Tech Trends in Renting: The Rise of the Smart Apartment

15. June 2020

An article by Bella Robinson


The rise of the smart apartment, fuelled by an increasing need for smart home technology, is revolutionising property marketing, management, and consumerism. Most vacation rentals in Florida have integrated smart technology as a way of boosting their marketing advantage and giving renters better value for their money. As the demand for IoT in homes soar and as technology becomes more affordable, property managers all over the world will have to invest in smart homes and apartment complexes if they are to keep their profits flowing. Here are 5 tech trends that will shape the future of renting:

1. Apartment as a Service

Two things have plagued the real estate sector in the last couple of years: Slowing construction and property development projects, and a growing crisis on affordable housing. Industry players have to be creative in order to keep their businesses afloat. One way of addressing the affordable housing crisis is to embrace the model “Apartment as a Service (AaaS)”. This model creates a kind of “multifamily” living arrangement in 2 variations:

i. Renters meet in an apartment share platform, rent a repurposed single-family home or an apartment, and live together as a community. Because of that sense of community, the apartment’s rate of tenant turnover is minimised.

ii. Landlords furnished apartments and family homes fully and installed smart home tech, and then they rented out the apartment for extended stays.

2. Smart Video Monitoring

Modern tenants value their privacy as well as the security of their pets, children, and valuables, and most of them do not trust traditional home security methods. They want to live in apartments with video monitoring features where they can connect security cameras with smartphone applications, which then enable them to monitor everything that happens in the home from remote locations. Tenants living with their aging or sick relatives want to constantly monitor whether/when the sick/old loved ones take meals or medication when left at home alone. Smart sensors are also gaining popularity as an integral smart home security feature.

3. Smart Appliances

Home automation will soon be the new normal- smart TVs, smart thermostats, smart coffee makers, smart refrigerators, smart doors- you name it! The smart appliance market is already nearing $37 billion, with industry experts predicting that the market could grow to $40 billion by the end of 2020. Smart appliances in smart homes can be linked to smartphone apps just like the smart home monitors. Take smart kitchen appliances, for example: You can use your appliances to prepare meals and even cook from a remote location. Julia Smart Kitchen already developed a smart kitchen machine called CookingPal that can do a load of kitchen chores all by itself. It can kneed, mix ingredients, steam and chop vegetables, and emulsify- all that by reading from 500 preloaded recipes. What’s even more interesting is that the device can be controlled via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

4. Coworking as an Amenity

This trend is targeting the growing population of freelance and remote workers. Landlords are building communities of freelance workers and then offering them apartments with coworking as an amenity. These new apartments come fully equipped with business rooms and beautifully designed coworking spaces. Now that COVID-19 is forcing many people to work from home, Coworking as an Amenity is likely to shoot in popularity within the next year.

You can leverage this new-found opportunity by ensuring that the business room in your apartment is large enough, has sufficient natural light, has comfortable seating options, a collaborative vibe, and the entire property has open amenity floors.

5. Smart Lighting

Smart lighting is energy efficient and that helps renters to save on utility bills. It is also useful for security because they can be controlled from an app on a smartphone. Most importantly, smart lights are more eco-friendly compared to the traditional incandescent lights.

Conclusion

There is a lot that renters and apartment managers have to learn about smart devices and smart apartments before the above tech trends go mainstream. However, as an ambitious tenant, you need to prepare a list of the features that you need to add into your home in order to remain competitive. Note that millennial renters are increasing by the day, and they probably won’t like your old school apartment unless you tweak its design a little bit.