What Property Managers can Get out of Smart Home Tech
There’s no doubt technology has made the business of property management easier when it comes to payment and communication with your tenants. But there’s much more that technology can and should be doing to make property management easier and more efficient.
What technology are we talking about? Smart home solutions. The clever use of this new type of consumer technology can make tenants happier, increase your property value, reduce energy usage, and keep you on top of problems like home water leaks.
If you’re using online payment systems or property management software, you already know that technology can lead to happier tenants. Those same principles apply to smart home tech. A modern property with all the amenities provided by smart appliances, smart lighting and other tech shows that you care about the details and creating a quality property for your tenants.
And as you know, happier tenants are easier to work with and stick around longer, leading to fewer headaches and a more pleasant experience at work for you. It’s an investment that may not seem obvious, but adds long-term benefits for you and your renters.
Increased Property Value
One of the most interesting questions for the property management and real estate industries vis-à-vis smart home tech has always been whether or not it will increase property value. Interviews with real estate brokers from San Francisco and Boise, Idaho found that when it came to selling homes, smart home tech made properties sell much faster, but didn’t greatly impact the price.
So how does this impact property managers? Considering the risk and investment are far lower, there’s no doubt that if smart home tech will help a home sell faster, it will also help a rental property find tenants faster. The question is whether or not smart home tech investments will increase rental prices if they don’t tend to increase sale prices.
Well, with 81% of buyers indicating that they’d be more like to buy a home if smart home products were already installed, and considering the data mentioned above, there’s a good chance you can charge higher rental prices on a property equipped with smart home tech. However, the financial benefits go beyond earning more from rent every month.
Reduced Energy Usage
If you are concerned with making more from your properties, this is a great reason to consider certain types of smart home tech – smart thermostats being a prime example. When Nest thermostats released a white paper combining a variety of research papers on the subject, they found a 10-12% reduction of heating costs and a 15% reduction of cooling costs.
Do the math on your property’s annual energy bills and it’s easy to see how much you or your tenants can save. Add in the extra convenience and appeal from the tenant’s perspective and it’s clear why these make a great investment for property managers.
For example, say you pay the energy bills and your tenants pay you a flat rate. Now you can put money back in your own pocket, as well as making your property more appealing, by pointing out that this thermostat will learn your tenants’ behavior to make sure they get their ideal temperature.
Water Leak Detection
If you are in a situation where you’re paying the utility bills for a property you own, or even if you’re only responsible for fixing any damage caused by the appliances you have in your properties, home water leaks are a serious concern. The amount of water wasted by even a small leak which isn’t reported to you by your tenants really adds up.
That’s not even touching on the damage which can be done by a single catastrophic leak, which can cost thousands to repair. These reasons add up to why a home water leak detection system is another critical piece of smart home technology for property managers. First, it allows for remote controlling of the main water valve for the property. If the apartment is unoccupied, you can turn it off with your smartphone from anywhere.
But besides that, if there is a water leak anywhere where you’ve placed a sensor, you and your tenants can get an immediate notification (in addition to the main valve being automatically shut off). So the water is shut off before any serious damage can be done and you already know you need to send someone to fix the pipe or appliance without the need for any communication from your tenants.
Importantly, all of this can happen even if your tenants are away or the apartment is unoccupied.
The Bottom Line
The conclusion for property managers is that there are many ways in which smart home tech can save them time, money, and even add income from their existing properties. So take a look at your properties and see where you can start adding value with smart home tech.