter. Could they even cure loneliness?
Apartment buildings have the potential to be thriving communities, but that’s not usually the case. Apartment dwellers tend to stick to themselves and avoid their neighbors. It doesn’t have to be that way.
The lifeblood of a strong apartment culture is the property management team. Smart apartments let property managers get back to what they do best: Building community. Smart apartments save time by automating maintenance and management tasks that normally take several hours each week. With their time freed up, managers are able to host more events and activities that bring residents together.
Reason 6: Safety and Security
Apartment safety is hit or miss depending on the complex, and unfortunately, you often get what you pay for. High-end apartments have security guards at the front desk and strict access control on each floor. In other complexes, residents are basically left to fend for themselves.
Smart apartments add multiple new levels of security for any apartment. For property managers, smart building tech gives unprecedented insight into what is going on in the complex. Public spaces are constantly monitored for fire, carbon monoxide, and intruders. Managers can also be alerted to unauthorized access of units in the event of a break-in.
In the units themselves, smart security systems use sensors and cameras to monitor the situation at all times. Residents can also monitor their units when they’re away. Smart apartments provide peace of mind wherever you are.
Added Benefits of Smart Apartments
Smart apartments multiply the benefits of regular apartments. They also introduce new benefits with the potential to change our cities for the better.
Reason 7: Energy Savings
We mentioned the cost savings of smart utilities, but smart apartments can also make a real, positive impact on the environment.
According to LEED, buildings make up 40% of the energy usage in the United States. LEED-certified buildings consume 25% less energy and 11% less water than regular buildings. Smart building technology is part of LEED’s next-generation plan to save even more resources.
Reason 8: Affordable Housing
As cities grow, low-income city dwellers have been priced out of their own neighborhoods. The lack of affordable housing is a major problem.
The effectiveness of rent control has been mixed at best. Smart apartments might be a different solution. Smart apartments lower the cost of building maintenance and energy usage, making affordable housing more attractive to developers. If we make affordable housing more profitable, we are more likely to get the development we need in our cities.
Renters Prefer Smart Apartments
Apartment living is a growing trend that shows no signs of slowing down. As more people choose to rent, they expect their apartments to do more. It’s not enough to save money and provide shelter. Our living spaces should enhance our lives.
Smart apartments magnify the benefits of ordinary apartments and add unique advantages of their own. They make our lives more flexible and enjoyable. They can also bring our communities closer together.
We have only just begun to see the benefits of smart apartments. The most innovative ideas have yet to be dreamt up. Renters already prefer smart apartments; just imagine what they’ll say next.
Homebase brings the smart apartment experience to new build and retrofit multifamily with trusted technology that delivers intuitive building access control with smart locks, automation of property management, new revenue with property-wide WiFi, and IoT technology amenities residents enjoy. All completely installed and managed for the multifamily innovation leaders of this decade.