Rental properties, whether a single-family home or office building, could use some automation to enhance their charm, efficiency, and safety. The smart tech world was once a double-edged sword that offered a lot of benefits, but with a few security risks. With Internet of Things (IoT) security becoming more efficient and more power being handed to the customer, safety is becoming easier.
Here are 10 smart devices that can enhance your rental properties. These investments will save time and money for you and your tenants by neutralizing or at least reducing common rental nuisances, crimes, and simple management issues.
Smart Camera Systems
Security cameras have always been an odd point of security for homeowners and property managers. Unless someone is staring at a surveillance screen, they’re only good for basic deterrence and catching someone after the fact. Cowardly thieves and intruders may turn away after seeing cameras, and your video evidence is only useful in catching someone after the damage has been done. With smart camera systems, active monitoring and taking action becomes easier. Instead of needing a dedicated security room, tenants and property managers can have an eye on cameras if they so desire. You still need to take the time to look at a screen, but it’s easier to check a smartphone or have a computer monitor or television set to the camera view in a place you often look.
To enhance smart camera systems, motion sensors can alert you to check your surroundings and screens. These sensors can be added to the perimeter of the property, windows, doors, and other potential break in areas, and anywhere else that warrant extra monitoring. If you have the chance, allow a security expert to survey your property. Having the best positioning for sensors is a science that goes beyond common sense, but if you’re on a budget, simply covering entrances and openings are the best bet.
Smart Locks and Door Kits
How many times have tenants lost their keys? How many times have locks become stuck because of weather, corrosion, or damage? As a steady march forward in access, smart locks allow remote access for doors, windows, security boxes, and other secure items. While there is an inherent risk of remote tampering, the risk of break-ins via lock-picking are higher and more well-known.
Control temperatures remotely, or set an automated system that measures the weather, checks online weather forecasts, provides automated adjustments, and more.
Just as locks and thermostats can be automated, lighting can be adjusted while home or away. If you or a tenant forgets to turn off the lights during a vacation–or if you want the property to look active when no one is home–smart lighting can help. It can be activated with a touch of a button on a smartphone.
Smart refrigerators can manage temperatures with better, digital controls and monitor multiple variables. Humidity levels, energy consumption, and the ability to enter expiration dates and locations with a tablet-like computer are possible on some models. This means less food going bad, especially if you are responsible for cleaning up the property after a tenant vacates.
Like smart refrigerators, a sort of micro climate control and monitoring system can observe previously hard to detect details. In addition to temperature and moisture measurement, automated shutoffs and timers can be managed remotely.
Watering lawns and gardens can consume less water while keeping your greens healthy. Advanced smart irrigation can detect humidity, rainfall, and dry conditions. Some models can even update their watering schedules based on local weather reports, which usually requires Wi-Fi or some sort of internet connection.
Smart Alarm Systems
Related to smart camera and monitors, smart alarm systems can alert you and authorities when an emergency happens. Basic systems can create active and/or silent alarms that either ring out through the property, or send alerts to tenants and/or property owners.Subscription services allow private security and third-party dispatchers to respond to an incident and call emergency services for you. They can be attached to existing camera and motion sensor systems to give better info to you and first responders.
Smart Climate Sensors
Fire alarms, CO2 sensors, water leak sensors, freeze detectors, and many other sensors exist as single-purpose devices and full systems. If you suspect problems from a specific gas or have a problem with building leaks, there’s probably a sensor for it. The hard part isn’t making a smart system, but finding a sensor for it. With any smart device, the sensor needs to pass a basic yes or no test: Is the sensor alarming or not? Instead of creating a basic beep from an old electronics board, the alarm goes into the computer of the smart device. Advanced sensors go beyond yes and no, creating percentages and fractions of percentages to show how much, how fast, and how often a certain sensor is being triggered. There are new smart devices for every purpose, but they’re not all efficient for rental properties. Contact a smart home or real estate professional to discuss property technology efficiency and great buys for your tenants that will pay back positively in the long run.