Study: Apartment Renters Want Tech, Willing to Pay Higher Rent to Get It

A new survey from Entrata, reveals the vast majority of residents are willing to pay higher rent payments to have more technology in their apartments. They want smart home amenities and high-speed internet. The survey findings highlight an opportunity for apartment owners to increase revenue and draw renters. While not specifically mentioned I bet the same would apply to AirBnb rentals and vacation rental homes.

The survey was taken in January 2018, via Qualtrics from 1,050 U.S. consumers who are over the age of 18 and rent an apartment.

People usually think amenities like a swimming pool or other creative community features will draw for prospective renters but really apartment complexes should try advertising things like smart devices, keyless entry and smart thermostats. This shows how today's renters have changed and how to reach them.

Renters will pay more for tech

Key findings of the survey include:

  • 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:
  1. Basic technology package (e.g., high-speed internet and/or cable TV)
  2. In-home laundry services
  3. Online rent payments
  4. Secure access
  5. Gym/fitness center
  6. Smart home features (e.g. keyless entry, smart thermostat and smart plugs)

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  • 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%) 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 brand loyal when it comes to smart home devices. 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, Google Home is preferred (but not by much). 16% said they'd be more likely to select an apartment community with Google Home, 12% with Amazon Echo and 11% with Apple’s HomePod.

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I'm not a renter but I haven't seen this trend catch on where I live – have you? Seems like a great opportunity for property owners to attract a higher end renter and something to advertise on social media, in online listings and on ads.

To read the Entrata survey summary, click here. Entrata is based in Lehi, Utah.

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