How Tech Can Make Your Rental Property More Appealing

Even a small investment in better technology could help you make your rental property more appealing. New smart home tech, like smart doorbells, could make your tenants feel more secure – and give them something to show off. On the other hand, this technology can be expensive, difficult to install, and vulnerable to damage.

So how can you utilize technology to make your rental property more appealing – without compromising your profitability?

The Appeal of Tech

First, let’s explore some of the biggest appeals of technology in a rental property.

·         Security. For starters, technology can make your property more secure, and make your tenants feel safer in their home environment. Smart doorbells allow tenants to proactively screen the people visiting the property; they can identify friends, neighbors, and delivery people from within the property or remotely. Smart home security systems can add to this feeling of security, providing them with a deterrent for would-be burglars and home invaders, and giving them video evidence if they’re ever the victim of a crime in or near the property. If your property is in a dangerous neighborhood, or if your tenant has a family, this can lead to much greater peace of mind.

·         Convenience. Some forms of technology make your tenants’ lives more convenient. Smart garage door openers, as a simple example, make it seamless and easy to coordinate garage parking. Some types of smart appliances make it easier to manage their utility. And smart thermostats allow people to fully control their internal climate, setting automatic controls or changing the temperature remotely.

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·         Cost savings. Modern appliances also tend to be much more efficient than their older counterparts. Even if you’re not investing in a smart refrigerator, a relatively new refrigerator will use much less electricity than its decades-old counterpart. Some high-tech appliances, such as smart thermostats, can give tenants even more control over their utility costs – helping them save significant money over time.

·         Aesthetics. Don’t underestimate the value of aesthetics. Tenants consider the subjective look and feel of a property before choosing to rent it, and the addition of even a few high-tech upgrades can make your property look more luxurious. When tenants are looking through photos of your property and they see major tech upgrades like smart appliances or Wi-Fi-connected security cameras, the property is going to look more subjectively appealing. This doesn’t hold true for all people or all areas, but most people like their homes to have a high-tech vibe.

·         Image. In some ways, technology also serves as a status symbol. People who are competitive and those who take pride in their public image may be much more likely to rent a property that’s outfitted with the latest technology. It’s a relatively small factor, but a potentially impactful one.

·         Landlord reputation. Investing in better technology for your property can also improve your image and perceptions of you as a landlord/property manager. Someone who spends hundreds to thousands of dollars outfitting a property with the latest technology is probably going to have no problem dishing out a few bucks for an important repair. Tenants want to feel assured that they’re going to be respected and that the property is going to be cared for – and tech can be an early signal that it’s possible.

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As an added bonus, some types of tech investments can make your life as a landlord easier. For example, if you install smart locks, you’ll have an easier time transitioning from one tenant to the other.

Demographic and Location Considerations

You’ll also need to consider your property’s location and the demographics you’re targeting. Certain types of people, and those in certain neighborhoods, will be more likely to appreciate high-tech upgrades than others. For example, a young person in a relatively unsafe neighborhood might be more likely to appreciate security-focused smart home additions.

Is It Worth It?

Another important variable to consider is the overall cost of technology. Some tech upgrades, like smart doorbells, are highly affordable. Others require investments of thousands of dollars. If damaged by the tenant, the cost to replace these high-tech items can quickly become detrimental to your overall profitability. Accordingly, it’s not always worth upgrading to the latest tech – but if it works for your budget and your target demographics appreciate it, it could end up paying for itself.

It’s easy to acknowledge that technology is an important part of everyday life for most people. And as long as your rental property has electrical outlets and internet accessibility, your tenants will have the bare minimum they need to get by. But if you want to make your property more appealing, and make your tenants happier in the process, it might be worth investing in some of the latest tech for your rental home.

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