Compared with 2019’s study, Allegion’s 2023 Multifamily Living Trends report cites an increased interest in proptech adoption, including mobile access control, distributed Wi-Fi, and integrated user apps. Up 140% from 2019, 22% of over 1,000 respondents use electric door locks that are connected to the internet, while 23% use electric door locks that are not connected to the internet, an increase of 91% compared with 2019.
Over half of respondents say it would be nice to have proptech amenities when considering future housing options, and 61% say they’re comfortable using such. Among these preferred amenities are smart locks, resident portals, and cameras. In terms of technologies that allow residents to connect to the internet and control with their smartphone, 38% say it’s a must-have and 44% say it’s nice to have.
Of those who make more than $100,000, 51% view smart-home technology as a need-to-have amenity, and 48% of the same share say proptech is a must-have. Additionally, over 1 in 2 respondents would be willing to pay 1% to 10% more for proptech features, and nearly 3 in 10 would pay at least 11% more.
Attributing the adoption of new technologies and amenities to the pandemic, Allegion found that respondents ranked free Wi-Fi as the most important amenity behind affordability and proximity to work or school. Of the 15% of respondents working remotely and 20% with hybrid work schedules, fast and reliable Wi-Fi is the most important factor when looking for a place to live.
"Multifamily has always been a dynamic market as result of changing lifestyle behaviors and introduction of new property technologies," says Connie Alexander, senior manager for primary research and insights at Allegion. "Our research reveals that we are witnessing the impact of proptech adoption and lifestyle changes following the pandemic. It's important for property owners to take note of these shifts to best allocate short- and long-term investments in their properties that will help attract and retain quality residents."
To access different areas of a multifamily property, over 59% of respondents say they would likely select a future place of residence if it had mobile access control. Up from 19% in 2019, 34% say they would be willing to pay more for mobile access control that would also allow them to remotely monitor entry of their residence and give access to guests.
With safety in mind, more than 1 in 3 would also be willing to pay more for smart doorbells with video and outdoor cameras. Six in 10 would pay between 1% to 10% more per month for these added security features. Nineteen percent of respondents are comfortable sharing access codes or keys with family and friends. Yet, 47% are comfortable hiding keys to their apartments around the exterior in the event they get locked out.
Package delivery management is considered an important amenity, with 42% of respondents reporting that they are using grocery or meal delivery services, up 16% from 2019. When asked about the importance of smart lockers, 33% of respondents say it a must-have and 50% considered it a nice-to-have amenity. Twenty-seven percent of respondents say temperature-controlled holding areas for grocery and meal deliveries are a must-have and 48% consider it a nice-to-have amenity. Nearly half of respondents note receiving three or more packages per week, a 20% increase from 2019.
Honing into leasing procedures, over 3 in 4 respondents are at least somewhat comfortable with: taking a self-guided tour that allows you to freely explore a community; a self-guided tour with detailed instructions on what you can explore; living in a community that allows potential tenants to explore the area on a self-guided tour; and taking a self-guided tour and having the ability to immediately sign a lease before leaving. Less than 10% are either somewhat or very uncomfortable with the mentioned self-guide tour options.
When considering a new place to live, home security systems, smart-home tech, and upgraded building materials are prioritized above fitness centers and pools, while a streamlined resident portal app ranks No. 1, with 54% of respondents saying it was a must-have and 50% noting it’s nice to have. Over 77% say they are likely to submit a ticket through an integrated app.