As we progress further into the 21st century, residential property management firms have seen “smart homes” and smart devices become more and more popular. The technology has become readily accessible and easy to use, even for those who aren’t especially tech-savvy. Because of the rapid growth and accessibility of smart devices, more and more renters are looking for properties that harness the power of smart technologies in one way or another. Premium features, like a smart thermostat, are highly desirable. But are they a good investment for landlords? In this article, we’ll uncover the pros and the cons of installing a smart thermostat in your rental unit.
There are several benefits that landlords can reap from installing a smart thermostat in their units. Here are some of the pros of installing a smart thermostat in a rental unit.
With renters more selective than ever, you need to do your best to make your rental unit more desirable to those searching for a place to live. Because of the energy efficiency associated with smart thermostats, a unit outfitted with this feature will be more appealing to the eco-conscious way that younger people are choosing to live in the 21st century.
It’s a fact that renters will feel more comfortable paying more per month in rent if their home/townhouse/apartment unit has premium amenities, like smart home features. A smart thermostat is much easier (and cheaper) to incorporate into your rental unit than other desirable traits, like private balconies or patios, and in-unit washing and drying appliances. Residential property management companies see renters pay more for smart home amenities all the time, and this is only going to become truer as this technology becomes even more commonplace.
Some landlords will pay the utility costs associated with heating and cooling, especially if they own multi-family properties. Making your units as energy efficient as possible is a great way to cut down on utility costs. Installing smart thermostats is a great way to do this, at relatively minimal expense.
While the three benefits of installing a smart thermostat in a landlord’s rental unit are solid, it’s also worth considering the potential drawbacks of doing so.
While smart home technology is very accessible these days, it doesn’t mean that it’s cheap. It can cost anywhere between $100 and $300 per smart thermostat, so it can be quite cost prohibitive if you’ve got many units that you’d like to install one of these smart features in. If you’ve only got a few units that you want to upgrade in this way, though, it can be worth the initial cost.
You only benefit financially from a smart thermostat if you’re the one paying the utilities in your unit(s). If your renters are on the hook for utilities, then they are the ones who get to pocket the money-saving properties of this energy efficient technology.
If you’re aiming to raise rent across your units, the installation of a premium home amenity like a smart thermostat (or any smart home technology) can really help you out. You’ll attract more prospective tenants and be able to ask more per month for rent. Residential property management professionals have witnessed an increasing demand for such items, so it can be very worthwhile for you to install them in your own rental unit(s).