Renters are currently the majority population in 22 big U.S. cities and what most of them want is the chance to live in a smart home, privilege until now only available to homeowners. But that’s all changing with the help of developers and tech-savvy property managers keen on bringing the Internet of Things into apartment buildings.
There are many startups that have taken an interest in smart-home technology for people living in rented apartments. Take IOTAS for example, a smart home system specifically designed for renters. It’s already available in over 24 cities across the country and renters living in Phoenix or New York City apartments will soon be able to enjoy the perks of customizing their smart homes through an easy-to-use app. And it’s not just fancy lights and thermostats.
Think smart switches, motion sensors, door sensors, voice-controlled appliances and smart outlets that can make your life so much easier and help you lower that energy bill. The system allows you to set your own rules and everything connected to the app can be remotely turned on or off. This might come in handy whenever you can’t remember if you locked the door or left the TV on before leaving the house.
StratIS is also a software platform rapidly expanding in the country’s multifamily buildings. It’s currently installed in over 200,000 apartments and offers roughly the same advantages as IOTAS, the only difference being that StratIS is mainly targeted at property managers. Gone are the days when renters had to wait weeks to hear back from the landlord as the mobile app considerably facilitates the communication between property managers and residents.
Forget physical keys or hard to manage thermostats. With Vivint or Dwelo, all renters need is the mobile app, everything else is already installed in the apartment. The platforms also allow residents to personalize the apartments however they like, with a determined focus on security and more importantly, on saving energy.
Besides all the above perks, the systems are constantly getting to know you better and are adapting to your habits and preferences. For example, the app will know when you typically get home and turn on the AC so that when you walk through the door, the temperature will be just right.
There’s also a second option for renters that want a smart lifestyle but are not yet committed to the idea of living in an app-controlled building. With so many plug-in gadgets available, it’s really easy to add a few smart touches to your home. Landlords usually don’t allow major modifications to apartments like replacing the door or installing motion sensors but adding plug-in gadgets should not be a problem. You’ll be able to replace your lights, plug in a smart thermostat or even add a digital assistant such as Alexa or Google Home Mini.
In a time dominated by technology and innovative solutions, it’s easy to see why the Internet of Things is headed towards making an impact in the real estate market. With tremendous demand from Millennial and Gen Z renters, smart-home technology is probably here to stay. Technology-hungry people are no longer happy with the usual amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers or community rooms. Taking into consideration the fact that they were born and grew up surrounded by gadgets, it’s normal for homes to evolve and keep up with the needs of younger generations.
However, renters who want to live in app-controlled apartment buildings should expect lower energy bills but higher rent prices, because innovative technology does not come cheap.