Smart Technology for Rental Properties

41 views August 15, 2023 August 17, 2023 Justin Stowe 2

Have you invested in any smart technology for your rental properties? If not, it’s worth investigating.

New technology comes out all the time. Investing in smart technology for a rental property can offer several benefits for both landlords and tenants. Here are some reasons why it’s important to consider incorporating smart technology into your rental property:

  1. Enhanced Property Value and Appeal: Smart technology can make your rental property more attractive to potential tenants. Many renters are interested in properties that offer modern amenities and convenience. Having features like smart thermostats, keyless entry systems, and smart appliances can set your property apart and potentially justify higher rent.
  2. Increased Security: Smart security systems, such as smart locks, video doorbells, and security cameras, can enhance the safety of your rental property. These systems can provide tenants with a sense of security and peace of mind, which can be a major selling point for your property.
  3. Energy Efficiency: Smart thermostats and energy monitoring systems can help tenants manage their energy usage more effectively, leading to potential cost savings on utility bills. This can be a significant selling point, especially as more people become conscious of their environmental impact and energy consumption.
  4. Convenience for Tenants: Smart technology can make daily life more convenient for tenants. For example, smart home assistants can help with tasks like setting reminders, managing schedules, and providing information. Smart appliances can also offer features that streamline tasks, such as automatic defrosting or adjusting cooking settings.
  5. Remote Property Management: Smart technology allows landlords to remotely manage and monitor their properties. This can be especially beneficial for landlords who don’t live near their rental properties. Remote access to security cameras, locks, and other systems can help with maintenance and security.
  6. Reduced Maintenance Costs: Some smart technology can help you identify maintenance issues early, preventing larger problems and reducing repair costs in the long run. For instance, leak detection sensors can alert you to potential water leaks before they cause significant damage.
  7. Competitive Advantage: In a competitive rental market, properties with smart technology can stand out and attract more tenants. The ability to offer modern features can give you an edge over other landlords who haven’t invested in such technology.
  8. Improved Tenant Relations: Providing modern amenities through smart technology can lead to more positive tenant experiences. Happy tenants are more likely to stay longer and treat the property well, reducing turnover and associated costs.
  9. Flexibility in Renting Options: Some smart technology can enable you to offer flexible renting options, such as short-term rentals or vacation rentals. Smart locks and property management systems can streamline the process of check-ins, check-outs, and guest access.
  10. Future-Proofing: As technology continues to advance, having a foundation of smart technology in your rental property can make it easier to adapt to future innovations without major renovations.

Before investing in smart technology, it’s important to research the specific needs of your property and your target tenant demographic. Additionally, consider the initial investment costs, ongoing maintenance, and potential privacy concerns associated with these technologies.

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The 5 Best Smart Technology Devices for Rental Properties

A recent survey by Coldwell Banker asked home buyers what they looked for in a home. Here are a few of the stats:

  • 77% want smart thermostats installed
  • 75% want smart fire detectors installed
  • 63% want a smart lock installed

There’s more, but you get the point. Home buyers like smart technology – as do renters. They like the benefits offered by smart homes, and may be willing to spend more for those benefits.

1: Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat is an advanced temperature control device that intelligently manages a home’s heating and cooling systems. Unlike traditional thermostats, smart thermostats offer features such as remote control through mobile apps, learning capabilities, and integration with other smart home devices. They allow users to adjust the temperature settings remotely, ensuring comfort upon arrival while saving energy when away.

Some models learn the household’s preferences over time and create personalized schedules, optimizing energy usage. Equipped with sensors and Wi-Fi connectivity, smart thermostats can also adapt to weather conditions and occupancy patterns, further enhancing energy efficiency. These devices often provide usage reports, allowing users to track their energy consumption and make informed decisions.

Nest is the most well-known brand, but you have other options. For example, the Honeywell Lyric T5 is a Best Buy from Consumer Reports and only costs $130. You can have “your guy” install it, but you may also be able to install it yourself, thanks to the miracle of YouTube videos.

Tenants like smart thermostats for two main reasons:

  • It saves them money on utility bills
  • They don’t have to constantly mess with it

Ultimately, smart thermostats provide convenience, cost savings, and environmental benefits by efficiently managing a home’s climate control system. Since this is the technology more than ¾ of consumers said they’d want, it’s probably your biggest bang for the buck.

