Smart home gadgets are on the rise and are perfect for using in rental properties.
Many are useful for both landlords and tenants. The most important initial factor: they are more affordable than ever too. There are four basic categories of smart home gadgets: energy saving, damage prevention, security, and safety. Each option offers a quick solution to save money and make life easier, appealing to both tenants and landlords.
Energy saving items to look into: lights, thermostats, water heater timers, and faucets. Small changes can have big impacts into savings over time. Saving electricity is a HUGE advantage, whether you are paying the electricity or your tenant is. Smart lights turn on when human activity is detected and turn off without activity. Setting up a smart system is not cheap initially but will definitely save money over time. To do something similar to this without setting up a hub is available through the use of a smart phone. By using bulbs like the LIFX model, you can set a lighting schedule from your phone. Although these bulbs can run approximately $30 per bulb, you can ensure that lights are not on during certain hours as well.
Smart thermostats are sleek, intuitive, energy saving, and easy. They will adapt to your lifestyle and the changing seasons. Typically, it will program itself within about a week. Through the use of a smartphone, you can even see how much energy is saved daily, weekly, and monthly. Initial costs are around $250-$300 with savings that far surpass the cost.
If you own a number of rentals, look into a thermal leak detector. Black & Decker offers a model that will detect wall surface temperatures and spot hidden energy leaks. When you find / fix these hidden energy leaks, it claims you could save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs. The cost the device is between $20-$30 so the initial investment is minimum compared to the potential savings.
Additionally, there are several damage prevention home gadgets. These tend to be the ones that will save the most money by avoiding costly repair bills. You will be able to monitor water leaks, freezing, and humidity, three problems that hide until they become obvious and costly. The Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector connects to Wi-Fi and detects these major home problems. As a landlord, this means you can be notified on your smart phone if an issue occurs allowing you to stay on top of minor issues before they become catastrophic disasters.
As far as security is concerned, as a landlord you have the legal responsibility to assure the safety of your tenants in a reasonable manner. Look at options such as a smart home lock that will allow you to lock /unlock the home virtually. Some of them even offer dual cameras. As a landlord, this could be useful when you need to allow contractors access to property remotely. Be cautious as there is the potential for this technology to breach the tenant privacy boundary as well. If your rental property is in a high crime area, look at setting up a smart security system as well. Some of them are pricey but it may be worth the investment and peace of mind to know that your investment property is secure.
When it comes to safety, having smart devices that will save lives is a serious issue for your rental properties. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors that are smart devices offer the ability to react quickly to real problems and minimize the case of a false alarm. Often, these devices are now controllable from a smart phone as well. There are even options to automatically receive new batteries consistently to avoid forgetting to replace old batteries. Some of these detectors run around $100-$150 but when you consider the longevity of the device, it could be money well spent as well.
Overall, you have many options as a landlord to assist yourself as well as your tenants with smart home gadgets to improve their living situation and peace of mind for you.
All my best,
Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.