Who is driving the growth of single-family rental and build-to-rent communities? | airEkey

This tech-savvy generation has grown a lot over the past few years. While they used to love city life, they now find themselves swapping out their apartment for a suburban single-family home with white picket fences. But with the housing market currently experiencing some of the highest prices in recent years, it's hard for millennials to actually buy their first home.

Luckily for them, a nice yard these days doesn't always require a hefty down payment and a 30-year commitment. Millennials are now renting as a means of realizing their American Dream through "build-to-rent" communities or independent single-family rentals. Homeownership rates for those 35 and younger have been declining over the past decade, and millennials are now one of the drivers of growth in these markets.

Home builders and operators have even taken notice, and now see this group as lucrative tenants of their properties.

Ideal tenant

Millennials tend to have a "pride of ownership" in their rental and like to make it feel like home. In turn, they tend to take care of it even though it's not actually "their".

For homeowners, that means less headaches, less unnecessary repair costs, and less maintenance over time. It also means less turnover and fewer vacant units, as single-family homes also tend to have longer retention rates than multi-family communities. Millennials are also willing to pay higher rents for single-family homes than apartments, which leads to higher rents and higher returns in the long run.

Smart Home = Smart Investment

While millennials tend to take ownership, they are also tech firsts. They are willing to pay higher rents for smart homes than previous generations.

According to a recent study of millennials and smart home technology by Wakefield Research, 86% of respondents would be willing to pay more for a home or rental property if they were already equipped with smart home technology. It also noted that they were willing to pay 20% more monthly rent for smart homes than those that didn't.

Some of the devices they expect are electronic access control, keyless locks, connected doorbells, mobile-controlled security systems and voice-activated assistants.

So what does this mean for home builders and owners? They must equip their homes with the right technology to appeal to millennials. However, it's important to understand that just throwing a different device into your home doesn't make it smart right away.

What really makes a smart home smart is the automation between all the devices, and the added convenience they bring when combined. That’s why it’s so important for builders and homeowners to partner with the right suppliers who can strategically use the right technology to provide seamless automation for their homes.

Alexa, schedule a demo

At airEkey, we provide homebuilders and homeowners with smart home solutions that work together to protect assets, increase convenience, and sometimes even generate ancillary income. Our suite of smart home products integrate with each other and can all be managed through one easy-to-use app, avoiding app fatigue for tenants. These are the same devices that millennials are specifically looking for:

Smart Locks: Whether via Bluetooth or via an access code, our smart locks allow residents to never lose their keys again.

Smart devices build smart homes with automation customized for each tenant. For home builders and owners, it also adds a level of safety and protection to all homes, vacant or not. For those units that are not yet home, these devices can be paired with our self-guided tours to expand your reach and increase leads.

Smart home technology is fast becoming a necessity in the real estate industry, and partnering with airEkey can turn your single-family home into the smart home that many are looking for.

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