Why the millennial generation want smart homes and how are coliving spaces uniquely placed to meet their expectations?
It’s not a surprise that millennials are comfortable with technology. They are the first generation to grow up in a home with a smartphone in their hand and take advantage of the web’s infinite flexibility, global communication reach and limitless access to information.
Growing up surrounded by tech devices has not only defined their ability to quickly adapt to new trends, but more importantly these experiences shaped their expectations as a consumer. 87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis. They’ve grown used to access just about any service they could possibly need with just a click of a button.
A new report by the tech company LivePerson confirms that the majority of millennials and Generation Z communicate digitally more than they do in person.
Millennials have now surpassed baby boomers as the largest living population. As baby boomers leave the workforce, millennials are quickly inheriting their buying power and their influence has been creeping up in every sector yet it’s just now it’s starting to be felt into the property world. But the big surprise is that they’re willing to pay more for the added convenience of smart home technology.
A survey conducted by Wakefield Research found that 86 percent of millennials were willing to spend more money renting a place with smart home technology. In fact, millennials are willing to pay an average of 20 percent more a month in order to secure a home with smart technology.
But, what sort of smart home technologies are millennials after? They are predominantly after smart home devices that:
1. Enhance convenience and provide flexibility – digital door locking technology, mobile-controlled security systems , interconnected doorbells and USB outlets are good examples of this category.
2. Make entertainment choices easier – Smart TVs, digital media players, voice-activated assistants and wireless speakers that can sync with multiple electronics like Sonos and Apple TV are favoured.
3. Save energy and protects the environment – They love systems that can both slash energy costs and impact positively the environment like smart thermostats, automated lighting systems and controllable blinds.
They particularly appreciate devices that devices that are able to sync with multiple electronics and are accessible on the go thanks to smartphones.
Although the global smart home market is growing fast, many of these advances are being driven by relatively small start-ups and just now becoming mainstream. This has kept many large homebuilders and developers at bay. On the other hand new savvy coliving start-ups have been quick to pick up and adapt their spaces to these trends. Many of these companies are either run by millennials or they cater predominantly for millenials, which has placed them in a unique position to leverage these trends.
It’s not simply about the technology but also about how millennials make these choices that favour coliving spaces. Millenials read ratings, comments and reviews before choosing a service or product and coliving spaces are taking advantage of this tendency by curating products and brands trusted by these groups and developing a community that can relay first hand their experience of the lifestyle and culture of the space.
Finally, the separation between home and office is ever so blur for this generation. This is why their home improvement preferences tend to be largely influenced by how the home space is organised for both living and working. Coliving spaces have also been quick to respond with versatile spaces and technologies that can cater for both activities interchangeably.
Smart technology is only just beginning. But, as the millennial generation takes over, we‘re going to see a huge change in real estate as a result and those better prepared to meet their expectations will find success.