They Want Smart Homes – They Expect Smart Homes
The evolution of smart home automation devices has gone from “gee-whiz” to “gotta have it” in just a few years. Renters and property managers alike are realizing the many benefits that smart devices offer – from convenience and security to comfort and savings. So much so that renters are to expect their single-family home be equipped with smart locks, smart thermostats and more. Property managers who were slow to identify this need and adjust accordingly are finding themselves playing catch up to their competition and watching too many new and existing rental customers walk away.
Smart Tech – The In-Demand “WOW” Amenity
For single-family renters, amenities are the icing on the cake. They can mean the difference between “meh” and “wow” when touring a property. One way to guarantee a “wow” is to install smart home technology – beginning with smart locks.
Smart locks with unique entry codes give prospective renters peace-of-mind knowing their family is more secure. Keys – create uncertainty. How many are there? Who has a copy? Smart locks eliminate the need to keep track of keys and allow residents to remotely activate their locks using a smart app on their mobile device – to secure their home or to unlock the home for a friend, maintenance staff or vendor. A study of renters revealed that 61% cited keyless entry as making them more likely to rent a property.
For managers, smart locks enable faster turn times of properties – easily deleting the lock codes for outgoing renters and assigning new codes for incoming renters. Also, smart locks not only provide property managers with brand recognition, they provide a great first impression of the property.
Smart Tech – Smart Savings
Where smart locks equal security and convenience, smart thermostats equal savings. According to ENERGY STAR® who has evaluated and certified PointCentral smart thermostats, properties using these devices can expect 9% to 16% savings when heating and 15% to 23% when cooling – every month. For the average resident, this equates to $25 to $40 monthly savings – depending on location.
How does this work? PointCentral’s software allows residents to setup automated schedules that reduce energy when they are away. Prior to arriving home, the system can be set to automatically adjust the temperature in the home to a comfortable level. This feature helps residents save energy. When the property Is vacant, it also helps property managers avoid heating and cooling properties to excessive temperatures set by vendors or guests
In addition to saving energy, PointCentral smart thermostats will monitor the health and performance of all HVAC systems, automatically sending notifications when a problem arises – like when a unit is taking too long to reach a set point, or not reaching a set point at all. Taking care of HVAC problems early can mean the difference between routine maintenance and a catastrophic and expensive failure.
Smart Tech Add Ons
Many property managers are taking smart home automation to the next level by adding other smart devices. Water sensors can send alerts when a leak is detected by the water heater, the dishwasher or other trouble spot. Door and window sensors can automatically shut off the A/C when they detect an open condition – potentially saving a tremendous amount of energy. Doorbell and outdoor cameras can capture videos of visitors. Other devices include light controls, appliance plug ins, , motion detectors – the list is long and ever growing.
Smart Tech – Smart Business
The typical PointCentral single-family property manager charges residents a monthly fee that Is less than the savings residents realize from the thermostat alone. The property manager generates an additional source of revenue while the resident actually saves more than the monthly charge. Could a property manager charge even a higher fee? Well, the same study referenced earlier found that 86% of millennial renters and 65% of baby boomer renters are willing to pay more for a property outfitted with smart technology.
Property managers installing PointCentral smart home systems are not just satisfying a demand. They are improving their brand, gaining a competitive advantage, streamlining their operations and making more money. Now that’s smart business.