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Amenities That Increase Rent For Property Managers

As a successful property owner, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of…

As a successful property owner, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of which top amenities will attract high-quality renters. 

A recent study revealed that 57% of renters would pay at least $20 more per month for high-tech amenities like smart locks and lights, energy efficient thermostats, and building-wide internet connectivity. The trend impacts more than resident sentiment—rolling out IoT amenities can increase rent premiums, increase satisfaction, improve retention, cut expenses, and boost your ROI. 

Calculated conservatively across an average of 153 units, property owners can increase revenue by a minimum of $21,000 per year just by integrating cost-effective, high-ROI smart tech into their multifamily complex. Here’s how you can slash costs and start generating new revenue with smart amenities in residential buildings in 2021. 

Top 3 smart tech amenities that increase rent and cut expenses for property owners

Sparkling swimming pools, in-unit laundry, and high-end fitness centers. Does it sound like this selection of amenities are straight from a prospective renter’s list of must-haves? Think again: smart tech now outranks traditional red-hot amenities like these. In fact, 9 out of 10 tenants consider technology as a leading factor influencing their quality of life

Top rental property owners are rolling out the red carpet on new automated technologies at an increasing rate. Here are other bottom-line-boosting reasons they’re turning to smart apartment tech

  • Drive down vacancy rates: Not only do these dazzling new digital must-haves attract new renters, but they’re sure-fire ways to retain residents at lease-up. Tech-ready apartment complexes nab a 59% increase in renewal rates over those that ignore this hot trend. 
  • Reduce high costs of vacant units: How much do you spend on heating, cooling, and other utility costs in vacant rental units? Analysts find that properties can reduce utility costs for empty residences by 18% or more.
  • Save on labor costs: Smart home tech isn’t only a crowd pleaser—it can save significant money on labor costs, too. Remote controlled thermostats and in-unit leak sensors that monitor equipment in real time can save a minimum of 7 hours per week.

Here are the top tech amenities owners and developers of residential buildings are using to attract loyal renters, cut expenses, and boost rent premiums in their apartment communities. 

1. Smart apartment technology

Technology is wholly entrenched in the lives of younger generations of renters. Millennials are such fans of emerging in-home tech that 86% say they would pay one-fifth more in monthly rent for a smart apartment packed with amenities like smart locks, intelligent thermostats, and remote controlled light switches.  It’s because of that, smart tech is possibly one of the biggest players for amenities that increase rent.

The trend isn’t only reserved for tech-adoring cohorts, but 65% of study respondents in their 60s and 70s are also willing to pay higher rents for updated features. Plus, upgrading to a full suite of smart features is far less expensive than breaking ground on a new swimming pool. What are the leading digital amenities driving interest among modern renters? 

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats are a huge draw for prospective tenants, but did you know that they can also yield significant savings in operating costs? One study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found that smart thermostat upgrades yielded a 17% savings on multifamily complex bills. 

Smart Tech providers whose resident users leverage automations for energy savings see even higher rates, with many reporting savings in the 20-30% range. For a 75,000-square-foot building with energy bills averaging $2.32 per square foot per year, this can equate to an annual savings of $15,000 to $50,000 per year. 

With smart thermostats in place, your team can also remotely control the ambient temperatures in common areas and apartments awaiting potential tenants. Intelligent systems can learn occupancy patterns to autonomously adjust heating and cooling, or you can make changes from afar with the click of a button.

These fully automated controls can save up to $38 per month in utility costs per vacant unit. Eliminating the need to dispatch staff to manually adjust temps also contributes to a robust 50% time-savings in unnecessary maintenance tasks.   There are a number of ways your particular IoT rollout can boost these numbers even higher, but these baseline examples alone are extremely compelling.

Leak sensors

Smart sensors are able to stand sentinel against perilous incidents like water leaks and chemical hazards. Investigations into insurance claims reveal that 23.8% of losses in 2018 were incurred by water damage

IoT-enabled buildings monitor for telltale signs of leaks and pipe freezing in real time so you can quickly address small issues before they snowball into costly disasters. Proactive maintenance is so much of a power tool in your smart apartment toolset that it can save you an estimated $23,000 in annual labor costs

Smart locks 

Using our smartphones, we manage our money, hail rides, and keep up with old friends. Smartphones can also supplant the need for metal keys and serve as digital door openers. This tech is so convenient that 55% of Millennials will pay more in rent for keyless entry

Digital door locks mean more than peace of mind for renters. They also eliminate late-night lockouts, a costly frustration that frazzles your staff—and your bottom line. 

There’s no need to keep staff on site through all hours to service forgetful residents. You or your provider can unlock doors through an app from anywhere in the world. It’s another factor that can cut maintenance hours by up to half using smart home technology. 

2. Property-wide connectivity

For many of us, internet connectivity has become more than a source of entertainment—it’s now our lifeblood. With more and more offices transitioning to full-time remote work, residents need WiFi access from anywhere in their apartment complex—in an outdoor recreational space, the laundry room, or even poolside. 

Even after clocking out for the day, Zoom rooms have become the new venue for happy hours and shared movie screenings. Property-wide connectivity now outranks fitness centers, swimming pools—even reliable cell reception—when it comes to can’t-live-without amenities. Not only do 93% of perspective renters now consider high-speed internet just as important as air conditioning, but three-fifths refuse to lease an apartment without it. 

3. Building access

Swiping a pass or keyfob at an access point used to be a technology reserved for airports and office buildings, but the strategy is now making its way into residences too. 

Using a building access control system, you can up the security of your multifamily complex and give peace of mind to both you and your residents. Program smartphones or other touchless tech to grant residents access to front gates, fitness centers, and clubhouses, while barring entry to staff offices and storage areas. A building access control system helps control who can move freely between spaces and also limits menacing behavior. 


Smart apartment technology has dethroned many of the old bellwethers of renter satisfaction and ushered in a new desire for a digital utopia. Not only do these high-tech amenities lead the list of what’s most important for attracting modern tenants, but they now underscore the difference between a highly profitable apartment community and one that lags behind, which is the true key to finding amenities that increase rent.

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