Homes of the Future: Interview with Steven DeFrancis

As part of Authority Magazine's -- a Medium publication -- series on "Home of the Future," Cortland CEO Steven DeFrancis shares his insights on the future of apartment living, from building trends and tech to the conversation around affordability.

"As an apartment home provider, our goal is to stay at the forefront of what renters are looking for in their home and living experience. Historically, the apartment industry has been regarded as a commodity offering, and therefore every aspect of the industry was treated as such — from product and amenities to renters and employees. As a result, this industry has lagged behind other consumer and service-oriented industries when it comes to focusing beyond brick-and-mortar and prioritizing the customer. We’ve now entered an age where apartment living is seen as a consumer offering, which is a paradigm shift in how the entire industry thinks, and in turn, how it is perceived.

Regardless of whether people rent by necessity or choice, it’s important we’re not just focused on the space, but even more so the ways our future residents live and create a home in that space. In a world where consumer interactions are highly digital and increasingly personalized, that means home technology is front and center of building trend conversations. But the conversation around tech isn’t just about convenience or the newest smart home gadget. It’s also about privacy and choice. We need to provide options for our residents to securely engage with us and their living experience in the manner they choose."