8 ways to recruit residents using smart apartment technology

The competition for your resident’s attention and rent dollars remains extremely competitive. Properties that move fast to evolve quickly alongside with advancements in smart home technology are thriving.


Multifamily properties that lag behind and refuse to change with the times are going to struggle to remain competitive in the future. On the flip side, property managers who use technology as an amenity integrating electronic access, energy management and control, other IoT automation, package places and more will thrive.

It is that simple.

Modern residents care about many different things compared to the generations of people who came before them, but always at the top of the list is the value of their own time.

Modern residents don’t care about owning things like the generations before them. Whether that is a home, an automobile, tools, or most other things. Their mindset is that they can rent or outsource most things they need in their life. For example, they pay strangers to pick up their food from restaurants and deliver it to their apartments. There are many ways that technology within the multifamily unit can give the resident more time and less worry.

According to BISNOW, renter’s will pay more for tech enabled amenities.

“Residents want more tech in their apartments, and multifamily landlords and developers are putting in the technology to meet that demand,” according to Julie Litman at Bisnow. “While building-wide WiFi, electric chargers and rooftop decks remain popular among residents, smart building technology is becoming the new ‘it’ amenity. From package delivery lockers to smart locks, landlords are turning to tech-enabled amenities to woo tenants who are willing to pay more for these features.”

“Along with smart locks, residents are willing to pay more to have a package delivery system. More than 25 percent of new apartments offer this service and many built before 2012 have been adapting to this new trend, according to data from Apartments .com. Class-A apartments with package service garner $237 more in rent each month for one-bedroom units. For two-bedroom units, landlords are collecting $317 more per month.”

The following are ways to market smart technology to your residents.

  1. Encourage residents to talk about their smart apartments on social media. Hold a contest and give regular rewards to people who are acting as your social ambassadors. It could be something as simple as a $5 Starbucks gift card.
  2. Ask your IoT software partner and the hardware products that you have installed in your building to provide literature that you can use to educate potential residents about the value of smart apartments.
  3. Hold a smart apartment lunch-and-learn, pizza party, or happy hour, where prospective residents can learn about the smart IoT devices on your site and the related software/phone app.
  4. Make sure your staff is highlighting the smart IoT devices on your site with every site tour.
  5. Create a video tour of your property, which highlights how the smart apartment works.
  6. Put together short videos and graphics highlighting each component of the smart apartment on your site and how the technology works (smart door locks, thermostats, lights, leak sensing, package places, exterior and common door control, management software and resident apps).
  7. Create a smart referral program, where current residents who recommend the property to their friends interested in smart apartments (and end up signing a lease) get a slight rent discount.
  8. Use graphics to push out on your social channels, which describe the following terms: technology as amenity, electronic access, energy management and control, IoT automation and more.

Excerpt: James Calder, StratIS