From 2013 through 2025, the home automation market is expected to grow by more than 350 percent, which isn’t surprising given the many benefits the Internet of Things can bring to residential properties.
Property managers who want to boost bottom lines, impress tenants or vacation guests and master word-of-mouth marketing may want to invest in smart home automation. Here are five ways to improve your property with connected tech.
1. Get peace of mind with smart security
Managed property isn’t always occupied property, making it hard to keep eyes on at all times. Smart security, which you can manage from a phone or tablet, helps you protect your properties whether tenants are inside or not.
Some options to consider include alarm systems that notify local authorities in the event of a potential break-in or fire and camera systems that record areas of your property when no one is home. You can set cameras to be inactive during rented periods to protect tenant privacy or maintain outdoor cameras to increase peace of mind for those inside.
2. Manage lights for a welcoming (and safe) environment
Automated lighting is another easy way to protect your property when no one’s home. You can set lighting to come on and off at certain times, giving the appearance that a property is occupied.
Automated lighting is also a great way to create a welcoming ambience when guests arrive. You can position a low-light lamp in the entryway or set recessed accent lighting to come on around the time vacationers are expected to arrive. A little lighting in an unfamiliar property makes a huge difference, especially if renters arrive at night.
Smart home automation also lets you reduce unnecessary utility costs by checking behind each group of tenants to ensure all lighting is off. You can handle these types of tasks from the comfort of your own home — even if it’s across the country from the rental location.
3. Keep costs down with automated HVAC controls
HVAC controls also help you keep utility costs within reason. You can set automated climate changes to match the occupation status of the residence or the season. When you can monitor and control air conditioning from a mobile device, you’re never left footing the bill for refrigerator-level coolness maintained weeks after the last tenants left the property and forgot to turn the AC off.
Utility bills aren’t the only place where you save money with automated HVAC controls. Many smart systems let you monitor performance trends over time, so you can better understand the maintenance needs of HVAC systems in your rental properties without constantly inspecting them yourself or relying on tenants to keep you informed. A well-maintained HVAC system is more likely to last longer, and addressing small problems early keeps you from having to pay out to fix big problems later.
4. Control access to the property from afar
Smart home locks are an ideal solution for busy property managers. They let you — and your tenants — manage access without traditional locks and keys.
One of the best benefits of this technology is that you can program unique access codes to allow individual people entry. That means you don’t have to risk giving keys out to people. If hard-copy keys are lost or stolen, your entire property is put at risk, and you may need to go to the expense of replacing locks. If you manage access with key codes, you can simply change the codes if you’re worried about security issues.
Other benefits of smart locks include the ability to:
- Assign tenants key codes in an emailed welcome package, so you don’t have to be present when they arrive to hand them a key
- Deactivate codes on vacation properties once the stay is over
- Assign different codes to vendors, such as housekeeping services, pest control, electricians or plumbers so they can access the property when necessary
- Track who accessed the property and when via their assigned codes
5. Integrate voice-assistant functionality
Most smart home automation tools, including the products offered by PointCentral, integrate with voice-assistant technology such as Alexa. That makes it easy for tenants to control functionality via voice. This is a nice luxury to offer any type of tenant but can be especially valuable to vacation renters, who won’t always know where light switches and other functionality is located at first.
Home automation isn’t the wave of the future. It’s what’s boosting rental values today. Invest in technology tools today to make it easier to manage your properties and provide added perks to your tenants.
Chris Stasik has more than 20 years’ experience in selling, installing and designing home audio/video and technology systems.