Survey: For renters, tech trumps pools

March 29, 2018
According to a survey by Entrata, the vast majority of apartment dwellers are willing to increase their monthly rent payment to have more ...

According to a survey by Entrata, the vast majority of apartment dwellers are willing to increase their monthly rent payment to have more technology in their apartments, including smart home amenities and high-speed Internet.

"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," said Chase Harrington, Entrata president and chief operating officer. "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."

Among the findings:

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)

The majority of residents are willing to pay more for a smart apartment. More than three of four 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%) are willing to increase their monthly rent by at least $20.

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.

Residents 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% would be more likely to select an apartment community with Google Home, 12% with Amazon Echo and 11% with Apple's HomePod.

Generated by Entrata and fielded Jan. 11-16, the survey collected online responses via Qualtrics from 1,050 U.S. consumers who are over the age of 18 and rent an apartment. Entrata is a technology company focused on the multifamily real estate market.

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