ARLINGTON, VA – The National Apartment Association (NAA), on behalf of Maintenance Supply Headquarters (MSH), surveyed property owners/managers as well as residents about what they are seeking from smart-home technology. The common thread in both survey results was the tremendous growth potential of the smart-home tech industry. Owners are using smart-home technology to attract and retain residents rather than to drive revenue or operational efficiencies. On the other hand, some residents were willing to pay a premium for certain smart-home amenities.
“The rental housing industry is just now beginning to test the waters with smart-home technology,” said NAA President & CEO Robert Pinnegar, CAE. “They’re starting with basic features, like smart thermostats, locks, lighting and online payments. As the technology becomes more common, we anticipate owners and operators will increasingly embrace smart-home technology as a way to better serve their residents.”
“We are very excited to partner with NAA to deliver useful data for the industry,” said MSH Senior Vice President of Sales Cary Wright. “Smart-home technology is a clear trend in the rental housing industry, but to what extent is the question. This survey gives both property owners/managers and supplier partners information they can use to continue making smart decisions as the industry takes on smart-home.”
The survey found that residents also have engaged with smart-home tech at a basic level through the most common offerings such as security cameras, voice-command assistants and the ability to complete the lease/renewal process online. Approximately 58 percent of residents found smart-home technology to be beneficial and an overwhelming majority — 84 percent — who don’t have smart-home tech said they would like to see features implemented in their communities.
Residents were most interested in thermostats and security cameras. Smart lighting and door locks ranked high, as well. More than 30 percent of residents said they would be interested in robot vacuums—for which some residents were willing to pay up to $10 a month more—and smart appliances and doorbells. Sixty-one percent of residents with smart-home features described their engagement as “medium to high” with more than two-thirds being comfortable with the technology. Those who weren’t comfortable with smart-home features listed privacy concerns as the No. 1 reason they were uncomfortable, followed by cost and an intimidating learning curve.
Owners and operators who have not added smart-home features will find themselves falling behind their competitors. Waiting for a future-proof technology, a top concern cited in the survey, will prove fruitless if the industry continues evolving as it has during the past several years. Adding basic features — security cameras, smart thermostats, motion-sensing lighting and resident portals — goes a long way toward attracting and retaining residents.
The National Apartment Association (NAA) serves as the leading voice and preeminent resource through advocacy, education and collaboration on behalf of the rental housing industry. As a federation of nearly 160 affiliates, NAA encompasses over 82,000 members representing more than 9.7 million apartment homes globally. NAA believes that rental housing is a valuable partner in every community and emphasizes integrity, accountability, collaboration, community responsibility, inclusivity and innovation. NAA thanks its strategic partners Maintenance Supply Headquarters and Yardi.