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Big tech in single-family built-to-rent

The last year has seen a lot of changes in the real estate industry, but perhaps the biggest was the rise of single-family built-to-rent homes. LittleBird was among the many companies who broadened their scope of business to include this quickly-growing corner of the industry, and we’ve been watching its impact on the technology we work with. So let’s break down the most important pieces of technology that make single-family rental communities such a big deal. 

Access Control

Single-family communities often have very different layouts than multifamily properties, so security also looks a little different. Built-to-rent properties place more importance on the main gate, for example, because there are usually fewer checkpoints between the individual units and the outside world. Popular choices for access control technology at the front gate are video intercoms, traditional telephone entry systems, and security cameras. Residents rely on this technology to ensure that anyone in the community has been granted access and is monitored by property staff. 

Access readers and other forms of checkpoint technology, compatible with fobs and smartphones, are typically less common in these communities, depending on their layout. Properties with more than one unit in each building may utilize this technology the way multifamily properties do, to check credentials at places on property like pools and workout facilities.. But single-unit homes are often more likely to be equipped with motion detectors, surveillance technology, and smart locks for the residents’ safety and peace of mind. 

Home Automation

Modern residents, no matter what type of home they live in, are looking for modern convenience, and that means smart home automation. Every room of the house has potential for smart devices that make life just a little bit easier, and single-family build-to-rent communities are fully aware of this opportunity. Smart lights in the living room, smart plugs in the office, a smart thermostat in the bedroom, voice command devices in the kitchen - it all comes together to create a modern resident experience like no other. Single-family properties are investing heavily in home automation because the return on investment is unlike anything the industry has ever seen. Multifamily owners and developers have known the value of smart technology for years, but now build-to-rent homes are pairing it with the long-term, independent home appeal of single-family rentals, and the results speak for themselves. 

Outdoor Automation

Single-family communities want to distinguish themselves from multifamily properties, and they accomplish this by making the units feel more like houses than, well, units. Technology for garages and patios is becoming increasingly popular as communities strive to give their built-to-rent homes that homey feel. Smart patios feature smart grills and outdoor smart plugs, along with smart spotlights for the yards and even smart speakers for the ultimate outdoor home experience. The garages are no less creative, with automatic and remotely-controlled garage doors becoming a norm even for built-to-rent homes. These communities are equipping themselves with the latest smart technology because that’s what residents are looking for: convenience, comfort, and control over their home.