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

Maintenance Installing a Smart Device in the Living RoomThere are many changes transpiring in the single-family rental home market, a number of them are influenced 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. Because of this, there are certain expectations that new renters bring with them, and one of them is the kinds of smart technology they expect to find in single-family residences.

Several tenants would want their landlord to provide certain smart devices, from high-speed internet to smart thermostats to security systems. But is it really worth it? Will the trouble of upgrading your Largo rental homes be worth the renters that are attracted by it? The answer to this question lies on a number of factors, from how much you expect as a return on the upfront costs to the location of your rental property.

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 would perk the interest of a particular set 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 simplify both accessing your rental homes and providing a secure transition for new tenants. 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 place where there are a lot of renters who go to work or school, it might make sense to go for an 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

As with almost all technology, there are both benefits and drawbacks. We’ve seen the benefits smart devices give to property owners and tenants; let’s now look at the 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 of the smart home technology devices aren’t unreasonably expensive, but the additional cost of buying the equipment for your rental home is enough to make it necessary for you to really study your options. 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. In places where connectivity is a recurring problem, smart devices may not be a good option. They wouldn’t work as advertised and they’d just end up being an expensive but useless feature.

While a group of renters would want to have smart home technologies, other groups may dislike it because of security concerns. Many are suspicious of automation; we’ve all heard about people’s privacy being compromised because someone hacked their way into their digital devices. While these events are extremely rare, some potential renters will still be concerned and would opt to look elsewhere.

Ultimately, the Largo property owner must determine whether upgrading their rental homes to include smart devices is worth the cost. Decisions of these type need to involve good market data and detailed knowledge of a rental home’s area, both of which we at Real Property Management TradeWinds can provide. With our experience and data tools, we can help you study the information to figure out which, if any, smart devices would be a smart buy for your rental homes. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a ring at 727-400-4722 to know more Real Property Management TradeWinds today.

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