Skip to main content

Innovation and automation are everywhere. PropTech is one of those areas where technology offers significant value to both property managers and tenants by facilitating communication, boosting security, increasing property utility efficiency, and reducing operating costs. Smart apartments and smart homes, however, are managed differently. Each property has different needs, and technology will be used in different ways.

Take a look at how to manage a smart home versus smart apartments and why it matters. 

Technology For Smart Apartments and Intelligent Buildings Versus Smart Homes

Increasingly, proptech is less of an amenity and more of an expectation. Technology offers a sense of safety and security that is becoming less like a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign on the fence, and more like a seatbelt requirement. 

Innovative in-home technology is barreling toward the category of ‘necessity’ for many owners and residents, but what is the difference when choosing technology and automation for various properties?

The shortest answer is that smart homes are often automated for a single, long-term resident who wants to add sensors and track home activity. Smart apartments need to be agile and adaptive. Access codes need to be changed more often; energy and utilities need to be visible and managed more efficiently. A property hub will be utilized differently for a multi-family apartment setting than for a single-family smart home. 

From The Ground Up: Smart Homes And Apartments

While a homeowner or single-family rental property owner is likely to add gadgets and sensors, apartments have a more specific set of needs. Homeowners can patch together smart light bulbs, door sensors, and locks, and add security cameras as they see the need. 

However, building connectivity into an apartment’s infrastructure will allow the owner to anticipate and adapt to future tech needs. Developers are building and refurbishing multi-family structures to include better tech from the get-go, making their properties more efficient and more easily managed on a larger scale. 

Cybersecurity and data privacy is a top concern for everyone. Because smart apartments are connected and leave potential openings for resident data to be collected, building and maintaining cybersecurity measures is paramount. Using a trusted set of platform vendors and devices, rather than patching together sets of sensors, will help to ensure better security. 

Unlike a single-family home, a multi-unit property means owners and managers need a single platform to tie everything together. Property management, community management, all forms of automation, and any added smart home sensors and devices all need to be brought together under a unified system for better control, access, and management. A complex patchwork will be less secure and significantly less efficient. 

Giving Tenants The Reigns

Residents value added control, safety, security, and efficiency as much as owners and managers. The right platform will allow residents the ability to manage their keyless door entry access codes, for example—no more lockouts to which an on-site manager needs to respond. 

Residents will appreciate the drop in utility bills when they can remotely manage their heating and cooling. Tenants will also be delighted at the ability to queue up programming schedules for opening and closing blinds and brewing their morning coffee. Plus, by giving them the ability to add their own devices, such as releasing kibble at their pet’s mealtime, putting their television on a timer, and supporting Alexa or other hubs, you’ve got a well-managed property with tenants doing their part. This builds community and significant loyalty for any branded property developer.

Smart homes and smart apartments may be completely different when it comes to automation and proptech choices, but they do have both the owner and tenant’s best interests in mind. By adding innovative property tech options with an eye on the future, the tenant-landlord relationship becomes less transactional and much more connected for a more human and humane experience.


Michelle is a veteran writer specializing in technology, finance, business leadership, and a broad range of other topics. When she isn't tapping at her keyboard, Michelle can be found hiking the Colorado Rockies with her dog, SCUBA diving anywhere there's salt and sand, or curled up with a good book and cat at her side.