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Safety and security, convenience, transparency, cost savings, and environmental sustainability – there are plenty of reasons to integrate smart technology into a rental property. 

For the Gen-Z renter, technology integration in all areas of life is almost inextricably linked to their value system. Gen Z already represents 40% of consumers. They are just now graduating from college, which means they are hitting the rental market. And as many futurists anticipated, smart home tech is a necessity for the Gen-Z renter.

Why is smart home tech important to Gen Z?

The straightforward answer is that first-world Gen Z is the first truly native digital generation. They have never known a world without smart mobile devices, the internet, and instant connectivity. 

Unlike previous generations where technology was either seen as a marvel or sometimes an addiction, for Gen Z, it’s a way of life because it’s threaded into nearly every daily activity. 

While this carries some less than impressive consequences for Gen Z, such as an average eight-second attention span, it also brings a number of behaviors, habits, and expectations. Among those are attentiveness to information sources, a desire for authenticity and transparency, and a continued desire to embed technology into every facet of their lives. 

When it comes to smart home technology, anticipating ever-expanding technology integration into the home as a necessity, not a luxury, is crucial for landlords and Gen-Z renters. 

Minimum smart home tech expectations from Gen-Z renters

A recent study revealed that sixty-two percent of Gen-Z renters rank smart-home technology as extremely or very important, preferring tech options over laundry, gym, close parking, and more space. Given their minimum tech standards, here are a few categories of tech every landlord will want to install to attract and sign Gen-Z renters. 

Connectivity and Access

First and foremost, reliable, fast, and high-quality wifi internet access is a basic necessity. Without this, nothing else functions. It can’t just be a wifi connection. Because this is the backbone of all connectivity, internet access needs to be consistent and reliable. It shouldn’t matter how many people use the connection, whether they are streaming, gaming, or surfing. It also shouldn’t matter where they are on the property. Dead zones and slow connections are a deal-breaker. 

Safety and Security

Many homes include an alarm system, but integrated tech means so much more. Smart locks with keyless entry help the renter control access remotely and as needed. Smartphone access to security cameras with a feed that can capture and monitor entryways, packages, and car parking is vital. And security extends to all internet connections. Individuals can set up their own VPNs, but everyone wants to know their connection is secure and their data is fully protected. 

Cost Savings and Sustainability

Utility companies are just getting around to offering more meaningful usage statistics, but inside the home is where costs are controlled. Smart thermostats allow renters to implement best practices around day and night temps versus home and away temps. Smart bulbs mean more control over electricity usage. Even being connected to the hot water heater and other home appliances gives the renter the ability to control their utility bill and their environmental footprint.  

Convenience and Transparency

Being able to access their home, along with everything else, is a convenience Gen-Zers have come to expect. Whether from around the globe or in the next room, checking in on their home is the proptech answer to the only truly native digital generation. Paying rent, submitting repair tickets, signing the rental agreement, and completing any rental surveys are also expected to be available on mobile, preferably through an app over an internet login. 

Smart tech is a must-have, not a preference.

Smart tech is appreciated by boomers and a strong preference among Gen-Xers and Millennials, but it’s a non-negotiable must-have among Gen-Zers. This translates to better receivables for landlords. A recent study indicated Gen-Z is willing to pay 10% more for eco-friendly products, including the environmental sustainability offered by proptech. 

By meeting the needs of Gen-Zers as they enter the rental market, landlords and rental property managers will be answering the call of their renters and making investments that will propel their rental business into a secure future. 


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.