Who’s Driving the Growth in Single Family Rentals & Build-to-Rent Communities?

By: Michelle Ramos

Millennials are now moving away from apartments and renting single family homes instead. Millennials are now moving away from apartments and renting single family homes instead.
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Oh, millennials. This tech-savvy generation has done a lot of growing up over the last few years. While they once loved city living, they now find themselves trading their apartments in for single family homes with a white picket fence out in the suburbs. But with the housing market currently experiencing some of the highest prices in recent years, it’s made it difficult for millennials to actually purchase their first house.

Fortunately for them, a nice yard doesn’t always call for a hefty downpayment and 30-year commitment nowadays. Millennials are renting houses now as means to attain their version of the American dream through Build-to-Rent communities or stand-alone Single Family Rentals. Homeownership has continuously declined for those 35 and younger over the last ten years, and millennials are now one of the driving forces behind the growth of these markets.

Homebuilders and operators have even taken notice of the phenomenon and now see this group as lucrative tenants for their properties.

An Ideal Tenant

Millennials tend to have a "pride of ownership" with their rentals, and like to make it feel like home. In turn, they tend to take good care of it, despite it not actually being "theirs."

For homeowners, this means fewer headaches, fewer unnecessary costs on repairs, and less maintenance over time. This also means less turnover and fewer vacant units, as Single Family Rentals also tend to have longer retention rates than multifamily communities. Millennials are also willing to pay higher rent for a single family home than they would for an apartment, leading to increased rent and greater returns in the long run.

Smarter Homes = Smarter Investments

While millennials have a propensity for pride of ownership, they are likewise a tech-first generation. They're willing to pay higher rent for smart homes when compared to the generations before them.

According to a recent study conducted by Wakefield Research on millennials and smart home technology, 86 percent of respondents were willing to pay more for a home or rental property if it was already fitted with smart home technology. It also notes they’re willing to pay 20 percent more on rent per month for smart homes, opposed to homes that are not.

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

So what does this mean for homebuilders and owners? They’ll have to equip their homes with the right technology to attract millennials. However, it's important to understand that just throwing different devices into a home won't instantly make it smart.

What truly makes a smart home smart is the automatization between all the devices working together and the added convenience they bring once combined. That's why it's so important for builders and owners to partner with the right vendor who can strategically fit their homes with the right technology that creates seamless automatizations.

Alexa, Schedule a Demo

Here at SmartRent, we offer homebuilders and owners smart home solutions that work together to protect assets, add convenience and sometimes even create ancillary revenue. Our suite of smart home products integrate with one another and can all be managed from one easy-to-use app, avoiding app fatigue for tenants. These are the same devices millennials are specifically seeking out:

Smart locks (https://smartrent.com/hardware/locks-lock-boxes/): Whether bluetooth, z-wave or via access codes our smart locks allow residents to never lose a key again.

  • Alloy Access: Giving residents the convenience of electronic access to common areas, this solution helps property teams improve operational efficiency as well.

  • Video Doorbells: Partnering with some of the leading vendors in the space, like Ring, our security cameras offer residents and property owners alike peace of mind.

  • Voice Assistant Integrations: What’s a smart home without a voice assistant? Our key integrations allow residents to control their homes using voice-enabled devices.

Individually, each of these are smart devices but together they build a smart home through automatizations that are custom to each tenant. For homebuilders and owners, this also adds a level of security and protection to all homes - vacant or not. And for those units that still haven’t been turned into a home, these devices can be paired with our self-guided tours to extend your reach and increase leads.

Smart home technology is rapidly becoming a necessity in the real estate industry and working with SmartRent can turn your single family properties into the smart homes many are searching for.

Are you ready to attract millennials to your homes? Contact us today to receive a free demo and see just how our team can turn your properties into smart homes with the best solution for you.