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He Sees You When You're Sleeping

My best friend owns a Roomba—one of those horrifying robot vacuums that come to life in the middle of the night while you’re “safely” tucked into bed. I’m not into it. 

Sure, the tiny machine can get in all the nooks and crannies of your house without damaging the furniture and do the cleaning for you, but I’m also pretty sure this was the plot of a Goosebumps book I read when I was 10. 

We all know how this ends. Roomba revolts against its owners, literally comes to life at 3 a.m. and vacuums my best friend to death. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Despite my protests, the demand for robotic hardware and in-home connected technologies is increasing among apartment residents. During a recent interview with units Magazine, Steve Lefkovits—executive producer of the 2016 Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference—shared his insights on the growing trend. 

“It’s difficult to know exactly what demand is for connected devices because they’re available to consumers directly,” Lefkovits says. “The question is, ‘Is there a business for multifamily owners in providing that technology?’ The answer is probably ‘yes,’ subject to the usual security and privacy concerns.”

As for robotic technology, Lefkovits says one of the biggest impacts is going to come from the self-driving car. 

“Within five years, we’ll see self-driving cars not only from Google, but from Tesla, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Which means people won’t necessarily buy their own car if they can call one on demand that comes within three or four minutes.”

Guys, can we please just drive our own cars and vacuum our own floors? I beg of you.

So what does this mean for apartment operations? Lefkovits says over time, demand for parking will go down, as it already has in urban cores where young people are using Uber and Lyft instead of buying cars.

“I predict within 15 years, 20 percent to 30 percent of current urban parking space is going to go unused, creating new commercial real estate opportunities,” Lefkovits says.

That’s all fine and good, but I’m still going to require a parking space that I drive into with my own free will.

For more cutting-edge apartment trends, check out “AIM 16: Explore a Better Resident Experience” in the March issue of units Magazine. 

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager, Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).