Technology is an integral part of our daily lives; it influences almost every aspect of how we live, work, and play. And, as they become more integrated, technological innovations begin to blend seamlessly into our routines, creating a more convenient way of living and affecting many industries, including real estate.
Consumers see this trend implemented in what is now known as the smart rental apartment. The renter profile is changing, and the driving force of demand now belongs to those who were born with technology. As such, developers are catering to the needs of digital renters.
In a report on the trends that will redefine apartments, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) predicts that “technology will become part of the core design of apartment communities rather than an add-on accessory or appliance”. From online portals to the Internet of Things (IoT), the rental process is becoming more transparent and fluid, and living as a renter is more convenient than ever. But, what does this actually mean?
Technology for the Rental Market
According to the same report by NMHC, “Smart technology allows building engineers to monitor, control, and constantly analyze all aspects of the building from anywhere, resulting in faster identification and response to systems issues, as well as better problem prevention and property performance”. This is the next move toward creating a healthy, secure, and constantly updated environment for renters.
These changes don’t only affect the people, but also the environment, as more developers are looking at technology to help them transition to green living; the real push happens at a macro scale. A pioneering example is that of Washington, D.C., the world’s first LEED platinum city, whose officials say that through leveraging technology, they are able to build a more sustainable, healthy city for its residents. Now, renters looking for an apartment in Washington, D.C. have one of the highest supplies of green apartments in the country. And there are cities that follow.
Technology for the Rental Process
Renters looking for a place to live have an abundance of options to choose from. Internet listings services compile the supply of rentals and offer secure and customizable ways to search for apartments. Renters can then filter the results according to their needs and find the best fit for them in a matter of hours or days.
What’s more, many aspects of renting are made even more convenient by online portals—platforms that allow residents to pay their rent online, submit maintenance requests, or contact leasing specialists. This tool is becoming more common and slowly redefining what it means to be a renter.
Technology for the Rental Apartments
As for the rentals themselves, the digital renter is looking for a smart apartment. This concept is centered around the idea of interconnectivity—made possible through IoT—which enables communication between devices and appliances in a home. Essentially, physical devices are connected to the internet and to each other, therefore creating a network to exchange data.
Typically, the most popular smart devices requested by renters are those that affect their resource consumption—such as electricity or water, for example—as well as those related to security. These include smart thermostats and electrical outlets, and smart door locks and security monitoring devices, as well as personal assistants (such as Alexa, Siri, or Google).
Already, these systems are becoming more independent—keeping track of their own maintenance needs or even predicting the needs of the consumer. For instance, smart refrigerators can create a grocery list based on what’s inside them and when those items will run out; this is just one example that’s catching on in many apartments.
As with every change, this technological revolution can be overwhelming, but it’s here to make life more convenient. The changes being implemented are becoming fully integrated into our lives, which makes for a smooth transition from the old ways to the future.