Multi-dwelling Unit (MDU) Market: Unique for Partnerships

by Elizabeth Parks | Nov. 22, 2022

The MDU market is unique for its multiple stakeholders, bulk deployments, and multiple locations for installations. End-user residents, MDU property managers, and building owners benefit directly from proptech. Other ecosystem players are also in a position to capitalize on new demand and value, including smart home solution vendors, ISPs, insurance agencies, security providers, and installers.

MDUs may have hundreds of units on one property, which leads to bulk device purchases and installations. Bulk sales are attractive to smart-home device vendors, but deployment and integrations must be carefully managed for successful outcomes. Property managers and owners often partner with service providers or vendors with the resources and expertise to work within this unique environment.

 PropTech Solutions Provide Unique Value to Residents and Property Owners

The market for smart technology solutions in MDUs has lagged behind the single-family housing market, but it is quickly catching up, especially as demand for high-end rental properties has accelerated. According to Parks Associates research, 34% of property managers have internet-connected/ smart home devices installed in at least one

MDUs can deploy proptech and smart home solutions outside the units, in public spaces, and inside the units for residents’ use. While public WiFi is the most common tech in public areas, 51% of MDU managers with at least one smart home-enabled property have smart cameras installed in MDU common areas. Parks Associates data consistently finds that security/safety use cases resonate among all US broadband households, and we anticipate seeing networked cameras added to more properties.

Smart cameras are the most prevalent smart home devices installed in common areas, but smart light bulbs/lighting are popular both in units and common areas, highlighting the strength of the security and safety value proposition.

Resident requests are a key motivator for property managers and owners in deploying smart home solutions. The top five most requested features are automated lighting, smart appliances, increased levels of security in common areas, increased broadband speed and remote access to residential units. MDU property managers and owners can stay competitive in this tight rental market by adding smart features to their properties, while device manufacturers and service providers can increase revenues by partnering to provide these solutions to MDUs.

This is an excerpt form a white paper Smart Solutions - Boosting Revenue in Multifamily Properties, written in partnership with SmartRent. This whitepaper addresses how connected devices benefit multifamily owners and property managers, from improving business efficiency to driving additional revenues, as well as opportunities in the emerging MDU market for product vendors and service operators. The research includes a snapshot of the current market for smart home solutions in MDUs and key considerations for both vendors and MDU owners and managers.

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