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Is Upgrading to Smart Devices in Your Duluth Single-Family Rentals Worth It?

Maintenance Installing a Smart Device in the Living RoomThe market for a single-family rental home is currently experiencing a lot of changes, many of which are due to the trends set by long-term renters. Like many people, from millennials to seniors, find themselves not able to or not willing to purchase a home nationwide, large numbers are turning to long-term rentals instead. The effect being, today’s renters bring with them specific expectations about the types of smart technology they want to be installed in single-family residences.

A number of tenants would ask their landlord if certain smart devices would be provided, from high-speed internet to smart thermostats to security systems. But will upgrading your Duluth rental homes attract the type of renters that make the effort worthwhile? The answer depends on a set of factors, from your rental property location to the expected return on the upfront costs.

The Benefits

Smart devices have the potential to make a rental home more efficient, more secure, and more convenient. Rental homes that are smart technology-ready may attract a segment of potential renters. For instance, a smart thermostat can make managing heating and cooling costs much easier, reducing wear and tear on air conditioning units and furnaces as well as lowering utility bills.

Adding sensors and cameras to doors and windows are useful for certain locations where there is a perception of crime. Installing these smart devices gives a sense of security that may be what convinces renters who would otherwise be turned off by the location. Smart locks can make gaining access to your rental homes easy, as well as making the transition for new tenants more secure. No more changing the locks or emergency calls to a locksmith; you can simply change an access code to control who has access and who doesn’t.

If your rental home is in a location with a large number of renters working or schooling, it would be in your best interest to upgrade. Smart devices are usually more appreciated in these areas, and you can reasonably increase how much you collect for rent to offset the upfront costs.

Potential Drawbacks

Just like most things, there are advantages and disadvantages. Smart devices offer you so many good things, but at the same time, they also bring with them potential drawbacks. One of the biggest drawbacks that property owners see when deciding whether or not to go through a smart device upgrade is the cost of the equipment. Most smart home technology devices aren’t overly expensive by themselves, but the incremental cost is substantial enough that it must be considered carefully before deciding to add it to your rental home. Many devices work as a coordinated system, meaning you might not be able to do the job one upgrade at a time. In addition to that, you may need to increase the price of rent in order to regain your investment; and not all areas will support the increased rate. Knowing your specific market for each rental home is very important.

A second concern is the consistency and speed of the Wi-Fi in your area, and administrative access, which would need maintenance. Many smart devices rely on wireless internet to function, and so if the signal is weak or drops, it may seriously interfere with the functioning of any smart device. There are places where connectivity issues are common, maybe because of geography or distance. In these areas, smart devices might just not work as advertised. They’ll end up being a costly mistake.

While a number of renters are drawn to smart home technologies, there is also a number of renters that are repelled by it— these people are usually concerned with their security. Many are suspicious of automation; we’ve all seen articles about someone’s digital devices being compromised and their personal privacy violated. While these events are extremely rare, some potential renters will still be concerned and would opt to look elsewhere.

Ultimately, it is up to the property owner to make the decision of whether upgrading their Duluth rental homes to include smart devices is worth the cost. Decisions like these need to involve good market data and detailed knowledge of a rental home’s area, both of which we at Real Property Management Executives Greater Atlanta can provide. With our experience and data tools, we can help you study and calculate to figure out which, if any, smart devices would be a good investment for your rental homes. If you want to know more about what Real Property Management Executives Greater Atlanta can do to serve you, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 678-765-8383.

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