Economy Watch: Renters Willing to Pay More for Apartment Tech

More than three in four residents said they would pay more a package including the top three smart home amenities—security cameras, keyless entry and smart thermostats—according to a new study from property management software firm Entrata.
Keyless entry with a smart lock

A majority of apartment residents are willing to pay higher rent to have more technology in their apartments, including smart home amenities, according to a new study by property management software specialist Entrata. In fact, the study said, electronic payments and living in a secure, smart community are more valuable to residents than more traditional amenities, such as a pool or covered parking.

Not all of the most desired amenities are tech-oriented, but a good many are. The top amenities residents said they’d would be willing to pay more for include a basic technology package (such as high-speed Internet and/or cable TV); in-home laundry services; online rent payments; secure access; gym/fitness center; and smart home features (e.g. keyless entry, smart thermostat).

More than three in four residents said they would pay more for a package of the top three smart home amenities, which are security cameras (doorbell cameras and ceiling cameras), keyless entry (including special codes for guests and smart thermostats—amenities that provide piece of mind and awareness of your surroundings. More than half of residents (57 percent) are willing to increase their monthly rent by at least $20 for such features.

Residents are not particularly brand loyal when it comes to smart home devices, Entata said. One-third of residents don’t have a brand preference for smart home products, providing more flexibility for owners and managers to select the technology for their communities. Among residents with a preference, 16 percent would be more likely to select an apartment community with Google Home, 12 percent with Amazon Echo, and 11 percent with Apple’s HomePod.