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Is Upgrading to Smart Devices in Your Adams Morgan Single-Family Rentals Worth It?

Maintenance Installing a Smart Device in the Living RoomThere are a number of changes happening in the single-family rental home market, a lot of which is being driven 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, there are specific expectations that the renters today have, and one of these expectations is the kinds of smart technology they want to see in single-family residences.

Many tenants may require that particular smart devices be installed by their landlord, from high-speed internet to smart thermostats to security systems. But is it really worth it? Will the trouble of upgrading your Adams Morgan rental homes be worth the renters that are attracted by it? The question can only be answered when a few factors are determined, from where your rental property is located to how much return you expect on the upfront costs.

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 draw a certain group of potential renters. For instance, 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 especially good for particular places, especially where a perception of crime is a problem. Installing these smart devices may be what convinces people to rent the home because it bolsters a sense of security. Smart locks can make it easier for you to get into your rental homes when you need to. It also increases the security of new tenants during the transition period. 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 your rental home is situated in a place where there is a large number of renters working or going to school, it might be wise to 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

Like many other things, there are cons that go with the pros. The benefits of smart devices for property owners and tenants cannot be denied but some potential drawbacks also exist. Perhaps the biggest downside that property owners encounter when thinking about a smart device upgrade is the cost. Most of the smart home technology devices aren’t unreasonably expensive, but the additional cost of buying the equipment for your rental home is enough to make it necessary for you to really study your options. Many devices work as a coordinated system, meaning you might not be able to do the job one upgrade at a time. On top of that, not all areas will be able to handle the rent increase needed to gain back your costs, so knowing your specific market for each rental home is 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. There are areas where connectivity is an issue because of things like geography or distance. For homes in these areas, smart devices may not work as advertised and end up being pretty useless.

While a group of renters would want to have smart home technologies, other groups may dislike it because of security concerns. Many are suspicious of automation; we’ve all heard about people’s privacy being compromised because someone hacked their way into their digital devices. While these incidents are notably rare, there are potential renters who are unable to overcome their concern that they would prefer to look elsewhere.

Ultimately, the Adams Morgan property owner must determine whether upgrading their rental homes to include smart devices is worth the cost. These types of decisions need to involve good market data and detailed knowledge of a rental home’s area, both of which we at Real Property Management DC Metro can provide. With our experience and data tools, we can help you study the information to figure out which, if any, smart devices would be a smart buy for your rental homes. Please contact us online or call us at 202-269-0303 if you still have questions or want to learn more about Real Property Management DC Metro.

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