You already know smart home systems elevate a single household’s convenience and value. But what can these nifty systems add to a multifamily smart home?
Whether you host a multifamily smart home with relatives or residents, Internet of Things (IoT) smart technology simply makes life easier. And if you rent out units, IoT tech makes a major difference in your revenue!
For example, millennials have officially leapfrogged baby boomers as the biggest rental segment. One 2016 survey found 86% would pay more to live in a smart apartment. That’s quite the jump, and the percentage continues to rise.
In terms of smart home technology, multifamily households benefit from nearly any amenity you can imagine. That’s especially true with a generation that grew up with internet access — like millennials. The new gen doesn’t just demand smart tech … it expects it.
Plus, smart systems usually overlap. In other words, if one system helps your family, it will likely help your residents, too.
Overall, when you integrate smart solutions into a multifamily home, residents are happier (and more likely to rent). In turn, you get greater peace of mind (and a better bottom line).
Think about it this way. The more valuable your units are, the more you can charge — and that’s a significant help when the time to pay property taxes rolls around.
Smart solutions, indeed!
Before we start our list, let’s check out what “multifamily smart home” means in this context.
[Related: A Guide to Room-by-Room Automation for Your Home]
What Is a Multifamily Smart Home?
To avoid any ambiguity, we’ll define a multifamily home. This can be surprisingly tricky, especially if you’re new to residential renting.
Essentially, a multifamily home straddles the line between a home and an apartment complex, townhouse or condo. One person owns the home or property and all the units inside it.
But the real difference lies in how many distinct units the home has. A multifamily home has one owner and multiple, unique units — usually five or more.
That number can mean the difference between a multifamily home and a single-family home with multiple families living there. Each unit has utilities, plus its own bathroom, kitchen, entrance and exit.
And of course, a multifamily smart home is a multifamily home that has integrated smart tech.
Now, what smart home tech could most bolster your multifamily home?
Note: Quicken Loans offers a thorough, easy-to-read breakdown of multifamily homes if you’d like to delve deeper.
[Related: How Home Automation Is Transforming the Rental Industry]
Smart Home Technology: Multifamily and Multigenerational Residences
Whether you’re renting out units in a multifamily smart home or sharing units with family, secure networking is your cornerstone. That’s how the people who live there access, connect and adjust their smart systems.
You’ll notice another through line: energy efficiency leading to lower costs. Because each multifamily unit has utilities, smart tech lowers those utility costs and makes smart rentals more attractive.
Here are the top smart systems that’ll delight your residents, family or otherwise!
Note: In our list, we’ve used both common sense and hard data for short-term rentals. That is, if short-term residents like it, then long-term residents will certainly appreciate the same amenity in their everyday lives!
Smart Entertainment and Connectivity
It doesn’t come as a surprise, and it’s no small fry — smart entertainment is fundamental in any multifamily smart home.
Of course, this means you can outfit units with devices like smart TVs with streaming capabilities (for example, dongle integration). It may require a sizable initial payout, but the returns will be sizable, too.
And that networking we mentioned is crucial. Because each unit has its own amenities, it’s wise to have a login and password combo unique to that unit. You’ll strengthen privacy and security.
Plus, you don’t want residents clamoring for login info, accidentally sharing personal preferences or casting onto their neighbors’ TVs!
If you’re aiming for high-end amenities, adopt systems like multi-room music, high-performance audio and home theaters. You could even create a communal outdoor entertainment center — just make sure to soundproof the walls!
Pro tip: Even if you don’t fully outfit each unit with smart systems, residents will appreciate the ability to do so themselves. Contact an audiovisual (AV) installation company, and its technicians can set up your smart home multifamily basics. Then, residents will have the bedrock on which to build their own smart devices and systems.
[Related: How To Build a Premium Home Sound System]
Smart Surveillance and Security
Following smart entertainment, smart security is highly desirable in multifamily smart homes. That goes for any generation, from boomers to Gen Z.
If you rent to unrelated residents, they’ll deeply appreciate thorough home surveillance systems. Family members will too, but living next door to great-uncle Albert is (usually) much different than sharing walls with strangers. At least you recognize Albert from the annual family reunion.
Think of it as you would any other space — feeling safe in that space is paramount. That’s doubly true when you don’t necessarily know your neighbors. Heaven forbid you’re on bad terms with any of them.
Regarding smart home technology, multifamily homes get a big boost from having these smart security devices and systems in each unit:
- Smart home surveillance, including smart cameras and a connected app to view footage
- Video doorbells and cameras with a connected app
- Smart locks or smart keypads with a connected app
- Smart fire and carbon monoxide detectors
Your residents will feel more secure, whether they’re chilling inside or going out on the town.
Pro tip: Residents who are older adults or who have an illness appreciate the added safety smart devices offer. The same goes for residents with children who may be home alone after school or while their parents run errands.
[Related: Smart Home Technologies Supporting Aging in Place]
Smart Office Capabilities
You may not have a dedicated room for a home office in each rental unit. However, making sure residents can create their own home office will make your multifamily smart home much more appealing.
