When Rently first invented self-guided tours ten years ago, it revolutionized the rental industry. Initially, people were hesitant in the same way people were hesitant of Lyft and Uber. Letting renters tour without a leasing agent was totally out of the question. Ten years later though, self-guided tours are industry standard.
For the last few years, smart home has been marked as the future of the industry.
Smart home technology has a wide variety of benefits for both property managers and renters. For managers, smart home products can help differentiate your portfolio, increase your revenue, streamline your leasing process, and reduce operating costs. For renters, it can help reduce utility bills, provide peace of mind, and make renting more convenient.
Deploying smart home technology does take a larger up front investment, but it doesn’t take long to start seeing returns on that investment. So, as a property manager, how do you know when it’s the right time to upgrade your properties with smart home devices? Below are some key factors to consider when deciding whether you should upgrade from lockboxes to keyless entry smart locks.
Lockbox Inventory Management
Managing your lockbox inventory can be difficult. You have to keep track of how many lockboxes you have and if they’re currently on a home or not. If they aren’t on a home or leasing office, you need to control where they’re stored so they don’t just end up forgotten in one of your agent’s trunk. Meanwhile, you’re still paying the monthly bill, or you think that the lockbox was lost and end up paying the lost box fee only for it to turn up a few months later.
If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider ditching the lockboxes altogether and upgrading to smart home technology, namely smart locks.
With smart home enabled keyless locks from Rently, you don’t have to worry about which lockbox is where. You simply install the smart lock on the door once. From there, you can activate and deactivate your property for self-guided tours in the Rently Manager app or from your manager portal. Tracking down lockboxes will be a thing of the past.
The beginning of the year (and any time) is also a good time to do some housekeeping when it comes to your lockbox inventory. It’s easy to build up a back stock of lockboxes during busy seasons. So during the slower months is a good time to send back your extra lockboxes and reduce your monthly bill in preparation for when things pick back up.
The money you save by offloading lockboxes could be put towards investing in smart home technology that will give you a greater return on investment in the long run. By using keyless locks, you will no longer need to spend $50-$150 to rekey after every leasing turn. Other smart home devices, like smart thermostats, smart plugs, and smart lighting can also save you money. By setting up schedules, you can reduce utility usage by up to 20%.
According to Entrata, 75% of renters are willing to pay more for smart home technology in their homes. Upgrading to smart home will save you money and increase your revenue.
If you’re not quite ready to fully upgrade to smart home, there is a mid-tier option–Rently Blue. Rently Blue is our bluetooth lock that offers a more affordable entry point into keyless locks, while a full smart home rollout enables more features for an additional investment. With Rently Blue, you still eliminate the hassle of managing keys and lockboxes; while a smart home system allows you to connect multiple smart home devices and manage the entire system remotely.
As much as lockboxes have increased your efficiency when it comes to leasing, there is still opportunity for improvement. While you don’t have to drive around town to show your listings, you do still have to attach and detach the lockboxes when your properties go on and off market.
By utilizing Rently’s easy-to-install keyless locks, you no longer have to set aside the time to put up or take down your lockboxes. You can activate a listing for self-guided tours right from your desktop or smartphone. That’s because Rently’s keyless locks are all compatible with our self touring software.
So if you’re spending a lot of time moving around your lockboxes or you don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to manage your lockboxes, it’s a good time to upgrade to smart home.
Another area where smart home technology increases your efficiency is during move-in and move-out. Currently, you have to schedule a time to meet with the resident to give them or collect their keys. Not to mention the cost of having to rekey after each leasing turn.
With Rently’s smart home solution, you can grant residents access to their smart home with the press of a button. Residents will receive an email to download our smart home app where they can remotely control all of their smart home devices, including their keyless locks. The same goes for when they’re ready to move out. Just press a button, and we’ll uninvite them from the app so they no longer have control of the devices in the property.
With smart home, you won’t have to find a time to exchange keys, pay to rekey the home, or manage a collection of keys. If you’re looking to streamline your move-in/move-out process and cut costs by doing away with your key management system, it’s a good time to upgrade to smart home.
Scammers have been plaguing the rental industry for years. They lure unsuspecting renters with too-good-to-be-true deals and then convince them to keep the key and wire the scammer money. At Rently, we’ve implemented many security measures to educate both renters and property managers and combat scammers from abusing the platform, but we can’t fully control what people do.
The main security concern lies with potential renters removing the key from the lockbox. The way to get around this security risk is to remove keys from the equation. We’ve done this with our keyless locks that integrate with our self touring platform.
With keyless locks, there is no way for renters to retain access to the property. Managers can see in their Rently Keyless app when and by whom a door has been locked or unlocked. For even more added security, managers can install Rently’s contact and motion sensors at the property to detect any activity outside of a self-guided tour. Bottom line–smart homes are safer homes.
If you’ve been considering upgrading from lockboxes to smart home, now is the time. Not only will you get a step ahead of your competition, but you will also increase your operational efficiency and enhance the security of your properties. Why worry about managing lockboxes or handling security concerns when you could install a smart home system and control it from your phone wherever you are? Leave the headaches in 2021.