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Smart home technology may seem like a luxury right now. Still, it’s quickly becoming standard practice for those who are concerned with safety, lowering costs, and managing multiple properties with ease. 

A tech-savvy approach to rental differentiation, whether in a single-family home, a multi-unit residential property, or intelligent commercial buildings, can offer that “wow” factor to prospects. However, sooner than most realize, these smart home technologies will be an expectation and a major shopping consideration in the near future. 

Understanding how to solve some of the most immediate property management challenges by using smart home technology will help keep every property manager ahead of the curve.

Data Generation Leads To Better Customer Service

If technology has served one main purpose over the years, it’s been data generation. Serving increasingly specific audiences with ads for products and services that advertisers know that audience is interested in was a game-changer in the 90s. It’s become increasingly crucial to harness data collection for a variety of purposes. 

In proptech, understanding resident habits, preferences, and desires lead to enhanced communication, better service, and an increasingly responsive set of elite property management professionals. 

Data generation can take a few shapes. Using it from the outset to track prospects and interested parties can offer the manager insights about who their primary target market really is and how to adjust their residential benefits accordingly. 

Providing automated surveys, contact forms, and other communication methods to existing tenants can create a sense of well-being and community while also giving the manager valuable insights into what residents really want and care about. 

And for those who have added adaptable home technology that tracks and conveniently adjusts to the schedules and usage of the tenant, data comes in the form of a generalized understanding of resident habits. When taken together, these vital stats can be used to inform future real estate and proptech investments. 

“As smart home technology continues to improve and become more ubiquitous, it will help provide us with better real-time information on our customers and properties,” said Manjula Perera, Progress Residential vice president of technology and chair of the National Rental Home Council’s Technology Committee, in an interview with Arizona Elite Properties.

Her words echo an increasingly common insight many property owners and managers are discovering for themselves. 

Turn The Rental-Ownership Decision On Its Head

There will always be renters. However, finding the right tenants who will invest in living as renters instead of always dealing with higher turnover in buyer’s markets is just one way to solidify the property owner’s position. Using smart home technology to cultivate a reliable, loyal baseline of high-end tenants will fortify the property owner’s position in times of economic downturns. 

When residents are fully satisfied with their living experience as a renter, they’ll be more likely to choose the safety and security of an optimized smart home rental. To buy a home and have to build an expensive smart home system on their own will not only be cost-prohibitive for many, a lot may also be well outside their wheelhouse. 

For example, any resident can choose a router that will have some cybersecurity built-in. However, renting a smart home with advanced cybersecurity protection built into their monthly rent will be a common delight and effortless pain point solution for renters. 

Additionally, moving into a home with sensors and keyless door entry already built into the rent will be more attractive than buying a home where they will have to consider the added cost of patching together a series of sensors. Adding keyless access, lowering the cost of utilities with efficient tracking, and being able to manage lights and security add up when they aren’t included in the monthly mortgage.  

The current homeownership rate in the U.S. is 65.3%, although the pandemic’s effects are pushing more people into tenancy. In addition, one in five Americans now say they don’t plan to buy a home in their lifetime. Taken together, these insights reveal an increasingly competitive rental market where proptech and smart home technology will be the key differentiator.  

Final Thoughts

While every family and home can be unique and serve each individual’s needs, smart home tech can draw out common habits, concerns, and desires of tenants, leading to better customer service, communication, and overall ability to meet the needs of residents. 

Also, anticipating the rental market’s strength in the coming years and differentiating with smart home technology, property managers and owners will fortify their position in case of ongoing or future economic downturns. 

Ultimately, cultivating a recognizable property brand will help bring in more desirable renters. Utilizing smart home technology not only to differentiate a property management brand but also to drive loyalty in the best possible tenants is a game-changer.


Michelle is a veteran writer specializing in technology, finance, business leadership, and a broad range of other topics. When she isn't tapping at her keyboard, Michelle can be found hiking the Colorado Rockies with her dog, SCUBA diving anywhere there's salt and sand, or curled up with a good book and cat at her side.