Smart home comforts may attract the last batch of renters: boomers


Tenant populations have skewed younger for years. This makes sense considering that many young Millennials and Generation Z are renting for the flexibility that allows them to save for their first home purchase. However the fastest growing renter demographic It’s surprising: Baby Boomers and smart home comforts can attract this latest batch of renters.

With the housing market approaching the peak set just before the Great Recession, boomers are cashing in and selling their homes.

And instead of buying new with those profits, many choose to rent, either to wait for an inflated market to pass or to take advantage of flexibility and amenities that they might not be able to afford if they wanted to buy outright at current prices.

Services that the elderly population want

Many of the amenities Boomers desire most are based on the concept of “aging in place,” which is the practice of modifying a home to allow older occupants to live comfortably in it for as long as possible.

With nursing homes and professional care settings outside the price range of most Boomers, a comfortable rental is often the best and most affordable option.

According to AssistedLiving.org, aging modifications in place include wide wheelchair-friendly doors, ramps instead of stairs at entry and exit points, details like safety bars and strips to prevent falls in showers and bathtubs, and floor modifications to prevent tripping and slipping. Unfortunately, all of these changes can be expensive to make in a home, causing many boomers to seek them out. in a rental.

Leveraging smart technology: Conveniences can attract

Another set of features is almost certain to grow in popularity with Boomer tenants, and you might not think so when considering the affordability or aging of the place.

It’s common to think of digital natives (Gen Z in particular) as the biggest consumers of smart home technology. Still, the small advantages of smart home devices can become even bigger selling points for aging populations.

Smart home devices can offer as much comfort, convenience and security for older occupants as for younger ones, if not more.

In particular, smart home technology can provide these three benefits for older residents and those who care for them:

1. Consciousness.

Many older people are more than capable of living alone, but a simple fall or accident can turn into a life-threatening event when there is no one to help. Cameras in common areas (like the living room) help caregivers and loved ones check in and make sure seniors are up and moving. Additionally, many options allow for two-way communication if a resident is not picking up a phone or responding to messages.

These devices could save a life in an emergency situation and are even more important for residents who have dementia and are prone to straying from the safety and comfort of home. Monitored life safety services, such as smoke and carbon dioxide alarms and security systems, also add an extra layer of protection for older residents.

2. Savings.

Many seniors have a fixed income, so saving money on utilities means a lot. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. households spent an average of $ 115.49 per month in energy in 2019. Heating and cooling amount to close to half of that expense, so smart thermostats are a good investment.

These energy-saving devices can reduce a home’s heating bill by up to 12% and its cooling costs by up to 15%. Additionally, many of today’s smart devices adapt to a resident’s schedule over time and adjust temperature settings while the home is empty. This means that savings happen automatically without affecting anyone’s comfort level.

3. Convenience.

Saving money is good, but convenience can be even more important for older residents who are not as mobile as they used to be. Curb-to-couch technology, such as keyless entry, can allow Boomers to let deliveries or guests in without having to walk to the front door. In addition, voice assistants allow them to adjust the thermostat, turn on the television and play their favorite music without having to get up.

Additionally, the wearable devices provide the convenience of voice assistants on residents’ wrists and help monitor important vital signs such as blood, oxygen, and pulse. These technologies may not seem innovative, but they can have a major impact on an older person’s quality of life when used together.

Easy Essentials boomers request

Knowing that boomers are interested in the safety, savings, and convenience of smart home technology, homeowners must take specific steps to appeal to this growing renter demographic. Boomers want easy devices they don’t have to worry about, and neither do you. Boomers want “ready and go” technology and you can provide it.

The devices provide the basic smart home technology that the owner must install before a resident moves in. Additionally, they provide a basic set of on-site aging services and allow residents to enhance their experience with complementary devices such as indoor cameras, wearables, and voice assistants.

Include these “requested services” with your suite of smart home service offerings to attract your own boomers, and the older millennials who demand these extras too.

· Thermostats: Save money, keep residents comfortable, and anticipate maintenance needs to avoid larger costs.

· Leak sensors: Monitor common areas for leaks, such as toilets and dishwashers, to prevent further damage or mold growth that can threaten health.

· Water flow valves: Make sure low-pressure leaks don’t go unnoticed, generate exorbitant water bills, and displace residents.

· Touch screen control: Provides reliable connectivity via cell phones, enhances control with an easy-to-use touch screen, and enables optional services such as monitored life safety.

· Keyless access from curb to sofa: It allows residents to easily grant access to service providers and guests, and a complete access history provides transparency and security.

Conclution

A basic investment in smart home technology It can be a smart strategy for property managers to attract as many potential tenants as possible.

Choose a smart property platform that has the products and service providers you need to allow a unit to be flexible and attract all kinds of different residents.

As Boomer’s tenant numbers grow, smart technology options can make the difference between a happily occupied property and a frustrating vacancy for homeowners.

Image credit: marcus aurelius; pexels; Thank you!

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

President of PointCentral

Sean Miller is president of PointCentral, the leader in property automation solutions for long-term and short-term managers of single-family and multi-family rental properties. He has 10 years of experience with home automation / IoT technology.


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