Because of skyrocketing remote work, installing the connectivity to create a home office places you on a profitable list. If you can add items like smart plugs, outlets and power strips, that’s all the better. Residents will know they can craft their office space if and when needed.
Like we noted earlier, secure, fast networking is essential. Residents can build their smart home office without worrying about privacy and security breaches.
And if you want to really pack your waiting list, pair networking with an exclusive home office room in each unit. Even if it’s compact, it’ll be available!
Pro tip: If you’re building from the ground up, it’s wise to work with an AV installation company. Then, contractors and architects will advise you (and your AV company) about home design and expansion. AV consultants can suggest what equipment and layout would best accommodate residents’ personal smart home offices.
The same applies if you want to convert your current home into a multifamily smart home. Nevertheless, starting from scratch requires a careful hand — and saves you long-term costs.
[Related: Guide to Creating a High-Tech Home Office]
Smart Climate Control
In terms of short- and long-term savings, you and your residents definitely get a lift from smart climate control. And in a multifamily smart home, this really heats up your property appeal.
How does such a system work? Basically, each unit has its own smart thermostat and connected smartphone app, and residents can adjust settings remotely. You save overall costs as the homeowner, and residents save through their individual utility bills.
Changing the unit’s temperature from anywhere is a breeze — residents know they can walk into their ideal environment anytime.
And knowing they can adjust their unit’s (and only their unit’s) climate is empowering. Too often, shared properties have a set temperature that the homeowner alone determines. Climate control systems give residents both comfort and control, and that leads to long-term contracts.
Pro tip: When advertising your smart home technology, multifamily home listings should definitely note smart climate control. These systems offer benefits that not many rental units provide: customization, cost savings and convenience.
Practically all smart systems offer these same benefits, but climate control systems aren’t yet commonplace in rental units. Potential residents will perk up!
[Related: 8 Ways Climate Control Improves Your Home]
Smart Lighting Control
You’ve got a refreshingly wide range of smart lighting control options. You can set up multifamily smart home lighting in countless ways, from single smart light bulbs to full-unit systems.
Those options lead to layouts that make your property outstanding — and most importantly, make it stand out among potential residents. Plus, you and your lessees reap benefits both practical (cost and energy savings) and aesthetic (design).
That’s right — residents enjoy the same savings and remote access that they enjoy with smart climate control. Within each unit, residents can fine-tune their lighting level, monitor their energy use and more.
Smart lighting is also an in-demand amenity that’s not necessarily easy to find! When you pair lighting control with other smart home systems, you’ll have irresistible rental units.
And hey, if you’d like to go for full-on lighting luxury, place motorized window treatments in your units. The shading, design and control are seamless, and you’ll have spoiled-rotten tenants (in a good way).
Pro tip: Climate control and lighting control make an unbeatable duo. When residents know they have many options — and those pivotal cost savings — they’ll find your multifamily smart home difficult to beat. Put simply, you increase your chances of housing genuinely happy residents and getting great reviews.
[Related: Design Considerations for Incorporating AV Into Your Home]
Smart Appliances and Beyond
In terms of smart home technology, multifamily home appliances come in every shape and size. They might be high-end or economical, but they’ll still delight residents when you have them available.
And because multifamily smart homes have separate utility bills, residents will also love those savings that smart appliances offer.
Let’s begin with a smart kitchen. You don’t have to go all-out, but a midline smart refrigerator is a fantastic start. If that’s too much, having a complimentary smart pressure cooker says a lot about your commitment to smart tech.
Along the same lines, smart bathroom features like smart valves and touchless faucets both save water and cut cleaning time. Again, residents save money on their utility bills. As the homeowner, the practical benefits (like leak monitoring) are indispensable.
Moving on, you may have the resources to install smart washers and dryers in each unit. If so, that’s fantastic — and another serious draw for residents. If you don’t, then smart washer-dryer stacks still save everyone time and energy in the laundry area.
Pro tip: As with all IoT systems, these devices are just the beginning. As you start or continue outfitting your multifamily smart home, you can always prepare for later expansion. These additions range from small devices (like free smart speakers) to large appliances (like smart dishwashers) to full-on room upgrades (like designated home theaters).
[Related: Smart Hotel Benefits for Owners and Guests Alike]
Outfit Your Multifamily Smart Home With AV Smart Solutions
When you’d like to integrate IoT systems into your smart home, multifamily or not, give us a call at AV Smart Solutions.
We’ll work with you and offer around-the-clock support so you never get caught in the lurch. With our expertise in both the residential and commercial sectors, we’ll advise you on what best fits your multifamily smart home.
You can even elevate your property far above competitors by offering cutting-edge systems, like hidden AV. Your waiting list will be jam-packed!
When you’re ready to chat, call us at (425) 655-5052 or complete our online inquiry form. One of our AV specialists will be in touch and ready to answer any questions.
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