Today’s multifamily developments must meet a growing list of demands in order to stand out and attract new tenants. While tech-savvy millennials may desire a connected urban lifestyle, downsizing baby boomers want access to amenities without sacrificing the style and comfort they’ve become accustomed to. No matter the age demographic, all renters today are demanding more style and functionality from their apartments.

While lighting and electrical components might not be the first thing prospective tenants notice in an apartment, ensuring your electrical systems are wired for today’s latest technologies can help your developments stand out. According to the 2017 MFE Community Concept Study, lighting fixtures with newer technologies were one of the top new product trends being implemented by multifamily professionals. In addition, internet/Wi-Fi connected products were rated as having the greatest impact on the resident experience.

Give Occupants Control
As the largest generation in U.S. history, millennials represent a significant opportunity for multifamily housing. This generation of nearly 80 million people grew up with technology and expects to have access to the latest connected tech features via smartphone or voice command.

A recent survey of 1,000 U.S. multifamily renters conducted by lock manufacturer Schlage and Wakefield Research shows that millennials are overwhelmingly willing to pay more for an apartment equipped with automated or connected devices. The survey indicated that millennials are even willing to sacrifice other amenities, such as a parking space, to live in a smart apartment.

The next generation of smart devices, such as energy-efficient lighting controls and intelligent thermostats that learn to adjust to the occupant’s daily routine, gives tenants the ultimate control over their own environment. Also, these amenities can generate substantial efficiencies in energy use that can help earn LEED certification and control operating costs while appealing to environmentally conscious customers.

Use Attractive Fixtures
Not only do today’s apartment dwellers demand functional homes that utilize the latest technology, they also want attractive spaces they can proudly show off to friends and family. Think stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and hardwood flooring.

Lighting and electrical components should also satisfy modern design sensibilities. However, one component has remained an interior designer’s worst nightmare for decades—the electrical load center.

Most electrical panels are an unattractive shade of battleship gray, causing many tenants to try to disguise them by painting or installing art over them. Making matters worse, load centers in multifamily units are often located in hallways, foyers, or living areas where they’re difficult to hide.

Fortunately, multifamily developers now have a more attractive option that renters won’t feel compelled to hide. The new Leviton Load Center has a sleek white enclosure and optional window that offers a more modern design aesthetic while also providing a user-friendly experience. The circuit breakers feature intuitive, at-a-glance diagnostic features like LED indicators that identify trip condition and type of fault. These features make it easier for occupants and building supervisors to understand the status of the unit’s power and, like connected smart features, offer a greater sense of control over the living space.

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