Apartment Renters Place High Value on Security Amenities

Security dealers would be wise to study the opportunities to provide their services, including smart home amenities, to the growing population of apartment dwellers.

As installing security contractors continue to adjust and hone their business models to compete in the fiercely competitive residential market, one growing pool of customers in particular should not be overlooked — apartment renters.

Demand for apartments is on the rise, with an estimated 4.6 million new apartment residences projected to be built nationally by 2030. The United States will need to add more than 328,000 new apartment homes each year on average to keep up with demand, according to a 2017 study by the National Apartment Association (NAA) and the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC).

It’s plain to see what is fueling this demand. For example, a domino effect from the Great Recession and housing market crash from 2007-2010 sent many a homeowner into the renter’s market where they still reside today. As the NAA/NMHC study further explains, younger households — many of whom are strapped with student-loan debt — are forced to postpone home ownership. Others prefer more mobility and oftentimes choose the flexibility of renting over setting down more permeant roots.

OK, so we have a rather dramatic paradigm shift afoot in the U.S. housing market. But are renters a potentially strong customer base for professional security providers? You bet. RentPath, which provides digital marketing solutions for the rental industry, recently posted on its blog a survey that shows security features and peace of mind play an important role in how renters base their decision where to live.

“Renters tend to be practical and focus on amenities that ensure their security, help add to day-to-day conveniences, and make their commutes to work easier,” explains Angie Amon, director of research at RentPath. “While fancier add-ons are nice to have, most Americans — especially those who are on a budget — will likely choose those communities and units that cover more basic necessities and help them feel secure instead of paying more to get access to things they may not use.”

Here are a few survey points that highlight how security is driving renters’ preferences for differing property features: Gated access control (35%) topped a list of amenities, edging out hardwood floors and rooftop terrace (both registering 34%). Connected devices and other technology are also strong contributing factors with interest in app-controlled door locks (25%), USB charging outlets in units (23%) and connected thermostats (23%).

A vital need for professional, value-added service providers in this burgeoning market would seem apparent.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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