September 27, 2018

The future is here: With about 15 percent of homes employing smart technology to manage heating and cooling, security, lighting and other functions, it makes sense that renters are starting to look for these technologies as well.

Surveys show renters are attracted to smart home technology —many already own virtual personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant and are more likely to rent when offered the option of smart devices.

Installing smart door locks, thermostats, and cameras has never been easier. Many companies offer comprehensive smart technology packages, or you can pick and choose the systems that make the most sense for you and your properties.

Not only do these smart home technologies give you the chance to save money and protect your property, but they help attract new, tech-savvy renters who know how to use them and are willing to pay more for these special extras, knowing they’ll save money in the long run.

1. Smart lighting

Smart lighting is super easy—it starts with the bulbs. Landlords can swap out existing LEDs or compact fluorescents with smart bulbs that can be controlled through a mobile app, Alexa or Google Assistant. They can be dimmed remotely, scheduled to go on when a tenant is about to come home or set them up for vacation timing to help protect a property while a tenant is away. For an extra funky feature, some smart lights change colors, emit sleep-friendly light or even play music. Tenants can swap out the color of their rooms without painting.

2. Smart thermostats

Smart technology also now allows tenants and homeowners to manage heat and cooling remotely or automatically, keeping costs and energy usage lower. Smart thermostats managed to adjust when your tenant is home or away, and some have sensors to kick on the heat automatically when your tenant comes home from work. Some brands learn and adapt to home-and-away times, and some will send you reports to help you keep track of energy use in your buildings.

3. Smart security

Smart security offers both you and your tenants' peace of mind. Video doorbells and outdoor cameras can provide an extra layer of security, as can mobile apps that cut down on those unsettling moments when your tenant is driving to work and can’t remember if the front door is locked. Now, they can have the option to check by looking at their phone—and take care of it wherever they are. Some apps will send notifications when someone unlocks or locks a door. Tenants appreciate the convenience and security, and you can feel more at ease knowing there aren’t unlocked doors available for thieves on your property.

4. Smart sensors

Protect against costly water leaks by installing smart water leak sensors at key points – under a sink, near a washing machine or dishwasher or a water heater. Get notified on your app if the sensors pick up a problem—these sensors can capture small leaks before you’ve got a serious mess on your hands. Dozens of affordable versions are on the market and easy to install.

Remember, the up-front costs of installing these devices—usually between $500 and about $2,000 for full systems—can help save a bundle down the road. The National Council for Home Safety and Security says 47% of millennials—who often favor renting over owning—are already using smart home products. Software Advice says whopping 86% are willing to pay more for renting properties that contain smart technologies. The trend is clear, and it’s a good time for property owners to take a closer look at responding.

Author Bio: Brandon Jarman is a recent Brigham Young University graduate who is currently living In Salt Lake City. When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and eating delicious Mexican food.

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