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Proptech 101: Creating a Smarter Apartment

Attract more renters with smart devices using property technology


Most people—if not everyone—use at least one or more smart devices every day. In addition to mobile phones, our lives are outfitted with smart assistants, TVs, computers and more. Such devices can create a seamless, integrated experience for daily tasks like ordering items online, checking emails or texts, taking phone calls between each device. With an increase in personal smart devices, it only becomes natural to expand smart technology into homes with Proptech.


Smart apartments are appealing to renters and can benefit the property owner. There is a growing expectation of smart features. According to an NHMC 2020 survey, 29% of renters polled said they have moved to find better apartment features and residents are willing to pay on average $30 more per month for a smart apartment. Smart locks, smart thermostats, smart appliances, voice controls, lighting controls, smart outlets, and leak detectors are now finding their way into apartment homes.

Smart locks not only allow keyless access to the unit by the tenant, but property managers and maintenance staff can re-key units and enter if needed. Some locks allow potential tenants to tour the property without the assistance of a leasing agent.

Smart thermostats allow tenants (or for vacant units, the property manager) to regulate the temperature remotely, saving on energy costs.

Smart lights allow residents to control their lighting remotely. This can be used to save on energy costs, program light schedules, and deter criminal activity.

Smart sensors can protect the property from damage in the form of leaks, smoke and fire by alerting the resident and property owner, even if no one is present in the apartment.


Things to consider:

Understanding what your current and target residents find valuable and will pay for indicates where to start in building a smart apartment. Once the smart devices are prioritized and sourced, you’ll need to consider whether the Proptech provider integrates with the selected hardware.

Finally, determine the connectivity framework of your building. How will the devices connect to the network, and can your property’s setup accommodate them? Innovative solutions like LoRaWAN eliminate the need for additional Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Smart apartments help properties attract and retain tenants while generating tangible cost savings for the property, increasing their NOI. Working with an expert to navigate some of the nuances and ensuring a seamless integration is essential. However, you might not be able to win new tenants just with smart devices.


Ready to take the leap into Proptech for your multifamily building? 
Contact us to speak with a Proptech consultant.