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IBS and the Uptick of Smart Multifamily Homes

Today kicks off the 2022 NAHB (National Assn. of Home Builders) IBS (Intl. Builders Show). We can expect big news from the technology companies—there has already been a promise from at least one to print a home at the show. At the same time, we can expect big news from companies providing smart-home technologies.

One area that smart devices are set to take off in is multifamily properties. Parks Associates suggests 27% of MDU (multi-dwelling unit) residents have a smart device provided by their landlord or property owner and the overwhelming majority value the safety and security benefits of these solutions.

There are a number of reasons residents are taking full advantage of this technology in their homes. Of those with property-provided smart-home devices, 64% value the notifications they receive about safety issues, and 62% find valuable the ability to monitor activity outside their door.

This demonstrates the overall rise of the smart home and the growing importance of smart technology in homes. In fact, Parks Associates suggests there is an increasing expectation for it in multi-dwelling units—think access control devices, smart thermostats, smart lighting, and smart appliances.

While this trend toward the multifamily smart-home market is still in what many might consider its infancy or the early stages of adoption, it is becoming increasingly competitive—which is something I have been seeing and hearing lately as well. And we will see even more when companies start looking at greater interoperable among and between their solutions.

I recently had a conversation with Blake Miller, founder, Homebase, on The Peggy Smedley Show about how technology is disrupting real estate—specifically in apartments. He told me how the company is making apartment buildings smart.

Here are a few ways it is doing this: getting people in and out of buildings and connecting things in the apartment buildings. In fact, he pointed to a specific case study of how Walmart is trialing an in-home grocery delivery service, directly to the refrigerator. I just love getting to know Joe and Suzy the delivery person. Pretty cool, right?

All this to say, there is a huge opportunity for smart devices—lighting and door locks, in these multi-dwelling units—and I would bet we hear more about this rapidly growing trend in the next two days. What are your thoughts?

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