Smart Home Tech

By on Oct 26, 2021 in Marketing

Smart home technology is our new reality. We’ve gone from remotely controlled lightbulbs to a whole universe of interconnected home goods that can be controlled from a phone. Smart home automation saves time and increases efficiency, improving resource management and security for both property management teams and residents. Renters in many markets are seeking out smart apartments, often willing to pay more for units with the right smart home tech.

While smart home technology may seem like a simple appliance upgrade, it often offers data resources that have the potential to transform your business. Property managers use smart home tech to mitigate risk and get real-time insights that can ultimately streamline processes and improve sustainability at their communities. 

Renter using RentCafe Home IQ smart home tech on her phone

We asked over 16,000 renters about smart home technology and their preferences in a survey on Although the technology is still relatively new, a full 48% of respondents said that smart home technology was somewhat to very important to them. Here is what we found.

What today’s renters are looking for

Many renters are beginning to consider smart home technology a necessity more than a luxury. Some features that are more important to them than others — including smart thermostats, automated lighting features, alarm/security systems and smart locks. While many of these features are for renters’ convenience, it is also for their security and safety.

In our smart home survey, we asked respondents which features they desired most, allowing them to choose more than one option. Of the 16,590 responses, 35% wanted security cameras, 22% wanted digital thermostats, 18% wanted keyless access locks, 15% wanted motion or leak sensors and 10% wanted wireless lighting control.

Worth noting, according to a 2021 study by Assurant, 47% of prospective renters say that smart home technology increases their interest in a potential apartment.

What are the benefits of smart home technology?

Automated devices have abilities to be set on schedules, self-detect problems and alert operators to maintenance requirements, as well as log usage. This smart apartment technology allows for the renter to be able to turn their lights on before entering their apartment, enter with a personalized electronic key and monitor movement all from their personal device.

Property management teams benefit from smart home tech too. Keyless locks simplify key management, eliminating the challenges posed by lost keys and guest access. Smart locks and thermostats make it possible to control vacant units remotely, improving security while eliminating wasted energy. Some smart systems also work with water sensors that can alert occupants and operators to leaks, preventing costly property damage before it happens.

Perhaps most significantly, smart home systems like RentCafe Home IQ include automations that streamline operations and save staff time. For example, it can automatically grant resident access at move-in and cancel it at move-out. It will also instantly generate work orders for smart devices with low batteries.

Want to know what your prospects and residents are looking for? Our recent survey allowed renters to choose which benefits were most important to them — of the 17,840 responses, the top three were security (34%), energy efficiency (25%) and convenience (20%).

Simple sustainability

While sustainability becomes a more pressing responsibility, smart home technology makes it easier for us to do our part in the effort. Many smart thermostats allow for the tracking of energy usage by both building and unit, allowing you to track consumption over time. Having this data allows for assessment of usage and environmental consciousness. While energy efficiency showed to be one of renters most desired benefits, a recent study by First Insight Inc also found that 73% of Gen Z would pay more for sustainable items — even up to 10% more in some cases.

Smart lighting systems ensure you (and your residents) never forget to turn the lights off when you leave the house. Bonus points for LED bulbs, which use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs.

Why should you go smart?

Ultimately, smart home technology is entirely customizable to your needs. While the upfront cost of buying and installing smart home solutions may seem expensive, significant savings and NOI gains are inevitable due to reduced operational costs and potential premiums from residents willing to pay more for a smart apartment. Increased insight into utility usage can additionally translate to lower costs and a higher NOI, as can giving your team more time to focus on the things that matter.

Go smart if you haven’t already and save yourself some time and energy. Literally.

Learn more about RentCafe Home IQ, an integrated and easy smart home solution designed to help residential properties realize their potential.