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Progressive property management companies are continuously looking for opportunities to attract new tenants. In competitive rental markets, knowing what amenities renters want is often the best way to most is one way to accomplish this task and snatch potential leads away from competitors.
Recent research finds that technology is an important influencer when it comes to renters’ choices, and in fact, renters expect it. Technology presents property managers with an excellent opportunity to distinguish their properties from all the others in ways that draw potential enters in and helps keep them for longer tenancy stretches.
So how do property management firms leverage the latest technologic innovations to ensure a steady flow of potential tenants to their properties? Buildium’s 2017 American Renter’s Report discloses the reasons 1,116 apartment seekers chose their rentals, and home technologies played a major role in their decision-making.
Beginning with the search process, technology plays a major role in every step of the renter’s experience. According to the report, 50 percent of apartment-seekers interviewed searched online for apartments and applied for tenancy online. This emphasizes the importance of promoting rental listings using optimized, searchable online marketing strategies and incorporating appealing images and engaging marketing copy to grab the attention of potential tenants.
Attracting tenants to your rentals in today’s digital world requires more than cosmetic updates to the property and units. Advanced modifications like smart thermostats and high-tech appliances that offer energy efficiency appeal immensely to renters who are willing to pay higher rates to have them.
Convincing owners to update their investment properties with high-tech amenities may seem like a challenge, once they see research results showing that properties equipped with high-tech, energy-saving features gain an edge over competitors, even if the rental rates are higher. Plus, it doesn’t take a huge expenditure to offer smart home technology. Adding just two or three smart elements to your rental units—such as smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart Wi-Fi-connected electrical outlets or smart door locks—can be a cost-effective opportunity to market your units as smart-homes and attract more potential tenants.
Smart home features are particularly popular among millennials, who comprise 68 percent of survey respondents who said they are most likely to rent an apartment that features smart technology. In fact, millennials represent an ever-increasing percentage of renters and are expected to soon become the most important tenant target market.
Good communication is essential for building positive relationships between tenants and property management teams. Deciding on the best ways to communicate with tenants requires careful consideration for the best results.
Research finds that communication channels involving technology are most popular among tenants, most of whom prefer email communications (53 percent) or text messaging (also 53 percent) for sending and receiving important information, as opposed to calling, visiting, leaving a note, or mailing a letter.
Tenants also want the ability to submit and track maintenance requests electronically. Most property management software is designed to accommodate maintenance requests submitted through a resident portal.
Using technology to pay rent and fees
Most tenants don’t enjoy paying rent, but the process is more convenient when they have the ability to pay online. While only 29 percent of tenants have an online rent payment option, 59 percent report that they want this technology, and 53 percent would use a mobile app to pay rent if it were available.
Which technologies will renters pay more for?
What are some ways property management can use technology to attract new tenants, increase revenues for property owners, and even sustain higher rental rates?
According to Buildium’s 2017 American Renters Report:
49 percent of renters would pay more for central air
44 percent of renters would pay more for high-speed internet
30 percent of renters consider energy efficiency to be an important reason to choose a rental
15 percent of renters would pay higher rent for an eco-friendly building
Property managers can implement smart technology devices that help tenants track their energy usage and automate their apartment units, which are the most likely types of rental properties to attract tenants by offering smart technology.
Gartner Technology research predicts that smart devices for home automation will be standard in most homes in just five years. Smart tech implementation rates are increasing exponentially. The sooner your project management company starts integrating smart technology in rental units, the sooner your property’s prospective tenant leads will outpace the competition, reduce vacancies, and increase tenant retention rates.
RentVest Property Management helps property owners with customer-centric property management services in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Dallas, Phoenix, Tucson, Reno, and Hawaii. Learn more about RentVest’s full-service management benefits.