April 2, 2018

Adding smart home assistants and connected devices to your rental properties might sound like a ludicrous idea, but smart home technology can increase your property value and appeal, especially for first-time home buyers. Smart home technology can also be helpful for retirees—allowing you to appeal to a large range of renters for your property. Employ the six smart tech guidelines and products discussed below to attract new demographics and increase revenue.

1. Start with a Smart Home Assistant

No person, including your renter, wants to manage multiple smart home devices separately. Smart home assistants ensure they never have to. These digital assistants integrate different smart gadgets, making day-to-day management easy and effortless. Renters no longer log in to multiple applications to perform simple tasks such as scheduling motion lights, temperature settings, or security systems. Instead, they simply turn to their smart home assistant, give it instructions, and allow the device to carry out their commands.

Most smart home assistants require people to input commands through a smartphone application. Some, though, allow for voice control. This capability makes smart home management that much more enjoyable and desirable, a point proven by Coldwell Banker and Vivint Smart Home’s joint survey.

Their report finds several distinct groups desire voice control: 79% of Gen Xers, 74% of millennials, 63% of baby boomers, and 81% of parents. These groups want voice control for numerous smart home functions; however, entertainment tops the priority list at 43%. Both Google Home and the Amazon Echo allow renters to control entertainment apps like Netflix and Hulu.

2. Think about the Tenants You Want

After you decide on a smart home assistant for your rental properties, you can begin to add the technologies and devices that renters care about. But pause your purchasing decisions until you consider who your tenants are and what they desire in a home.

Some tenants, for instance, prioritize security and others, utilities management. If your property already appeals to a certain demographic, you can focus on tech for them. Or if you want to strike a balance, seek out a variety of smart tech options—entertainment and energy savings for millennials, security, and safety for families, and smart lighting and safety sensors for older individuals.

3. Add Smart Home Security

Even if your typical tenant skews toward convenience and comfort, they won’t complain if you install products within the smart home security category. Smart locks that open only to authorized tenants provide easy and customizable security. Smart doorbells allow tenants to see who’s at the door before deciding to open it, solidifying their sense of security, safety, and well-being.

Smart outdoor lighting offers related benefits. These lights can respond to movement, meaning they can guide a tenant home after a long day at work or cast a spotlight on a potential intruder. Smart cameras are also a good choice, helping to deter burglaries, vandalism, and other security issues.

To round out your smart home security purchases, add smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices are a solid investment, protecting your tenants and properties from smoke and fire damage and making it easier for you to track regular maintenance and upkeep.

4. Enhance with Utility Savers

Smart devices that lower utility bills attract any and all tenants. Lower bills can make your property more attractive to renters and help you stay a step above the competition.

Several smart home gadgets fall under the utility umbrella: smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart plugs, and smart sprinkler systems. Smart thermostats conserve energy, helping homes to stay at the desired temperature without running the HVAC system all day and night. Smart plugs save energy, too, often with the added benefit of remote monitoring. Tenants can check energy usage and turn off appliances from almost anywhere in the world.

Smart lighting can decrease utilities, especially if you buy ones integrated with motion sensors or a scheduler component. The first element ensures lights turn off and on automatically in response to activity. The second allows tenants to set lighting timers, further reducing electricity consumption. Like smart lighting, smart sprinkler systems also save energy and money, responding automatically to rain and water levels so it waters only when it needs to.

5. Highlight the Amenities

Next, address the amenities. You probably already highlight specific features in your listings, and with good reason. Amenities often convince tenants to choose you rather than another landlord. To ensure tenants continue to prefer you, consider adding smart home amenities. They could give you a competitive edge in the marketplace, as well as attract new, tech-savvy tenants.

For amenities, look into smart appliances, like smart refrigerators, smart stoves and ovens, and smart washers and dryers. The devices aren’t cheap, but your tenants may agree to higher rent prices in order to have them. Less expensive amenities include smart robot vacuums and, if you allow pets, smart pet food dispensers.

6. Finish with Smart Entertainment

Finally, top off your smart rental properties with entertainment options. Smart entertainment products can be pricey, so decide on a budget before investing in them. Your tenant would probably love to have a smart flat-screen TV. You would probably prefer to save money.

Fortunately, you can provide smart entertainment without harming the bottom line. For instance, you could install a streaming device or smart multi-room speakers. The streaming device, combined with a smart home assistant, makes it easier for tenants to access and watch the shows they love. Smart speakers allow them to listen to music and podcasts from anywhere in the home.

If you want to improve your rental properties in 2019, contemplate an investment in smart home assistants and technologies. They offer great benefits to you and your tenants, resulting in safer, securer, and more comfortable living spaces.

Author Bio: Allie Shaw graduated from the University of Utah with degrees in communications and public relations. She is an expert in all things home and tech.

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