The Millennial Mindset
How the tech-savvy generation is driving technology adoption the market
- By Robert Gaulden
- Aug 05, 2020
In a world that relies heavily on technology, it’s no surprise that tech-savvy millennials are driving the adoption of innovation, both at work and where they live. Millennials are seeking environments that can satisfy their fast-paced routines. Therefore, it’s no surprise that multi-family properties are among those looking to cater to this generation—from their demands for a utopian work-life balance to their affinity for e-commerce.
The multi-family market continues to be a hot bed for growth. New projects and renovations offer the ability to live in an energized atmosphere while catering to an urbanized lifestyle. The ability to work, live, eat and socialize in a community environment is highly attractive to this next generation renter. A recent national survey by Allegion, titled, “Home Safe Home: How Millennial Preferences are Redefining Multifamily Living,” highlighted the expectations of these renters. There are ways that property managers and developers can satisfy the habits of millennials and use secure technologies to do so. Technology is engrained in what we do, and millennials expect these innovations to provide both security and convenience.
Rise to the Occasion
Millennials have sights set on multifamily environments. In fact, 72 percent of millennials live in apartment buildings, and a majority plan to stay six months longer, according to Allegion’s survey findings.
This demand for multi-family living by the largest living generation comes at a time when the United States is facing a housing shortage. A National Apartment Association (NAA) study conducted in 2017 found that the nation needs to deliver 4.6 million new apartments by 2030 or it will face serious shortages. Coupled with the fact that 75 percent of millennials are demanding the opportune lifestyle multi-family offers, the solution seems simple: more multi-family properties.
This growth in multi-family housing presents a unique opportunity to incorporate new technologies that both attract and retain millennial residents. A great place to start is with smart locks and mobile credentials. Smart locks improve security by offering audit trails and eliminating risks associated with lost keys. Mobile credentials take security and efficiency to the next level. They are much easier to distribute and deactivate, and are more secure than physical keys. Plus, renters are far less likely to lose their phones. They also lay the foundation for more advances in seamless access.
These enhancements can also be added to renovation properties, which allows for a more competitive landscape of options.
Daily Package Delivery
Technology is engrained in our everyday lives. It mindlessly fills our day. You wake up in the morning to the alarm on your phone. You can transition between texts, emails, music and social media within seconds. If you need to fact check something, you Google it. You can monitor exercise, location and habits with a plethora of apps. Most convenient of them all, online shopping, can be done anywhere using an app.
According to Allegion’s survey, 57 percent of millennials use delivery services on a regular basis, and almost 67 percent of those individuals receive one to two packages weekly. Despite the common nature of e-commerce and package deliveries, 39 percent have experienced package theft. With the right technology, integrators can help fix this inherent challenge to package management.
With the exponential rise in online shopping, it’s no wonder that properties are looking to technology solutions to help solve for the challenges presented by mounds of boxes showing up at their doorsteps daily. We’ve seen properties add access control to package rooms for extra security or install locker systems; offsite delivery companies are starting to emerge. Additionally, we’re seeing a movement towards in-unit delivery.
In most cases, a combination of solutions will be necessary to ultimately solve for the needs of property managers and residents. Integrators can play a big role in helping manage this issue by understanding the pros and cons of each option, and helping multifamily customers implement the right solutions for their unique needs. They can also advise on which solutions should be integrated into the properties’ broader systems to create an optimal experience for residents and more operational efficiencies for the property manager.
Choose Peace of Mind
Feeling safe is an essential need in our busy lives, and the thought of not feeling secure in your home is a scary thought. Yet, according to the survey, only 26 percent of millennials feel that they are safe. Adding electronic access control and smart locks can improve security and add peace of mind.
Security integrators can help property managers keep their renters secure and attract new residents by offering integrated solutions for a seamless access experience. Property managers will appreciate the increased efficiency of a fully integrated perimeter, common area, and resident door, while renters will applaud the added security and convenience.
The addition of mobile credentials will create an extremely secure, seamless experience that will be sure to attract the next generation of residents. In fact, 60 percent of those surveyed would be more likely to live somewhere that offers mobile access control.
Access control systems and smart locks can make multi-family environments safer and smarter. With only about a quarter of millennials feeling safe in their apartments, there is an untapped opportunity for integrators to enhance the renter experience for their clients. Furthermore, only 12 percent of those surveyed have unconnected electronic door locks and only 9 percent have connected electronic door locks.
Multi-family is neither residential nor commercial—it’s its own market. For integrators, understanding the unique pain points and challenges that multifamily properties face can open a new market full of possibilities.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to implementing a property-wide security solution that tackles the issues faced by multifamily properties. Properties need secure access to their perimeter, like front door and parking garage entrances. They also have common areas like gyms, package rooms and business centers. Finally, there’s the resident unit—distributed communication, like Wi-Fi, is not generally available, so most resident units are offline, while the core building may be online.
At a minimum, the access control system must allow for resident and staff access, but visitor management and third-party services are quickly becoming part of the equation as well. This is where mobile applications and credentials have a chance to shine.
Mobile applications are helping to solve the complexities of multi-family access by pulling together the various solutions into a single customer-facing application. Mobile can create a powerful solution, one that allows a resident to use their phone to seamlessly access various parts of the building as well as communicate with the property manager, request maintenance, allow visitor access, pay rent, opt-in for a third-party service or reserve a common area, like the business center. The research shows that 56 percent of those surveyed rated a residential app to pay rent and submit requests as their greatest interest when considering a future home.
There is an opportunity for integrators to grow in this space. As the industry begins to move forward and more technology is implemented into these environments, multi-family property managers will need partners who truly understand the technology and can help consult on it, deploy it and service it over time. Multi-family is a distinct market and integrators who take the time to learn the nuances will be best positioned to recommend solutions that are tailored to their unique customers. Become the partner they need as they navigate the complexities of new technology and strive to cater to the millennial renters of today.