3 Smart-Home Technology Ideas That Add Value To Your Rental Unit

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Kristin Flores's picture
Add value to your rental unit with technology such as a smart thermostat

Adding value to your rental units can frequently help get new tenants, and help to keep the ones you. Here are a few devices to consider.

By Kristin Flores

Rental Housing Journal

Among the products that are a result of our incredible leaps and bounds with technology, smart home technology has become increasingly popular for homeowners and the rental housing industry.

With the advent of technology such as the Amazon Echo , the infamous Siri  and various other devices that make your life easier, smart home technology has been weaving itself into our daily lives. From our most basic appliances  being able to control almost everything in your home with your cellphone - even if you are in a completely different country!

Property managers, landlords, tenants and homeowners alike can all benefit from these devices. This technology can help save money, energy, help ensure safety and can be incredible selling points for any rental unit.

As someone who lives in a home where almost everything is tethered to each other, and can be controlled remotely, I cannot express how wonderfully convenient having a smart home is.

Saving everyone money

Fall is here and, brace yourselves, winter is coming. The fall and winter nights are dark and full of terrors... like increased utility costs and accusing questions like, “Who turned up/off the heater?”

  • Smart thermostat options  that provide the ability to control the temperature of your home remotely. There are even vent monitoring systems  that control the temperature room by room that work in conjunction with these smart thermostats.

Although these types of smart thermostats can seem pricey upfront, but each rental unit or home with these can and will pay themselves off eventually. With saving money on electricity bills tacking on an additional charge, the potential of profit is definitely there. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to put a little extra effort into living eco-friendly and green, right?

  • Light dimmers can also help save electricity, money and can add a little something extra to how your rental units can adjust to the tenants’ personal lifestyle.

Admittedly, these light dimmers have saved me from myself countless times. I am the exact opposite of a morning person and I tend to forget to turn off the kitchen or hallway lights on my way out to the office. Think of that scene in Wall-E  when he wakes up and gracefully bumps into everything on his way to charge his battery for the day –that’s me.

Ensuring safety

Safety and home security are the top most concerns for any homeowner or renter.

renter and property manager alike. If you are considering adding any smart home technology to your rental units here is another:

  • Smart locks  are also another incredible accessory to have.  You can help assure your tenants of their home’s safety and help save you money in the long run by adding things such as a lock camera, keypad and security cameras.

While these accessories can have a hefty upfront price tag, imagine how quickly these will pay themselves off in just a few years or even less time than that. Instead of needing to spend, say $50, to remake keys every time you have a tenant move out, change the locks or get completely newones, the only expense you would need to worry about is the time it will take to reprogram the locks and explain how to use them to your new tenants.

Amenities and convenience

Parking, in unit washer/dryer, dishwasher and fitness facilities are amongst the top most standard amenities tenants seek out in their new homes.

Now, imagine how these additional smart home devices could make your rental units that much more desirable. Especially to the millennials that believe technology makes our lives easier and also takes up the majority of the renting population.

Let’s not forget the potential in advertising your rental units with all of these new additions as an apartment that can adjust to their own personal lifestyle.

Lutron light dimmers can allow the tenants to adjust their daily lighting. Smart thermostats such as the Nest learn your schedules, adjust accordingly and has options to set temperatures for certain hours in the day and night.

For example, I have a Nest in my home and I find it to be incredibly helpful. When the Nest cannot detect when our phones have not been within range, it will shut off its automatic temperature adjustments but will let us manually adjust the settings even from our phones. As an added bonus,the Energy Trust of Oregon offers a $50 incentive for those who install any qualifying smart thermostats.

There are hubs that are available that can tie all of these products together even if they aren’t made by the same company. In my own home, we use the Harmony Hub that can control our Nest thermostat and our Lutron light dimmers. The Harmony Hub can even connect to your televisions and gaming systems.

Add value to your rental and benefit everyone 

Smart home technology can be an incredibly useful asset to add to any rental unit. These devices can help save you and your tenant money. It can help save themselves from forgetting to lock a door or turn off their lights when they’re not home. Smart home tech can also provide you and your tenants safety and peace of mind.

By providing tenants these devices, it can not only entice them to contact you to rent your available units, but also make your complex seem modern, safe, up to date with trends and help save everyone some cash.


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