Technology in Real Estate: Amenities That Will Hook Rental Customers
With the dawn of the fourth technological revolution, technology that was once out of the average customer’s hands has now become commonplace.
The proliferation of these new technologies and their newfound accessibility has changed customer preferences and provider practices across a number of industries, from medicine to manufacturing. It’s only sensible that, in time, these changes would impact the way we do business in real estate.
Smart Homes Are The New Standard
With 47% of Millenials having a minimum of one smart device inside their home and 90 million more smart home units being shipped to homes across the U.S. in 2018, it’s safe to say that smart amenities are quickly becoming a requirement for most consumers. Moreover, those stats were two years before the dawn of the pandemic, which forced 71% of American workers to convert their homes into remote work environments.
As the pandemic continues to spread and consumers continue to adapt their lives to internet access, work from home environments, it’s safe to say that this trend will only continue. Smart home devices will become an amenity customers come to expect.
Also read: 5 Tools to Speed Up Real Estate Recruiting
What This Means For Real Estate Agents
If you’re planning on making a successful career in real estate moving forward, this trend should be taken note of. While most of the homes you’re investing in don’t have these amenities already installed (and if they do, they’re going to require much more of an investment to purchase), you can install a few while undergoing necessary renovations.
You’ll likely need to borrow capital from a respectable lender to purchase new rental properties, as well as to get enough to fuel any renovations you might need. To make the best return on your investment, you’ll want to also borrow enough to obtain and install some of the below amenities.
Some of the amenities listed below are smart tools that can be easily integrated into your rental properties, while others are simply high-tech improvements to existing processes that customers have shown a desire for. Take a look at the options below, decide which ones are cost-effective enough for you to implement, and integrate them into your properties as soon as possible: the result will be a steady stream of renters that see your properties as a cut above the rest.
Let’s get started.
While there’s little about energy-star appliances that connect to the internet of things (IoT), customers have come to love energy-star appliances for one reason: less expensive utility bills. Of course, the added benefit of an ethical appeal centered around being environmentally conscious has also made its mark.
Energy-star appliances use fewer resources than their standard-model cousins to perform the same functions, and just about everything you can imagine has an energy-star certified model.
Some common energy-star appliances you may want to consider installing are:
- Washers and Dryers
- Air-source heat pumps
- Smart thermostats
Smart thermostats are among the most common energy-star products used by consumers, as they regulate the temperature based on the time of day, allowing customers to manage their energy usage without being cognizant of it. While energy-star certified appliances are slightly more expensive than their standard model cousins, they’re seen as an investment that will lower utility bills over time (which have only continued to rise).
Smart Security Systems
In the olden days, installing a security system was a hassle and an expensive one. Customers would have to pay a technician to come over and install costly systems (that were also much less efficient than today’s models) by hand, running up quite the bill and taking an inordinate amount of time in the process.
However, today, installing a security system is as easy as purchasing the requisite device (like a smart doorbell), screwing it into your doorframe, and linking it to your phone. The smart doorbell streams all activity occurring outside your home straight to you from your phone in a real-time feed.
Coupling it with cameras allows you to see activity coming from different places all-around your home, with the security system alarming you every time something out of place approaches your home. As an added benefit, many of these systems record all activity, making it easy for you to share that information with the authorities if necessary.
Many smart home security systems also have IoT capabilities, allowing them to be paired with other functions that are easily accessible from your phone or tablet. From one place, you can turn on your lights (including lights outdoors), engage or disengage locks, and alert the authorities if needed. Smart security systems are a revolutionary product that your renters will thank you for installing on their behalf, with 29% of consumers looking to install one as of 2021.
You’ve likely already seen these devices on the market, hubs that connect to systems available on the IoT and provide a number of functions around your home on command. Systems like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and more allow consumers to connect to the service provider of their choice, conducting transactions and managing elements in their home from wherever they are.
In addition to controlling other IoT integrated elements of your home (such as lighting, smart doorbells, and smart thermostats), these hubs can perform functions that other IoT devices you may already own cannot. Using these hubs and smaller access points like the Echo, you can purchase separately, make purchases, conduct searches, play music from streaming services, and more.
If you’re going to incorporate one of these services into one of your rental properties, choose one that is search-engine affiliated rather than brand affiliated. Also, be sure to purchase access points for each room to allow consumers the maximum level of integration.
These upgrades all represent investments of varying costs; yet, with the market veering towards IoT integration, real estate agents that get in on this trend before it becomes a customer standard will find that they are better prepared for the future than those who do not.