Four technology considerations for the next generation of multifamily development

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With younger generations delaying homeownership, real estate developers and lenders are increasingly investing in multifamily residential developments to accommodate the trend. In fact, more than 330,000 new rental units are expected to be delivered nationwide this year.

Faced with steep competition and modern pressures, the next generation of higher-end multifamily developers and landlords in West Michigan must consider bold new additions to satisfy renters’ need for larger, more technologically equipped living spaces.

Offer bundled internet and smart devices

The trend of bundling internet with the rent started in university housing and is now being integrated into higher-end, market-rate multifamily units.

Whether your new multifamily development is a senior living facility, a downtown Grand Rapids high-rise or a university complex, the demand for strong, reliable Wi-Fi remains constant. Especially in core urban areas, it’s now table stakes that landlords bundle internet with the rent as a way to induce the tenancy of knowledge workers — many of whom are permanently fixed in a hybrid or full remote environment.

Along with included internet, an increasing number of modern multifamily and student housing complexes are also being equipped with a host of IoT-connected devices ranging from smart locks and sensors to thermostats, lights and appliances. These innovative features not only boost the tenant experience, they also help realize long-term savings for landlords by reducing energy waste, identifying building issues and eliminating time-wasting tasks like rekeying.

Invest in managed internet services

Taking the bundled internet offer one big step forward, multifamily developers hoping to attract the “big fish” of the rental market with a premier technology experience are making the upfront investment in a fully managed internet solution.

Multifamily managed internet features a robust, secure data network with access points throughout the building. The result is a high-speed connection that remains consistent whether the tenant is working in their unit, lounging by the pool or socializing in the community room.

Access points throughout the property take pressure off each individual renter to manage their own technology or account and represents one less bill they have to pay. Since most people rent for the ease and convenience of it, integrating something as seamless as managed internet can be a huge tenant attractor.

Protect properties with advanced security

Ninety-two percent of multifamily real estate investment trusts cite cybersecurity risks as a growing concern, and for good reason. With so many connected devices, transmitters and access points scattered throughout higher-end developments, the last thing a tenant or landlord wants to experience is a cyberattack that compromises their most valuable data.

Forward-looking developers recognize the need to protect their properties with an all-encompassing, professionally monitored security infrastructure that safeguards the network, detects threats in real time, stops malicious actors in their tracks and — most importantly — provides all parties peace of mind.

Bring technology partners in early

In the past when developers and landlords brought in a technology partner at the 11th hour, it resulted in higher costs and a potentially delayed opening. Now, stakeholders are starting to identify a partner before ground is even broken to ensure enough time for comprehensive discussions surrounding needs, vision and infrastructure strategy.

The work to install these tenant-magnetizing technology solutions happens early, but their experience- and revenue-driving impacts will be realized for years to come.

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