For apartment owners and property managers, resident turnover is a constant challenge. Residents leave for a variety of factors, and every month a unit sits unoccupied means missed profits for owners and operators.
Sometimes, a new job takes them out of town. Other times, a change to their family dynamic means their current living situation doesn't work. While you can't control these factors, there are certain steps managers can take to provide safe, comfortable, and welcoming environments that will appeal to both existing and new residents. Exploring smart home accessories is a great place to start.
Smart technology not only helps landlords and asset owners manage their properties better, but it also delivers an amenity that attracts residents and — most importantly — keeps them there. Everyone wants to feel safe at home, and devices such as key-free connected locks, connected access control systems, and video doorbells can help residents keep an eye on their loved ones and feel secure in their surroundings. Other popular devices such as smart thermostats, meanwhile, can save renters up to nearly 25% on heating and cooling bills.
Industry research shows that about one-third of all households have smart-home connected devices in them today, while half of households currently lacking those devices plan to purchase them within a year. There’s also no reason to believe the trend will slow anytime soon.
With that in mind, here are three ways to use smart home tech to ensure your renters see the value of your property from the moment they turn the key:
1. Make the renting experience easy.
Searching for a rental property is a great way to get a headache. The process is already challenging enough for applicants, so don’t make it any harder than it needs to be with redundant forms and in-person contract signings. Put everything online so you’re not wasting anyone’s time — including your own.
Start with the listing itself. Newspapers still have value, but most renters rely on the web to find properties. Create an online listing full of photos and videos of each room and any surrounding spaces. Multimedia elements allow applicants to visualize the living experience ahead of time and give applicants — especially those who are out of town — a look at everything your property has to offer. The final touch of making your property easily approachable is offering unattended showings. That way, potential residents can see the property when it's most convenient for them.
2. Be there — even if you can’t be there.
Being a friendly face for your tenant can go a long way toward making that person feel comfortable in the rental. That said, it’s not always practical or possible for property managers to be on-site to answer questions.
A modern resident-facing website or app allows tenets to find answers to common questions via FAQs and chatbots, pay rent, file work order requests, and even control various smart home gadgets installed in the home. Simplifying the resident experience makes communication between you and your tenants easier and drives brand loyalty.
3. Open the door to keyless living.
Operators, owners, and residents all hate keys. They're easy to copy and frequently end up lost, both of which lead to costly rekeying for you and your tenants. Instead of the hassle of keys, deploy connected locks.
Connected locks reduce turn costs — vendors and staff members can get in and out without trips to the office to check keys out — and ease staff burden by providing easy access to households to complete work orders. They also eliminate the need for late-night lockout calls. More importantly, they increase resident satisfaction. With keyless locks, tenants can let in housekeepers, dog walkers, or even in-laws with the touch of a button.
Tenant turnover is, unfortunately, part of the process of managing a rental property. To give your tenants reasons to stay, take advantage of smart technology. It might make the difference between a resident staying and leaving.