Connected Communities: Was there worth in smart home technology in an apartment community?

James O Chestnut, Lydia Howard, Robert Giles, Rajiv R Patel
Muma Case Review  •  Volume 7  •  2022  •  pp. 001-021
Connected Communities: Was there worth in smart home technology in an apartment community?
Should Mosaic Development add smart home technology in their multi-family developments?
This was the question that Marc Mariano, development partner at Mosaic Development, pondered as he struggled to decide if he should install smart home technology in his latest multi-family project.
Mariano understood that connected communities have been increasing in popularity over the last couple of years. Some see smart home technology as a luxury for residents but feel that it will continue to become expected over the next couple of years. The primary goal of smart home technology was to empower the resident to use it to its fullest potential to customize their living experience.
Apartment communities had begun to include technology such as keyless entry systems that work off a smartphone, community-wide Wi-Fi, and package lockers with 24-hour access. In addition, the apartment features smart devices (such as lighting, outlets, switches), smart thermostats, sensors that detect water or gas leaks, and a voice control platform, much like Alexa or Siri. This technology can help reduce a renter's cost of living, provide convenience, and even save a life in a gas leak or fire.
Balancing these concerns was the knowledge that if Mariano invested in smart home technology and the renter did not see the premium rent value, the project would not be profitable. One nagging question was how much a renter would agree to pay us a premium versus an organic increase in rent driven by the astounding growth in rent that was happening across all Florida markets in 2021.
Mariano, as a partner/owner at Mosaic Development, a St. Pete based company, was focused on developing apartment communities desired by renters. Several issues influenced Mariano's decision of whether to proceed.
Mariano knew this was not going to be an easy decision to make.
Smart technology, multi-family, real estate development
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