Homeowners are rapidly becoming hooked up to “the internet of things” by linking everything from their lighting, fridge, doorbell, central heating, sound system, and more, at the touch of a button, or indeed voice command. “Ask Alexa” is clearly here to stay and she is set to enable us to control more of our lives.
But what is the opportunity for landlords here? The majority of tenants are millennials and they insist on intense connectivity. Superfast broadband and the latest router is a huge attraction. Add in “Nest” type remote central heating control, app-controlled lighting and a £100 Ask Alexa sound system and your rental property begins to ooze tech appeal. This adds to their enjoyment of the property – they’ll pay more, stay longer and are more likely to look after your place as if it were their own. Add a smartphone security monitor (£200) and you’ll ramp up the appeal further. People like tech. Add a premium ‘touchless’ experience to a rental property and you’ll create a home that is in sync with its occupants, especially as voice recognition is poised to recognise any language your tenant might speak.
There are also other direct benefits to you as a landlord, especially for short term lets. For example, you can use the security camera to greet and give entry to your guests, although internal security cameras could well be regarded as a breach of privacy. If you have remote control over the heating you can not only monitor usage, but also ensure that the heating only comes on when there is occupancy, or switched on during a cold spell. Remotely activated keyless locks can allow tradesmen to gain entry as and when you allow and rural property owners can remotely check heating oil tank levels.
Home automation technology is relatively inexpensive in relation to the added benefits it brings, especially as Wi-Fi connectivity replaces hard-wiring. If you’d like any information about other ways of maximising your return on investment then please feel free to call one of our friendly property managers on 01242 257333 or 01452 597994.