What’s new in the world of BTR? By RealPage

What’s new in the world of BTR? What are current technology trends? What’s next? Felicite Moorman VP of CommunityConnect and STRATIS Cofounder weighs in and gives predictions.

What types of smart tech are young renters demanding these days?

Connectivity: Gen Z and Millennial Residents expect a powerful, seamless, building-wide internet experience. This is an opportunity for Property Owners and Managers to deliver on experience expectations.

Demand economy convenience: The hospitalitisation of Build to Rent means that concierge services of all types, those provided by property management companies and third parties, require technology to enable approved and secure smart access management and control to deliver.

Sustainability: The efforts aren’t just expected in-unit, but building-wide. A clear campaign that messages the dedication of the company to the cause and highlights the technology utilised and optimised might just put that property over the edge for a eco-savvy prospect in the competitive Build to Rent market.

Smart apartments: The Smart Apartment is a growing trend in Build to Rent, with the ability to control their living experience in the most intimate location, their unit. The ability to create and customise that living experience is as intuitive and logical an evolution of Digital Native living that, as soon as it is experienced, it becomes a baseline expectation. Ordering food, services, managing schedules and relationships, securing transportation, purchasing and renting through a mobile device is normal and ubiquitous. Controlling the space they live in will be as well.

What types of smart tech can we expect more of post-COVID?

  • Advanced access control: This enhances the safety and convenience of current and prospective Residents by including self-touring and truly touch-free access that enhances the safety and convenience of current and prospective residents. That includes self-touring and truly touch-free access. Touch-free Access is the first and foremost request we’re getting today. There’s a big difference between “touch-less” and “touch-free.” The marketing can be deceptive, but everyone is more aware of the challenges in surface transmission of illness. In order to provide a real, not perceived, reduction of threats, it must include the entire travel path. Touchless doesn’t help if you still have to hit the lift button or touch the door handle after unlocking. Self-touring is a rapidly growing expectation from young renters, who want the convenience to view apartments on their schedule and the added ability to maintain social distancing best practices to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.


  • Higher indoor Air Quality: Air quality sensors are simple yet effective tools for understanding the health impacts of living in spaces that are consistently undergoing changes. By measuring carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate, temperature, and humidity, these sensors can significantly reduce the occurrence and severity of respiratory conditions for residents and their children.


  • Better package management: Better package management, given the 60% increase in deliveries during COVID, is paramount to the mitigation of risk of owners and operators. Smart Access Management and Control is enabling both to unit and in-unit delivery in a secure and auditable manner providing the tech-savvy renter the convenience and security they demand.


  • Maintenance: We’re more deeply integrating our technologies with current property management systems like RealPage, to enable ticketing and automated scheduling and mobile credentialing to eliminate friction for managers and maintenance. We’re seeing tremendous adoption of real-time water flow and leak sensors, pulse meters and energy monitors, to enable predictive, preventative, and diagnostic capabilities property-wide -without entering units.

Are there any trends you’re seeing in Build to Rent development/property management as it relates to smart technology?

We are trend heavy in Build to Rent right now. Here are the leading trends:

  • “Always on” and building-wide WiFi
  • Ubiquitous access control (self and touch-free touring)
  • Guest and visitor access
  • Package deliveries
  • Technology that enables communication and community: community building applications that foster a sense of community, despite physical distancing, will continue to find success in recruiting and retention



About RealPage

RealPage CommunityConnect, creates smart apartments and intelligent buildings and is the only platform of its kind built for the complexities of Build to Rent and student housing and is installed worldwide across the U.S., in Japan, the UK, EU, and Latin America.  CommunityConnect now serves hospitality, retail, and small to mid-size commercial, as well.

RealPage (NASDAQ:RP) is the leading global provider of property management software and data analytics to the real estate industry. Clients use our platform to improve operating performance, increase capital performance and deliver living experiences that exceed expectations. Founded in 1998, RealPage currently serves nearly 12,200 clients worldwide from offices in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and Asia.


Tel: +44 (0)203 432 2105