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Is Upgrading to Smart Devices in Your Muskegon 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. As a consequence, renters these days have particular expectations about what smart technology they want to see in single-family residences.

There may be some tenants who want their landlords to have certain smart devices installed and ready for use, from high-speed internet to smart thermostats to security systems. But will upgrading your Muskegon rental homes attract the type of renters that make the effort worthwhile? 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 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 usually hold more interest for people in these areas, and you can increase your rent just enough to make up for the upfront costs.

Potential Drawbacks

We’ve seen the benefits that property owners and tenants get from smart devices, but there are also some potential drawbacks. Perhaps the biggest issue property owners face with the prospect of doing a smart device upgrade is the cost. Most of the smart home technology devices aren’t too expensive, but the additional costs are substantial enough that you would need to carefully consider the options before making a decision that would affect your rental home. 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 speed and reliability of the Wi-Fi in your area, and administrative access, which they will need to oversee. 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 distance and geography may cause connectivity problems, smart devices might just be expensive mistakes. For sure they wouldn’t operate as advertised and would just frustrate the tenants instead.

While many renters would love to have smart home technologies, such devices may actually discourage others due to security concerns. Many are suspicious of automation; we’ve all read the horror stories about digital devices being hacked and our personal privacy being compromised. While these incidents are notably rare, there are potential renters who are unable to overcome their concern that they would prefer to look elsewhere.

In the end, the choice to purchase smart devices for their Muskegon 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. These types of decisions must involve good market data and detailed knowledge of a rental home’s area, both of which we at Real Property Management Investment Solutions can provide. With our experience and data tools, we can help you go through the data to figure out which, if any, smart devices would yield the best return for your rental homes. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a ring at 616-419-8880 to know more Real Property Management Investment Solutions today.

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