The market for a single-family rental home is going through many changes, most of which are there because of the influence of long-term renters. Like many people, from millennials to seniors, find themselves not able to or not willing to purchase a home nationwide, large numbers are turning to long-term rentals instead. Because of this, there are certain expectations that new renters bring with them, and one of them is the kinds of smart technology they expect to find in single-family residences.
Many tenants may require that particular smart devices be installed by their landlord, from high-speed internet to smart thermostats to security systems. But is it really worth it? Will the trouble of upgrading your Inverness rental homes be worth the renters that are attracted by it? The answer hinges on a few variables, from the location of your rental property to your desired return on the upfront costs.
Smart devices have the potential to make a rental home more efficient, more secure, and more convenient. Rental homes that are smart technology-ready would draw a certain group of potential renters. For instance, a smart thermostat can make managing heating and cooling costs much easier, reducing wear and tear on air conditioning units and furnaces as well as lowering utility bills.
Adding sensors and cameras to doors and windows make sense for specific areas where the perception of crime is a problem. Installing these things would bolster up the sense of security that might convince renters who would otherwise be turned off by the location. Smart locks can make it easier for you to get into your rental homes when you need to. It also increases the security of new tenants during the transition period. No more changing the locks or emergency calls to a locksmith; you can simply change an access code to control who has access and who doesn’t.
If your rental home is situated in a place where there is a large number of renters working or going to school, it might be wise to upgrade. Smart devices are usually more appreciated in these areas, and you can reasonably increase how much you collect for rent to offset the upfront costs.
Smart devices truly offer a lot of benefits to tenants and property owners, but there are a few possible drawbacks that come with them as well. Quite possibly the most common issue property owners have when deciding to do a smart device upgrade is the upfront cost. Most of the smart home technology devices aren’t unreasonably expensive, but the additional cost of buying the equipment for your rental home is enough to make it necessary for you to really study your options. Many devices work as a coordinated system, meaning you might not be able to do the job one upgrade at a time. On top of that, not all areas will be able to handle the rent increase needed to gain back your costs, so knowing your specific market for each rental home is important.
A second concern is the reliability and speed of the Wi-Fi in your area, and administrative access, which they will need to look after. Many smart devices rely on wireless internet to function, and so if the signal is weak or drops, it may seriously interfere with the functioning of any smart device. In places where connectivity is a recurring problem, smart devices may not be a good option. They wouldn’t work as advertised and they’d just end up being an expensive but useless feature.
While many renters are attracted to smart home technologies, these features may actually turn off other renters because of security concerns. Many are suspicious of automation; we’ve all seen articles about someone’s digital devices being compromised and their personal privacy violated. While these incidents are extremely rare, some potential renters still won’t feel comfortable and would rather look elsewhere.
Ultimately, the Inverness property owner must determine whether upgrading their rental homes to include smart devices is worth the cost. Decisions of these type need to involve good market data and detailed knowledge of a rental home’s area, both of which we at Real Property Management Diversified can provide. With our experience and data tools, we can help you weigh the options to find out which, if any, smart devices would be a sound purchase for your rental homes. Feel free to contact us online or by phone at 352-854-2221. We’ll be glad to answer any of your questions and provide you with information about Real Property Management Diversified.
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