Economic headwinds, inflationary pressures, and staffing shortages remind us that it’s 2023, and not everyone is partying like it’s 1999. These days, consumers and businesses are focused on cost savings, asset protection, and saving time by accomplishing as much as they can from their desktops and mobile apps. Fortunately, property managers are discovering that smart home technology helps them do all of those things and more! In fact, to succeed in today’s rental housing market, property managers should consider the following 5 reasons to invest in smart home technology now.
1. Maximize Tenancy Rates
For most property managers, their number one priority is to ensure that rental housing is always leased to maximum capacity. Upgrading a property with smart home technology makes it much more marketable and attracts a steady stream of interested rental prospects.
Smart home properties definitely stand out on internet listing sites. For instance, Rently Listings showcases smart home properties to more than 10 million renters each year. Rently Listings awards a special badge to smart lock communities and showcases them on a carousel at the top of the page. Properties with badges generate 3 times more tours. Rently also syndicates listings to 50+ other listing sites, including Zillow.com and Apartments.com, increasing marketing reach to many millions more.
Once connected to prospects, managers need to create a positive property showing experience that encourages them to become tenants.
One way to do that is to offer self-guided tours. These tours are increasingly popular among renters who appreciate convenience and scheduling flexibility.
It only requires a modest investment in basic smart home technology to activate a property for self-guided tours. And, adding this touring option has shown to increase property interest and lease signings.
In fact, Rently’s self-guided touring solution increases tour traffic by as much as 25% and reduces a property’s time on the market by 75%.
Self touring trends well with today’s renter preference for on-demand experiences. And, using smart home technology for tours and property access also benefits managers by accelerating leasing velocity.
For example, smart devices enable smart property access so that move-ins/outs are quick and frictionless to avoid delays in unit turnovers.
Finally, smart home technology maximizes tenancy by creating satisfied residents who are more likely to renew their leases.
Today’s eco-conscious generation of renters appreciate smart home amenities that offer energy management capabilities. In fact, 70% of renters express a strong interest in leasing properties with smart thermostats, and 63% of modern renters desire the convenience and enhanced security of smart locks.
Its appeal to the modern renter, its proven potential to generate leads, increase tours and create loyal residents are all great reasons to invest in smart home technology.
2. Lower Operating Costs
Once property managers have secured rental income, the next budget focus is on lowering operating costs.
Especially during tough economic times, increasing rental rates is not always possible. Therefore, lowering expenses is sometimes a property manager’s only option for a profit margin. With smart home technology, managers can quickly impact their bottom line.
Smart thermostats and smart lighting demonstrate proven cost savings. These devices have the potential to reduce utility costs up to 30% annually.
Smart locks completely eliminate recurring re-keying expenses. This creates savings up to $50 per unit turnover.
Similarly, smart leak sensors minimize damage expenses by detecting problems early, saving potentially tens of thousands of dollars. Multifamily properties average 4-5 water leaks every year, with each incident costing up to $12,000.
As an added bonus, managers who protect their property with smart home technology often enjoy a 20% reduction in annual insurance premiums.
In addition to reducing standard operating expenses, smart home technology also helps managers plan labor expenses more efficiently.
Smart home technology allows for self-guided property tours and automated maintenance projects. As a result, property managers are able to maintain onsite staffing levels that are appropriate to the tasks at hand. Conversely, staff can better prioritize their workflows to meet their own project goals and not waste time on tasks that don’t require their presence.
With Rently’s smart home solution, managers lower utility costs, prevent expensive water damage, and are able to allocate staff resources wisely.
Whichever and wherever operational costs are reduced, it’s clear that smart home tech saves money!
3. Gain Operational Flexibility
As seen above, simply adding a smart home device, often immediately reduces an ongoing operational expense. However, another cost benefit is that smart home solutions empower property managers with the ability to structure and adapt workflows to changing circumstances. This flexibility saves money over the long run.
Automating leasing tasks alleviates workflow pressure on staff, streamlines project timelines and ensures that no tasks are missed.
Leasing automation also provides managers with a level of operational control that easily translates into a competitive advantage.
For instance, by using Rently’s Self-Guided Touring Solution, managers increase property tours and increase conversion rates without using up staff time.
