With more people having to rent in the future, smart landlords are looking at ways to capture the cream of the rental sector by offering extras, including top-of-the-range equipment, high-speed internet and smart technology. More young people are tenants rather than home-owners and their world revolves around technology. It can be a wise investment, therefore, for landlords to make sure their buy-to-lets are smart homes.
This technology has certainly helped sell properties. More than 80 per cent of estate agents say smart technology has definitely helped them sell homes, and more than half have sold properties with smart technology for more than the standard asking price. A Digital Homes Report by Barclays states people would spend an average of £3,310 more on a home with pre-installed connected technology. Practical smart technology, such as home security and smart heating, are of most interest and it’s estimated that nearly half of all UK consumers are planning to buy some type of connected home product this year.
From this report, it looks as though the most appealing tech items for tenants are practical products, like connecting the doorbell to your phone so you can virtually answer it in order to appear as though you are at home, or using an app to switch off your heating because you are going to be home late. Energy meters could prove popular with tenants too, as they enable users to keep track of energy usage and thereby reduce costly bills.
Younger people can see the benefits of technology for themselves and can also appreciate how smart appliances and apps could also help their parents or grandparents. Nearly three in four people aged 25 to 34 years who were surveyed by Barclays said they would sleep better at night if their older relatives had a smart home. So landlords catering for the older sector could also consider smart security for their tenants.
Such investment will not only create a unique selling point for landlords, but also make the rental experience better for tenants. It also gives the landlord peace of mind that his investment is being protected through smart security, whilst at the same time lowering energy bills through smart thermostats, plugs and light bulbs. Whilst initially adding to the expense of being a landlord, the benefits will ultimately outweigh the costs as the property will be more energy efficient, more secure and it will compete well in the growing rental market.