American households are becoming increasingly digital as the rise of automated technology enables more families to use smart devices to make their at-home living more comfortable and convenient.
The most recent home statistics revealed that more than 60.2 million American households are actively making use of smart home devices as of 2023; this represents a three percent increase from last year.
Why Demand For Smart Home Automation Is Rapidly Growing
From smart televisions, appliances, on-demand internet connectivity, and round-the-clock security monitoring, more people now than ever want more automated smart living devices in their homes.
By the same breath of things, younger renters such as Gen Zs (born between 1997 and 2012); and Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996), are demanding more automated technology in their rentals – and they’re willing to pay more for it as well.
In fact, one study found that nearly 86 percent of tech-savvy Millennial renters said they would pay more for their rent if their new residence came with smart features. This comes at the cost of landlords, seeing as Millennials will soon represent the largest rental and buying market in the United States.
Statistics from 2019 showed that 43 percent of Gen Z home buyers said more smart devices and capabilities were highly important, whereas a mere 15 percent of Baby Boomers said the same.
Home automation is not anymore a luxury, but rather a necessity, and for landlords, this could either create a problem or an opportunity to make rental properties more enticing for younger renters who are willing to cash out for the convenience of smart homes.
What Is Smart Home Automation?
In the past, smart home devices and automation were only seen in several high-tech apparatus.
The rise of digital television was later paired with smart capabilities that allowed viewers to record and save television footage directly on their TV. Later on, smart kitchen appliances such as fridges become more energy efficient, helping reduce utility bills for tenants.
Nowadays, it seems as if smart technology is embedded in nearly everything we touch and use. The parity between home appliances and the internet meant that nearly everything in our homes can now be connected to a common network, which enables us to independently and remotely control everything from one point of contact.
Everything from fireplaces to curtains can be automatically operated. Motion sensors at doors, windows, and around living quarters can now detect even the slightest of movements. Digital devices can now monitor electricity and water usage more efficiently, helping landlords compile more accurate utility bills.
Automated tools have enabled individuals to take better advantage of their homes, use appliances more effectively, live more sustainability and feel more secure.
How Smart Home Automation Can Benefit Tenants And Landlords
Perhaps the greatest improvement that technology has brought to the modern home, or apartment for that matter, is access and convenience.
Implementing smart home automation, even in the slightest form, helps ease access to improved living conditions, which at the same time helps improve overall convenience, ultimately having a positive effect on their lifestyle.
For landlords, and most tenants, having better access to smart home automation can help benefit both groups in the near and long term, here’s how.
Convenience Of Connectivity
For tenants, being better connected with their homes, either through a smartphone or smart speaker allows them to use different functionalities at once. However, for landlords, this creates just as much benefit, whereas, they can now manage homes or rental units more effectively.
Landlords can now effectively monitor utility usage per unit, instead of having to do manual meter readings of each unit separately. These smart devices can then be linked to a remote accessed network, whereby landlords can access data as needed.
This makes it easier for landlords to make more accurate readings, and manage utility bills faster, especially across multiple properties. Being connected is an effective way for landlords to have better control over their rental properties when they are not present, or unable to attend to issues that may arise over time.
Improved Safety And Security
There is a lot of ground landlords need to cover when it comes to the safety of their tenants, regardless of their age or mobility.
Often state and county jurisdictions will require landlords to have the appropriate monoxide and smoke detectors installed in all their units, or throughout the building. Other security features such as CCTV or smart locks on entrance or apartment doors are another must-have for rental properties.
However, relying on outdated equipment not only puts tenants at risk but could also be a costly mistake for landlords.
Smart security features, such as automated locks, smart smoke alarms, water sensors, and interior or exterior cameras can help provide remote access to landlords that want to monitor the building.
These smart security measures are not only applicable when a property is occupied, but also during times when units are vacant, when renters are away, or between tenancies.
Security is perhaps one of the biggest, if not the main concerns for tenants when hunting for a new home. Increased security can also lead to other issues such as privacy concerns, which in most cases will need careful consideration and effective communication between landlords and tenants.
Reducing Unit Costs
While the initial cost of investment in smart home features, such as security equipment or home sensors, isn’t cheap, it can help to lower the cost of maintaining individual units over the long term.
Home automation can help lower energy bills for tenants, making their living arrangements energy-efficient. Installing updated water heaters, and smart thermostats can make it cheaper for landlords that offer properties with utility bills included, which at the same time could increase their turnover per rental unit.
Simple things can make the biggest change. Replacing gas-powered items with more energy-efficient appliances such as induction stoves, or removing costly lights already makes a big difference in utility bills and helps lower each rental unit’s carbon footprint.
There are a wide variety of different smart devices that can be used to help improve not only the appeal of each unit, but at the same time lower maintenance costs for landlords, and monthly utility bills for tenants.
Securing Property Investments
Something that is often overlooked by many landlords when contemplating the use of smart home devices, is how it can protect and improve the value of their investment properties.
With the use of smart devices, whether it’s automated locks or remote access control, these features make a big difference in the long run that enables landlords to keep their investments secure against any bad actors or poor tenant behavior and protects their assets against any other possible threats.
Creating More Appeal For Rental Units
Driven by high-interest rates, costly homes, and a lack of inventory, demand for rental properties has skyrocketed over the last several years. Latest industry figures indicate that asking rent prices are now $2,018 on average for April, marking a 5.3 percent increase for the same recorded period last year.
While asking rental prices have reached stratospheric rates, it’s not to say that available, or more affordable rentals are the most appealing for younger tenants.
As we’ve already seen, younger tenants want more access and convenience when it comes to their living arrangements. With this said, the need for digital features, wherever they may be applicable has meant that rental units that have better technology throughout the home are becoming increasingly appealing to new renters.
With the right type of digital features, it’s possible to fill rental units faster, and with the right people. Tenants are also more discerning now than ever before, they are looking for properties that have digital smart features that align with their values of sustainability and quality of life.
Attracting the right tenants, in a frantic market, means that landlords need to step up their game if they’re looking to win over tenants that are willing to pay slightly more for convenience and quality.
Creating a more automated and tech-savvy home requires landlords to first establish what their needs might be, and how much resources they’re willing to invest in their rental units. Furthermore, landlords need to consider how the right smart tools will help grow their return on investment, and how these features will be more appealing to a growing number of younger renters.
Published First on ValueWalk. Read Here.
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