Smart Home Technology for Your Investment Property
Do you have a rental property? Are you looking for ways to make it more attractive to tenants who might have many options in your community, city, or state? One way to do so is by offering more value for the rent they pay — and you can achieve this with smart home technology.
According to one survey, up to 57.4 million households in the United States are actively using smart home devices this year. This is up 6.7% compared to 2021, when the tally of households actively using smart home technology was 53.8 million.
If you want to make your rental property a more attractive option for tenants, include smart home technology. Keep reading to see some smart home options worth considering.
Smart Home Tech Investment Options
If your tenants pay for utilities, they’ll be interested in units with smart thermostats. If they are away for large chunks of the day, they can set their smart thermostats so that the temperature isn’t higher or lower than it needs to be. When they’re away at work during the winter, they can program the smart thermostat so that the temperature isn’t any warmer than it needs to be. It’ll be possible to program it so that the temperature rises when they return from work.
Energy Star notes that people can save about $50 annually using their smart thermostats. That might not sound like a whole lot. But with inflation driving up the cost of living, every saving opportunity counts. The tenants for your rental unit will appreciate being able to save money.
Another smart home technology to consider for your rental unit is a video doorbell. Occupants will have an extra layer of security since they’ll be able to check who is at the door without having to walk to the door physically. Whether they’re in bed, in the living room, in the kitchen, or away from the rental unit, they’ll be able to check who is at the door.
A video doorbell can also deter would-be crooks from burglary attempts. Thieves prefer easy targets, so seeing a video doorbell that can capture them in the act is enough to dissuade most bad actors. Equipping your rental unit with a video camera could appeal to tenants. They’ll feel safer, which could be enough to differentiate your rental property from other properties.
Smart Home Security System
It’s always been a good idea to install a sound home security system. But a smart home security system is another matter entirely. Such a setup will include various physical electronic components that work together to safeguard your rental property. It can consist of the following:
- Smart security cameras
- Motion sensors that detect motion and send notifications if motion is detected
- Glass break sensors that will send alerts if glass is broken
- Entry sensors to detect whenever someone enters or leaves the rental unit
- An alarm to warn of any potential danger and potentially frighten off crooks
Smart Wireless Camera
It’s essential to remember that wireless cameras can come as part of a complete home security system or as a stand-alone option without the alarm, the keypad, and other components. Sometimes wireless cameras can simply be about providing peace of mind for tenants. So, if they want to check the house’s perimeter without going outside at night, they can do so via wireless cameras. All they’ll need is access to their computer, tablet, or laptop.
Another reason to consider installing wireless cameras is if your tenants have pets. If your tenants are out and about, they might take comfort in being able to check in on their pets. Wireless cameras ensure that they can check in from wherever they are. Furthermore, installing wireless cameras without all the other components will be a more cost-effective option.
Voice-Controlled Smart Speaker
Did you know that the worldwide smart speaker market is expected to grow to $6.5 billion this year and, according to IMARC Group, could skyrocket to $27.5 billion by 2028?
According to the research firm, smart speakers refer to wireless, internet-enabled devices that are equipped with integrated voice assistants that help people with everyday tasks. Perhaps you’ve already used one. They have voice recognition technology, so they decipher and respond to voice commands. For instance, if you have the Amazon Echo Dot voice-controlled smart speaker with the Alexa voice assistant, you can ask something like the following:
“Alexa, what’s the forecast for tomorrow?”
The voice assistant will then respond with the weather forecast for your area.
But voice assistants don’t just provide weather updates, as useful as that can be. They can also play music, stream live news, set alarms, answer questions, read e-books, set reminders and timers, and more. You can also use a voice-controlled smart speaker, according to IMARC, for GPS navigation and even to control smart home devices. So, the use cases are many.
Consider voice-controlled smart speakers if you want to offer tenants a tool that will offer convenience and functionality. They’re relatively inexpensive and do provide value. All you need is internet access to offer tenants the benefits of voice-control smart speakers.
Smart Smoke Detector
Whether it’s your primary residence or a rental property, you’ll want to protect your investment. One way you can do so is by installing smart smoke alarms. It’s certainly a good idea to install them in your rental units. When smart smoke alarms detect smoke or carbon monoxide, they can send alerts to your tenants’ smartphones.
Tenants will also be able to control smart smoke alarms remotely. It can be a game-changer by providing an extra layer of security for tenants and their pets, if you allow pets in your investment properties. Safety should be a priority. And tools like smart smoke detectors can help protect your tenants and your rental properties as well.
Another smart feature for your rental properties is a smart plug. When you install smart plugs in your rental units, you’ll transform the way tenants interact with their appliances, even if they’re someplace other than home. Smart plugs are plugged into regular electrical outlets. They’re then controlled by apps that tenants can use to control their appliances or anything else plugged into the smart plug. So, if they have a standing lamp plugged into one, they can have it automatically switch itself on at night or off in the morning.
That’s not only about convenience; it’s also about saving money. Smart plugs can help tenants be more responsible about their energy consumption. They can choose when and how long appliances or plug-in lamps are on. If tenants are responsible for their own utilities, then offering smart plugs will be an even more appreciated feature. If you are responsible, then you’ll do the saving. But when you consider how cost-effective smart plugs are, you’ll realize they’re worth buying.
Smart bulbs are easy to install. In fact, you can install them the same way you would install any traditional lightbulb. So, it’s one of the more cost-effective smart home upgrades you can pursue for your rental properties. If you do some research, you’ll find that smart bulbs can last for 25,000+ hours of use. That’s a long time by any stretch of the imagination. This means your tenants will save money over the long run if you install smart bulbs. These options are also better for the environment since they don’t have mercury, as do fluorescent bulbs. If you can save money while doing the best thing for the environment, that’s a win-win.
Just keep in mind that tenants will need to download an app to use smart bulbs. Once they have it on their smartphones or tablets, they’ll be able to operate the smart bulbs whether they’re at home or on the road.
Smart Garage Opener
If you rent out a home with a garage, there’s a good chance that a garage opener is already in place. But is it a smart garage opener? If it’s not, it’s worth upgrading to get the features that come with a smart garage opener. A smart garage opener won’t just open and close your garage door. Instead, the unit will send activity alerts directly to your tenant’s smartphone. The tenant will also be able to determine who can have access to the garage. A smart garage opener can also alert your tenant if the garage door is inadvertently left open. That can be a game-changer since leaving a garage door open by mistake can lead to problems like theft or even worse.
And That’s Not All…
It’s possible to get many other features as part of a smart home security system. Your tenants can keep tabs on what’s going on inside and outside their rental units no matter where they are. They can set things up so they’re alerted if there’s a problem. If a service provider monitors the system, then the authorities can be dispatched as required.
These are some of the things you do to make your investment property more attractive to renters. If you want more tips on how to offer people what they want as a property owner, consult with a property manager experienced at helping property owners to find suitable tenants.
The right property manager can improve the investment property ownership experience with smart home technology. You’ll get help with necessary maintenance and repairs, updating your rental property so it’s competitive in the rental market, finding suitable tenants, and more.
Featured Image: Pixabay; Binyamin Mellish. Thank you!
Smart Home Technology for Your Investment Property was originally published on Readwrite on January 16, 2023 by Deanna Ritchie.