Parks: Apartment Residents Want Broadband Included in Rent

With increased dependency on high-speed internet service, new data from Parks Associates finds that 40% of survey U.S. respondents who live in multi-dwelling apartments (MDU) are interested in bulk broadband internet bundled with their rent — and 77% of those are willing to pay higher rent in exchange for these services.

Dallas-based Parks firm also tracked growing ownership in smart home devices among MDU residents, with 41% of all broadband households owning at least one smart home device, compared with 34% of single-family households.

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“Consumers need broadband to live, work, learn, shop, and connect to healthcare, banking and more,” Jennifer Kent, VP of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed consumer dependence on reliable connectivity and high-speed access, as it is the foundation for access to and quality of connected services like telehealth, video conferencing, and online fitness solutions to meet their daily needs.”

High smart home device adoption among MDU residents correlates with age. Consumers 25 to 34 years old are among those more likely to adopt smart home devices, and they are also the most likely to live in a multi-dwelling unit.

Building on a high-performing broadband backbone, Parks suggests MDU property managers can leverage connected devices and smart platforms that integrate connected solutions to streamline property management tasks and lower operating costs, attract and retain residents, and increase rental revenues. Sixty-five percent of MDU builders report their business model leverages smart home technology to differentiate properties and add value.

“Today’s homes are dependent on technology and connectivity, and this requires a strong need for consultative engagement for MDU developers and managers,” said Vickie Rodgers, VP of Cox Communities. “From optimizing operational efficiencies, connectivity solutions, cloud-based services, device choices and integration, smart homes don’t work without great broadband connections and the appropriate integration.”

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