2: Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

A smoke and carbon monoxide detector is a crucial safety device designed to monitor indoor air for the presence of smoke and deadly carbon monoxide (CO) gas. These detectors play a vital role in protecting occupants from two significant threats: fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Equipped with advanced sensors, they can detect the distinct particles produced during a fire and the odorless, colorless carbon monoxide gas that can be emitted by malfunctioning appliances or improper ventilation.

When smoke or elevated carbon monoxide levels are detected, the detector emits loud audible alerts and, in some models, visual indicators such as flashing lights. Many modern detectors are also equipped with wireless connectivity, allowing them to send real-time alerts to smartphones or smart home systems, ensuring that residents are aware of the danger even when they’re not at home.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential safety devices that provide early warning of potentially life-threatening situations, enabling occupants to take prompt action and evacuate if necessary, ultimately saving lives and preventing property damage.

3: Video Doorbell

These are becoming more and more popular every day – and with good reason. Video doorbells:

  • Save videos of activity to the cloud
  • Let you talk to the person at the door without having to open it (or even be home!)
  • Allow you to see what’s happening real-time
  • Function as a regular doorbell

Think of all of the uses. You know when packages arrive (and if someone “walks away” with one.) You see when the kids get home. You can interact with someone at your door, even if you are somewhere else.

My boss had one of these, and watched real-time as someone he’d never seen before just walked right into his house! Turns out it was the previous homeowners’ maid, and they had never been told the previous client had moved away.

Your tenants will love a video doorbell. And you’ll enjoy having one if the property is vacant, so you can keep an eye on things.

4: Smart Lock

When was the last time you forgot to lock the door to your house or car? Notice I asked “when” and not “have you ever.” That’s because everyone does it – we’re human. The world moves fast, there are lots of distractions, and we’re constantly on the go.

Enter smart locks. When you start second guessing that you locked the door, you can just check your app. You can also turn on the auto-lock function, which makes it automatically lock when you enter or leave the house!

A smart lock is an innovative security device that replaces traditional keys with digital access methods. It connects to smartphones or other authorized devices via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or NFC, allowing users to remotely control lock/unlock functions. With a user-friendly app, access can be granted to specific individuals for designated timeframes. Biometric features like fingerprint recognition may also be integrated.

Smart locks offer heightened security through activity logs, real-time notifications, and the ability to lock/unlock remotely. Their convenience, flexibility, and enhanced monitoring make them a cutting-edge solution for modern homes and businesses seeking advanced access control.

Your tenants will love the extra security this lock allows. But similar to the video doorbell, it’s not just for tenants. This smart technology can help you keep your property secure when it’s vacant.

5: Smart Lighting

Last but not least, smart lighting for rental properties is a bright idea …pun intended.

Smart lighting refers to an intelligent and automated lighting system that goes beyond traditional switches and bulbs. It utilizes wireless communication technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Zigbee to connect with smartphones, tablets, or smart home hubs. Users can remotely control and customize their lighting through dedicated apps, voice assistants, or scheduled routines.

Dimming, color adjustment, and even color-changing capabilities enhance ambiance and energy efficiency. Motion sensors and geolocation can automate lighting based on occupancy or time of day, improving convenience and reducing energy waste. Integration with other smart devices permits creative scenarios like syncing lights with music or notifications.

Smart lighting used to be a true investment, but the costs have dropped dramatically over the years. You can get started with $40, and there’s a good chance it will get even cheaper as Amazon invests in more smart technology. Smart lighting systems offer personalization, energy savings, and convenience, transforming indoor and outdoor spaces into adaptable, tech-savvy environments that respond intelligently to inhabitants’ preferences and needs.

Key Takeaway

Smart devices enhance tenant satisfaction by offering convenience, security, and energy efficiency. Remote control of thermostats, locks, and lighting allows property management without physical presence. Automated systems like smart thermostats save on utility costs and appeal to eco-conscious tenants. Enhanced security through smart locks and cameras increases property value and reduces risks. Integration with smart home hubs or assistants adds a modern, attractive touch.

These features will differentiate your property in a competitive rental market, attracting tech-savvy tenants and potentially yielding higher rental income. Overall, integrating smart technology enhances tenant experience, minimizes operational hassles, and positions your rental property as a forward-thinking and desirable option.

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