4 Ways Property Technology Benefits MDU Owners

Denver Hollingsworth

January 30, 2024

The global property technology (proptech) market, valued at $26.8 billion in 2022, is projected to catapult to $119.9 billion by 2032. Part of this growth is reflected in shifts in the multifamily housing industry, which include changing resident needs, the influence of recent global events, and innovations in technology.

As property owners strive to meet the evolving demands of renters, property technology has become a crucial tool in enhancing the overall living experience. In fact, 92 percent of property professionals have said proptech will have a positive impact on the real estate industry. In this blog, we will explore four key ways in which property technology benefits multifamily dwelling unit (MDU) owners, addressing the growing expectations of residents and the competitive dynamics in the real estate market.

1. Building a Foundation for Future Needs with Connectivity

The foundation of any modern living experience is a robust connectivity infrastructure. Today’s renters not only demand basic amenities but also aspire to live in connected homes outfitted with the latest technological conveniences. Following this trend, smart homes are on the rise, with nearly 30 million US households projected to add smart-home technology in the near future.

Fast, reliable internet access that is also move-in ready is an important demand for today’s residents, and this infrastructure can also facilitate countless proptech upgrades. Property connectivity technology enables MDU owners to set up advanced systems that cater to current demands and lay the groundwork for future smart technologies. Features such as smart thermostats, energy monitoring, access control, and smart unit locks align with sustainability concerns, resonate with environmentally-conscious renters, enhance security, and provide opportunities to increase ancillary revenue.

Robust connectivity is no longer a luxury—it’s an expectation. MDU owners that embrace proptech are able to meet the present expectations of renters and position their units as more attractive to residents.

2. Maximizing Operational Efficiencies

More than 50 percent of real estate firms say they’re already using property technology. It’s easy to see why: Property technology offers MDU owners a suite of tools to enhance operational efficiencies, like smart leak detectors, AI-powered tools for remote resident tours, and other innovations that streamline property management processes.

Proptech platforms can improve operational efficiencies with features like the following:

  • Smart locks and access control to provide security and convenience 
  • Automated maintenance requests and predictive maintenance tools
  • Enhanced energy management and climate control
  • Automated lease renewals and documentation
  • Automated financial management for rent collection and invoicing, and much more

These technologies not only improve day-to-day operations but also contribute to driving lease sign-ups. In a dynamic and competitive market, the adoption of smart solutions positions MDUs as modern and responsive to resident needs. MDU owners embracing proptech are not only meeting current needs but also strategically positioning their properties for a future where technology is an integral part of the resident experience.

3. Unlocking Ancillary Revenue Opportunities

Nearly two-thirds of property managers said digital solutions significantly reduced costs. However, beyond operational improvements, property technology opens doors to ancillary revenue streams for MDU owners.

Proptech can allow MDU owners to offer smart home packages to residents, including devices like smart thermostats, automated lighting, and energy-monitoring systems. Owners realize new revenue opportunities by providing these upgraded, tech-enhanced living experiences. MDU owners can implement these upgrades and realize substantial energy savings, creating a win-win situation that promotes sustainability while generating more revenue.

With 98 percent of workers wanting to work remotely at least some of the time, high-speed internet is no longer a luxury—it’s a requirement. Residents are demanding high-speed internet, and they’re likely to pay more for the convenience of it being ready to use at the time of move-in. This need can become an ancillary revenue source when harnessed and supplied in bulk with proptech.

Additionally, amenities like EV charging stations, community gardens, and pet-friendly spaces cater to diverse resident interests, creating opportunities for additional revenue. MDU owners can leverage these features to attract a broader tenant base and enhance the overall value proposition of their properties.

4. Gaining a Competitive Edge in a Crowded Marketplace

According to a report by Broadband Communities, construction was estimated to start on about 20,000 large MDUs containing 520,000 dwelling units in 2023. In a crowded real estate marketplace being affected by unique market conditions, standing out is essential for attracting and retaining residents. 

Property technology provides MDU owners with a unique selling proposition, especially as connectivity becomes a sought-after amenity. MDU owners can create attractive connectivity packages and service bundles through proptech, including high-speed, property-wide Wi-Fi as a standard amenity. Residents benefit from reliable and fast internet connectivity without the hassle of setting up individual services. This becomes a significant selling point, especially for tenants who prioritize seamless connectivity experiences.

By investing in cutting-edge technology and amenities that align with current trends, property owners can differentiate their communities and appeal to the preferences of modern renters. This competitive edge not only attracts new residents but also fosters loyalty among existing ones.

As the multifamily housing landscape evolves, property technology emerges as a pivotal factor in meeting the changing needs of residents and staying competitive in a changing market. From establishing a robust connectivity infrastructure to unlocking new revenue opportunities, proptech offers MDU owners a comprehensive toolkit for success. Embracing these technological advancements not only enhances operational efficiencies but also positions MDUs as modern, sustainable, and attractive living spaces.

Learn more about how Onboard can help you realize these benefits.

About the Author

Denver Hollingsworth

Former marketing lead at Comcast, with a decade of of marketing and communications experience in MDU/telecom. Currently serves as Director of Marketing at Onboard.