In order to make your property attractive and stand out from the pack, you need to provide additional amenities. In 2020, this means leaning heavily on tech. If you’re wondering what to invest in and what to skip, we have you covered.
To attract quality residents, improve renewal rates, and increase profitability, landlords must enter the tech-friendly era and make their rental properties smart-friendly. While it may sound cost-prohibitive to add new technology to your units, you’d be surprised how cost-effective these gadgets are. Many will ultimately save you money.
Tenants expect high-speed internet connectivity in their prospective homes, but what else? The amenities sought after by tenants can be broken down into three categories: safety, cost-savings, and convenience. We’ve covered convenience in-depth regarding eSign Lease Agreement and tenant screening, so let’s dive into the other two groups.
It’s no surprise that the top concern for any renter is safety, so it’s to be expected that renters highly value security features. The best, and surprisingly affordable, tech-upgrade you can make here is a smart doorbell. It allows tenants to see who is at their door or in the lobby entryway to allow authorized visitors entry. It’s especially important in multifamily apartment buildings since it provides an extra feeling of safety.
You may be thinking; a smart doorbell sounds an awful lot like a fancy intercom –– why do I need to upgrade to it? Well, because the most desirable tenants are looking for these features. Smart doorbells are operational from anywhere via a mobile device, so it goes above and beyond the outdated intercom. Plus, the video aspect means that tenants can view who is at their door, the delivery status of a package, and more.
Not only will a smart doorbell make a property attractive for quality tenants, but it can also actually save you money. Most homeowner insurance companies provide a discount, typically about 5%, when you install one.
If you’re looking for additional features, you can add a home security and video system. These more substantial systems are more costly than a video doorbell –– which is still the most highly coveted feature by renters –– but they, too, can result in additional discounts on insurance premiums.
Another highly coveted feature by renters is a smart lock. Rather than having to tote around keys, tenants can simply plug in their unique code to enter the premises. It also allows them to create unique codes that expire for guests, and ultimately keeps your property safer.
A smart lock is also convenient for you as a landlord. You keep your unique code that does not change; you simply change the code for each new lessee. You can also generate codes for employees or subcontractors who may need to enter the property –– think cleaning services, repair crews, and more. While it’s a slightly higher upfront cost than simply rekeying a lock between renters, it will pay for itself quickly.
Heating and cooling a home can be a costly endeavor. Whether your tenants or you as the landlord are in charge of paying for the utilities, installing a smart thermostat is a wise decision. Options like the Nest give the tenant a lot of control.
Smart thermostats have eco settings that sense when the home is vacant and cut back on heating or cooling to save energy and money along with monthly reports on energy use. You can customize and control the temperature settings from a mobile device. Overall, it’s an attractive, money-saving feature for lessees and landlords alike.
Smart Light Bulbs + Outlets
You’d be surprised to know that you can see significant cost savings by installing smart bulbs and outlets. Outlet controls automatically shut power off if an appliance is left plugged in, and can be controlled remotely. Similarly, bulbs are adjustable by the analog switch and can be turned on and off with a smart device. You can adjust the bulb’s brightness from your phone, and they can even be put on a timer or set schedule to give the appearance of being home while away, thereby protecting your property.
These features represent a wish list for tenants, improve electric efficiency, and provide cost savings to you or your tenant. And let’s not forget –– the more amenities and cost-savings help make a property attractive and a tenant feels they are getting, the more likely they are to sign on for another year, which is the goal of any landlord.