Pre-installation of smart home devices is an important factor when selecting a new home

Parks Associates’ new whitepaper, Doing IoT Right: Top Practices for Multi-Dwelling Units, reports that almost two-thirds of prospective multi-dwelling unit (MDU) residents report that pre-installation of smart home devices is an important factor when selecting a new home. Currently, 34% of MDU property managers offer internet-connected or smart home devices to residents in at least one property they manage.

The whitepaper, developed in partnership with Cox Communities, a leading provider of internet and property management automation, addresses emerging smart apartment trends across the United States and lays out a roadmap for MDUs to evaluate these solutions. Parks Associates defines “smart apartments” as MDUs that include IoT technology in residential units and across the property. They include a variety of smart amenities and features aimed at residents, staff, and owners.

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“Smart apartment device offerings are emerging as a key differentiator for properties in attracting and retaining residents,” said Kristen Hanich, Director, Research, Parks Associates. “An increasing percentage of properties – both new construction and existing properties – are looking to deploy new smart apartment and automation solutions, frequently paired with high-speed internet solutions, largely in response to consumer expectations.”

Parks Associates research of MDU owners and property managers reveals smart MDUs are growing in popularity:

  • 57% of MDU managers report having a lighting control system in their largest property, 26% have an energy management/monitoring system, and 13% have a smart home device or IoT platform/hub.
  • 44% of properties with energy management systems incorporate internet-connected devices such as smart thermostats and smart lighting into the system for remote monitoring and control.

MDUs have many opportunities in deploying smart apartment technology, but they may underestimate the benefits of these solutions. The use of smart apartment solutions in residential units is a worthwhile investment—it helps to attract desirable tenants and allows MDUs to raise rates and increase ARPU. Over half of MDU renters are willing to pay 15% higher rates for apartments with smart capabilities and amenities.

“Automation solutions are a big deal to folks when they move,” said Vickie Rodgers, VP and GM, Cox Communities. “So what are they looking for when they move? They want it to be easy. They want things to be pre-enabled, so they don’t have the hassle and wait. And it’s starting to become table stakes for renters.”