Smart home devices are gaining popularity in homes across the country. Tenants may find this type of technology to be an attractive feature in a rental home. If you’re thinking about installing smart home devices and similar systems in your St. Louis rental property, there are a few things to consider.
From video doorbells to automated lighting to home security systems, we know a lot of property owners are struggling to understand which products might be worth installing in a rental property. There’s the idea that these things will improve security and even save time and money, but there are also costs involved and also privacy concerns.
Types of Smart Home Technology
These are some of the most common smart home devices found in rental properties:
- Smart locks. These allow you to grant access to tenants remotely or with a code. You can change the code between tenants or when you have a vendor showing up for work. There’s no need to worry about lost keys or rekeying the property between tenants. These also come in handy when you’re leasing your home.
- Video doorbells. Tenants will be able to see who is at the door and who is approaching the property. Exterior cameras like those on a doorbell can also help keep a home secure when it’s vacant.
Smart lighting. Your tenants can set the lights in the property to timers or control them on their smart phones. Exterior lights can also be motion activated. This is good for security, and the interior lights will help tenants keep electricity costs down.
- Security systems. These can be great for extra safety. A lot of the available security systems are expensive to install and they often require long term contracts. You may want to offer the system but require the tenants to pay the monthly charge or activation fees.
- Voice-activated assistants. Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are features that many tenants are already using. Including them in smart homes can help streamline and centralize all the other technology that may be available.
You can go even further with things like smart thermostats and smart appliances. But, is it possible to be too smart when it comes to your St. Louis rental property?
Pros and Cons of Smart Home Tech
Smart technology will increase your rental value and the value of your investment. You’ll also attract some great tenants by providing features they’re looking for in a home. Additional benefits include:
- Better security – when your home is occupied and vacant.
- Easier turnovers – particularly with smart locks.
- Energy costs may be lower – which is great if you pay for utilities and a good selling point if tenants pay.
However, there are some unique challenges as well to rental homes that adopt this sort of technology. Here are some of the negatives you may want to consider:
- There’s a significant upfront cost. You’ll likely have to invest hundreds of dollars to install these systems.
- Wi-Fi will need to be enabled. It’s how the smart systems work.
- Privacy concerns may be an issue. Renters might actually not want these things installed in their home, for fear you’ll be watching or listening.
Smart home technology needs to be a balancing act. If you’d like some help working through the options, contact our team at Amoso Properties. We can help you make some good decisions.