July 15, 2021

The Smart Home Devices Residents Want

The term “internet of things” or “IoT” was first coined by Peter T. Lewis in 1985. While the term was not regularly used until many years later, his vision for a network of connected devices that can be monitored remotely is now a reality. 

With the development of internet-connected devices and the ability to control appliances from your smartphone, the internet of things is changing the real estate landscape. By 2025, 57.3% of households are expected to adopt smart home features. For owners and operators to stay competitive in this evolving market, offering a suite of connected devices will be necessary to meet new resident demand. 

According to a study conducted by Entrata, apartment renters would be more willing to pay a premium for technology-based amenities than for standard amenities like a pool or covered parking. Owners and operators must understand which smart home devices residents care about most to attract prospects, reduce turnover, and build a better customer experience.

Security Cameras

Security cameras, including camera doorbells, rank as the number one smart home feature wanted by residents, according to Software Advice. With these cameras, residents can monitor the entrance to their building and unit to ensure they always know who is coming and going. 

With the ability to view images on their smartphone, residents can be sure that they are providing access to the right person at the right time. By monitoring the shared areas in a property, owners and operators can provide residents peace of mind and help prevent any unauthorized visitors, enabling residents to feel safe and increasing retention.  

Smart Access

Smart access systems allow residents to remotely manage access for friends, family, service providers, deliveries, and guests. While the prevalence of keyless entry has been steadily rising, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated their popularity as demand for contactless solutions and delivery volume have dramatically increased. 

With multiple smart lock options available, an access system that can be managed alongside other smart home devices is a key value proposition for residents. As smart access becomes increasingly popular due to resident demand, a full-building operating system that allows residents to manage everything in one place will enable owners and operators to differentiate their properties. 

In a webinar hosted by Propmodo, Heather Moore of Greystar, America’s largest property management firm, explained that, “One of the top questions we get from clients is regarding the number of apps needed for building management. Nobody wants to come home to their apartment and use one app to pay their rent, another app to fix their leaking faucet, and a third app to open the front door. Residents want a full-scale experience that’s managed in one place.” A streamlined experience across access and smart home devices is important to residents—which, in turn, leads to increased retention and lower turnover, making a positive impact on owners’ and operators’ bottom line.

Smart Thermostats 

Of the Americans who own a smart home device, 24% own a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats enable residents to efficiently manage their energy consumption, which is valuable to the growing number of environmentally-conscious consumers. For residents, the benefits of smart thermostats are twofold: one, they are better for the environment and two, they lower the cost of monthly utility bills. 

For consumers that are very concerned about climate change, 66% plan to buy another smart home device in the near future, indicating increased demand for energy-saving products. Smart thermostats enable those consumers to reduce their carbon footprint and have a resident experience aligned with their values. If the environmental benefits weren’t enough, a study conducted by Nest revealed that smart thermostats can save residents between 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling annually, which quickly adds to up to significant savings. 

Outlet Controls and Switches

As more consumers become conscious of their energy consumption, smart outlets and switches represent another opportunity for environmentally-friendly living by enabling residents to turn power on and off remotely. With smart outlets and switches, residents can be sure that lights and appliances are always off when they’re not in use and understand the amount of energy that various devices are using. 

Smart outlets and switches require very little set-up and are relatively inexpensive, enabling residents to easily get started with smart home features. They can be plugged into any outlet or replace any existing light switch, without any need for extra wiring or infrastructure set up. For those that are looking to get familiar with connected devices, smart outlets are a quick and convenient introduction. 

Smart outlets and switches offer residents many of the conveniences of other smart  devices at a much lower cost. Since no extra wiring or infrastructure is needed, they can easily be retrofitted into any unit of any age, allowing owners to meet resident demand without sacrificing a significant portion of their budget. 

Security Systems 

Security systems monitor properties and prevent break-ins. Sadly, 58% of Americans feel concerned for their safety on a daily basis, with property crime being the top concern that keeps people up at night. For residents, a robust smart security system eliminates these concerns and helps them feel safe and comfortable in their homes. 

In addition, security systems can catch fires or carbon monoxide leaks and stop them from spreading. Since they prevent property damage from multiple causes, many renters’ insurance policies will offer a discount on premiums if an apartment has a security system installed. This offers residents the benefits of both safety and cost-savings. 

A safe and secure home environment both supports resident retention and protects owners from potential property damage. By catching fires and carbon monoxide leaks early, security systems also reduce the risk of costly repairs. 

Security cameras, smart access, smart thermostats, security systems, and outlet controls are the top five smart home features desired by residents. As these amenities become increasingly common, there will be increased demand for connected homes that offer convenience, safety, time-savings, and cost-savings. 

With LatchOS, both residents and property managers can efficiently manage their smart access, guest and delivery management, smart home and sensors, connectivity, and personalization and services. With the Latch app, residents can provide guest access, let deliveries in, turn on their Google Nest, Honeywell, or ecobee thermostat, detect leaks, and more all in one place. By providing full-scale management for both residents and property managers, LatchOS makes spaces better places to live, work, and visit. 


Return on Smart Building Investments

Smart building technology delivers a wide range of financial benefits for multifamily owners and operators. From cost efficiencies to improved customer experience, a strategic investment in the right technology solution can positively impact both the cost and revenue sides of the ledger.

There are several different ways to estimate how smart communities achieve ROI. Learn more about the four most popular approaches in our easy-to-read guides.

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