Similarly, by using Rently’s Smart Home Manager platform, managers have quick access to comprehensive leasing data (such as occupancy rates, tours scheduled, applications in review and HVAC performance). This supports quick and agile decision-making. The more data at hand, the less chance of making costly operational mistakes.
Rently’s smart home solution can reduce costs across the entire leasing lifecycle. In addition, unique features of Rently’s solution optimize particular operational tasks.
For multifamily properties, Rently has enhanced its self-guided tours with Wayfinding navigation to quickly guide renters across properties, from parking, to units, to community amenities. Helping renters confidently navigate properties avoids frustrations, reduces calls to leasing offices, and ensures that renters complete their tours. This saves managers valuable time answering unnecessary logistical questions and ensures that tours are completed and leases get signed!
For single family properties, Rently recently announced its “3-in-1” Tenant Application. Our screening product combines identity, income, and credit verifications into one easy, automated process. Since managers often review multiple applications in a day, the Rently Application saves a great deal of time and hassle!
Perhaps the greatest operational benefit of Rently’s solution is that it supports the centralized property management model by enabling remote property management — from one software platform, with one login.
The Rently Smart Home Platform provides managers with a holistic, real-time overview of all leasing operations. It offers a level of control that allows staff to confidently manage properties from off-site, when necessary.
From a desktop portal or mobile app, managers create and customize property listings, schedule and track tours, control property access points, and remotely control each unit’s smart home devices.
Rently’s software platform integrates seamlessly with leading property management softwares. It also integrates with leading CRM softwares to create timely prospect engagement.
Gaining flexible, comprehensive remote control of a property’s key operations results in so many “ripple effect” cost savings that investments in smart home technology are quickly recouped.
4. Increase ROI
Boosting tenancy and lowering operational costs are big wins for property budgets. However, smart home devices offer even more revenue potential. Increasing ROI is another good reason to invest in smart home technology.
Upgrading properties with smart home devices creates amenities that are in high demand by renters. According to the 2022 National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)/Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report, property technology is important to today’s renters, and 29% are moving to find better amenities. The demand trend for smart home devices has remained steady and growing, with these consistent results:
– 60% of renters want smart locks
– 70% of renters want smart building access
– 67% of renters want leak detection
– 70% of renters want smart thermostats
By meeting this strong preference for smart home amenities, property managers keep up with current marketplace demands and easily justify raising rental rates in exchange. In fact, renters have expressed a willingness to pay, on average, $37.56 more in monthly rates, just to have smart home amenities.
Rently’s smart home solution offers property managers an entire portfolio of smart devices to match consumer demand and easily integrate with existing property management softwares.
Leveraging smart home technology to increase rental income is a viable strategy to boost annual ROI. It also adds lasting property value.
5. Protect your Property
Of the 5 reasons to invest in smart home technology, protecting property assets is actually the most important.
Managers know that property security is a 24/7 responsibility. However, managers also know that they can’t be on watch all the time. That’s when smart home technology proves itself invaluable.
Tamper-proof smart locks, combined with smart window and door sensors, create a robust “always on” security system. When managers receive immediate alerts of property breaches, they can take quick action and mitigate costly damages.
In addition to full-time property monitoring, a secure smart home solution also helps property managers protect their assets during everyday leasing operations.
Smart home technology enables secure property tours, allows for secure maintenance visits, facilitates secure property turnovers, and provides residents the ability to give property access to guests when they are away from home.
To make sure that security is robust when needed, Rently’s security specialists are active at every stage of the leasing lifecycle.
We are the only self-guided touring provider to offer renters 24/7 account fraud detection support from the start. In addition, our security specialists constantly monitor accounts and address issues flagged by our fraud detection and ID verification systems.
The security benefits of Rently’s solution are significant. Managers experience, on average, 87% fewer reported rental scams, squatters, or vandalism.
These remarkable security improvements demonstrate another very good reason to invest in smart home security.
Investing in smart home technology is always a good idea, especially in tough economic markets.
The proptech market in North America is growing at a combined annual growth rate of 16%. The United States will have 77.1 million smart homes projected by 2025.
Smart Homes are the future!
We hope you consider the above-mentioned 5 reasons to invest in smart home technology now. Partner with Rently to maximize tenancy, increase tours, lower costs, optimize operations and secure your assets.