Survey says millennial renters want a smart home too

Some millennials would prefer smart home features over parking spaces
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CARMEL, Ind.—Door hardware company Schlage conducted a study with Wakefield Research showing that millennials in multi-family housing would pay more, or give up other amenities, for smart home features.

“Millennials are actually one of the biggest audiences for multi-family property today,” said Ann Matheis, marketing director, multi-family for Schlage’s parent company, Allegion. “They are moving out of college and into the first apartment—and they’re used to certain amenities when that happens.” Colleges sometimes have access control through fobs or mobile phones, she said.

“50 percent of the renters today feel their apartment’s current amenities are outdated. So, there’s a huge market for renovations and upgrading existing apartment complexes to kind of … compete, really, with all of the new buildings that are going up,” Matheis said. The company focuses on both after-market and new construction, she said.

Schlage conducted the survey, in part, to better “understand how millennials saw these smart home features that we continue to add,” Matheis said.

“One interesting fact was that 44 percent of millennials, compared to just 29 percent of [baby] boomers, would actually give up a parking space to live in a ‘high tech’ apartment,” said Matheis. Additionally, renters in the survey indicated that they would pay about 20 percent more to have smart home features, she said.

Forty-five percent of the survey respondents felt physical keys will become obsolete in the next 10 years, she said. “We definitely think electronic access is in the future.”

“We’ve introduced in the past year or two, a series of products that allow you to use your phone as the credential, or a fob, or actually a bracelet or a card—there’s several different types of credentials that we offer,” Matheis said. Schlage partners with various software manufacturers to provide these solutions, she continued, including Stratis, IDenticard and Kastle.

The nationwide survey included input from 1,000 U.S. renters in multi-family housing.