Property Management Insider's Tim Blackwell takes out his crystal ball and explores the smart apartment by way of some early testing done by the industry's largest management firm, Greystar.

Greystar has tested smart-home technology since 2014, beginning with a 200-unit community in Portland that was decked out with motion sensors, wireless connected outlets and the like. Since then, the firm has rolled out similar technology in nearly 1,000 units nationally, and it's finding that what renters want from a smart-apartment, ultimately, is choice.

A growing list of smart technology devices and appliances invites visions of a Jetsons-like high-rise living experience. Since the most basic and earliest smart technologies – locks and thermostats – were rolled out, a full attaché of devices including outlets, lighting, window blinds, refrigeration, dishwashers and other appliances can be operated remotely from a resident’s smartphone or tablet via an app.

“Our goal is to develop a program that offers a menu of options for more of our communities,” Darmofalski said. “The program can be adaptable depending on property type and will fit the needs of each owner.”

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