As the smart home craze rapidly takes over in 2019 and the years to come, many apartment renters may feel out of the loop with the cool kids and their connected homes. Connected fridges and smart garages, these devices are clearly impractical for most of city dwellers renting a or even owning an apartment. But rest assured, the options to trick out your apartment with the latest smart devices is definitely possible. Albeit living in an apartment, whether renting or owning requires residents to be more resourceful with their living space. Limited space means limited options. And while there more limited options, there are plenty of smart home devices and connected platforms that will fit nicely in an apartment setting without upsetting the landlord.
A recent study by Entrata reveals that renters today prefer connected home amenities over traditional appeals like pools and spas. Nearly 90% of millennials surveyed said they are willing to pay more for a unit outfitted with smart amenities. (sources) Millennials currently make up the largest cohort of renters. According to a recent study Bailey Brand Consulting, 74% of them believe technology makes their lives easier (link: source - multifamilyexecutive.com)
Smart apartments represent a fundamental shift in how we live. Millennials today are trading ownership for access, preferring services like ride-sharing over the burden of car ownership. Ever hear of that little startup Uber? Smart apartments enhances apartments residents ability to take advantage of the many on-demand marketplaces that exist for city dwellers. This market continues to grow every day. For example, it’s never been easier to have your apartment cleaned while away at work. Simply find a cleaner on Thumbtack, and provide temporary access through your August smart lock. This is just one example of course, but the opportunity to take advantage of the on-demand shared economy continues to expand offering a vast amount of convenient services through connected devices. According to Gartner, the most well known information technology research firm, there were 6.4 billion internet connected devices in 2016, and 21 billion expected by 2020. Imagine how ubiquitous this technology will become in the years ahead.
I digress, let’s get back to what you can do automate your apartment today.
In assessing how to most effectively create a smart apartment, there’s a few essential specifics to consider. And at a high level, obviously being an owner provides more options than if you’re renting, especially in a short term situation. That being said, we’ve found the key variables to consider are:
Installation: How compact is the device? Is the installation simple or will it require permanent modifications to the structure? (if so, landlord approval will likely be necessary for renters - you don’t want to lose that deposit after all)
Portability: How easy will it be to move the device(s) from one apartment to the next? Does the
Footprint: Again, in an apartment, typically space is limited, so what kind of footprint will the device take up when real estate is at a premium.
Taking this criteria into consideration, we’d offer up some recommendations below on how to most effectively make your apartment smart. The most common, and accessible smart amenities for apartments include voice assistants, smart thermostats, smart locks and smart lighting. Each area offers an array of apartment friendly devices that are compact in size with simple installation.
National Apartment definition (link in RentCafe post)