Millennials may be speeding up the need for smart devices in multifamily housing.

Times are changing, and a new generation of renters is helping to reinvent the multifamily industry. A recent survey found that millennial renters are looking for more technology in their apartment — even if it means living without some of the more traditional amenities.

Wakefield Research Study, October 2016

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research in October 2016, and asked renters who currently live in multifamily housing what helps make their decision as to where they live. Sixty-three percent of all respondents said that, within 10 years, apartments will need to offer smart apps to their residents.

Of those renters, 86 percent of millennial respondents said they would be willing to pay more for an apartment equipped with smart technology, such as automated thermostats. That is compared with 65 percent of Baby Boomers who were asked the same question.

Sixty-one percent of respondents also said they would be “likely” to rent an apartment specifically because of things like electronic access features, and 44 percent of millennials said they would give up an amenity like a parking space to live in a “high-tech” apartment.

Prepare for the Future

Different amenities will likely always be important to different generations, but it looks like in the very near future, technology is going to be an important aspect of multifamily development.

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