While the apartment industry experiments with smart-home applications, renters are most in favor of technology that will save them money, followed by a sense of convenience.
In this year's Concept Community survey, we asked residents which in-unit technology amenities they're most in favor of, and the top four picks were strikingly consistent across the generations.
The most-desired amenity, regardless of demographic, is free Wi-Fi connectivity, followed by smart thermostats and EnergyStar kitchen appliances. The fourth unanimous choice was keyless electronic entry, and after that, the consensus pointed toward, in order, built-in USB charging ports, in-unit motion detection cameras and motion-sensor lighting.
When it comes to common-area technology amenities, however, the demographic splits were much more pronounced. Reflecting the increasing popularity of music and video streaming, more than half of renters said they'd use a Bluetooth-connected speaker in certain common areas, such as grilling areas or pools, at least once a month.
As you can see in the below chart, the youngest generations are naturally the most enthused by this amenity. In fact, 38% of millennials and 24% of Gen Xers said they'd use the feature more than twice a month.
This focus on using mobile devices in common areas extends to the visual as well as the aural. While old-fashioned theater rooms fell out of favor with many apartment developers, it appears renters are still all in favor of them. Nearly half of all residents, 47%, said they'd use a high-def theater room where they could plug in their mobile devices for viewing, at least once a month.
Yet, the outdoor version is even more popular, particularly with millennials. More than half of all renters, 55%, said they’d use a weather-sealed, exterior, high-definition screen on a rooftop or pool area a minimum of once a month, with millennials leading the way at about 65%.
The full results of our groundbreaking survey, The Next-Gen Apartment: What Renters Want, done in conjunction with J Turner Research, will be unveiled at the Multifamily Executive Conference in September.
In the meantime, check out our previous Stats of the Week: