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

Maintenance Installing a Smart Device in the Living RoomThe market for a single-family rental home is going through many changes, most of which are there because of the influence of 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. As a consequence, renters these days have particular expectations about what smart technology they want to see 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 the cost and effort to upgrade your Windermere rental homes to bring in these renters? There really isn’t a simple answer to this question. It depends on a few variables, from the expected return on the upfront expenses to where your rental property is located.

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 example, 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 a must for certain places where a perception of crime is a problem. It adds a sense of security and that may be the deciding factor for a potential renter who may otherwise be turned off by the location. Smart locks can make it easy for you to get into your rental homes, and it also increases the security of the 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 the place where your rental home is located has a lot of people working or going to school, It might be a good idea to go for the upgrade. Smart devices may have a stronger appeal in these locations, and you can reasonably increase the amount of rent to make up for 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. Perhaps the biggest issue property owners face with the prospect of doing a smart device upgrade is the cost. Most smart home technology devices aren’t really expensive by themselves, but they do add a significant amount to a rental home’s cost that it still is something that should be considered carefully before going all-in. Many devices work as a coordinated system, meaning you might not be able to do the job one upgrade at a time. Together with that, you may need to increase your rent to earn back the costs; and some places may not be able to sustain the rent increase. Knowing your specific market for each rental home is very important.

A second concern is the speed and stability of the Wi-Fi in your area, and administrative access, which would require 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 many renters are attracted to smart home technologies, these features may actually turn off other renters because of security concerns. Many are suspicious of automation; we’ve all heard stories where digital devices are hacked and our personal privacy is violated. While these incidents are very rare, there will be potential renters who cannot overcome their concerns and would rather look elsewhere.

In the end, the choice to purchase smart devices for their Windermere rental homes is up to the property owner. They need to determine whether the cost of the upgrade is justified by the value it brings. 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 South Orlando can provide. With our experience and data tools, we can help you weigh the options to find out which, if any, smart devices would be a sound purchase for your rental homes. Feel free to contact us online or by phone at 407-982-2000. We’ll be glad to answer any of your questions and provide you with information about Real Property Management South Orlando.

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