Renting out your home or apartment can be a great way to make some extra cash. But there are a lot of hassles that come with being a landlord—from finding reliable tenants to protecting your rental if disaster strikes. This is especially true if you own multiple properties.
How can you make the process easier? Automation. It can make renting more efficient and cost-effective, and it can help you keep tabs on critical maintenance issues.
There are a lot of automated tools out there, and deciding which ones are right for you can be a challenge. That's where we come in.
At Asurion, we know the power of connected tech and its ability to make your life easier. Here's our guide to using property management software and smart home tech to transform your ordinary rental into a rent-smart property.
Set up automated showings
Automating how you show your property to potential renters is easy. Here are a couple of ways to set this up. Keep in mind, you should always ask people for a copy of their driver's license or other ID before they visit your property. And if you're not comfortable letting someone into your rental unit alone, you can always meet them there.
Use online scheduling apps
When you post your rental listing online, you can share a link to a digital appointment scheduling app, like Calendly® or Google® Calendar, so people can book a showing at their (and your) convenience.
Install smart locks
Smart locks are, ahem, key to smart home property management. This wireless technology lets you lock and unlock your door using a keypad or smartphone app instead of a physical key.
When your potential tenant arrives for a showing, you can send them a smart lock passcode to access the property—and you don't even have to be there. The code is temporary, so it'll automatically expire at a set time. Plus, smart locks alert you when the door is locked or unlocked, so you can keep up on what's going on at your property.
Once your renter moves in, smart locks improve safety and security for your property and belongings as well as for your tenants. Many models have a built-in alarm and will lock out anyone who tries the wrong access code too many times.
Tenants like them, too. According to a 2022 survey by rent.com, an online marketplace, smart locks, along with smart thermostats, are among the top smart home devices that renters want.
Screen tenants online
The best tenants are clean, respectful, and punctual with rent payments. So before you commit to a new resident, try using a trusted tenant screening service.
Instead of spending a week pulling someone's credit reports, speaking with past employers, contacting references, researching public records, and performing a criminal search, tenant screening services will do this work for you—likely in less time.
Use landlord software for rental agreements and automatic payments
Software for landlords, like Avail® or Tenant Cloud®, makes it easy and efficient to rent out your property online. You can share rental agreements with tenants and set up online payments for application fees and security deposits. You can also set up automatic monthly payments for no-hassle rent collection. Cool, right?
Protect your rental property from disaster
Smart home devices can help you catch small problems—like water leaks or smoke in the room—before they turn into much bigger problems and maintenance issues. Here are a few helpful gadgets to consider for your automated smart home rental:
Smart water-leak detectors
These devices can alert you on your mobile phone about plumbing issues or basement leaks before they turn into major property damage. Brands like the Moen® Flo Smart Water Monitor or the D-Link® Water Sensor also make a compatible automatic water shutoff, which can save your property from flooding.
Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors like the Google Nest® Protect smoke alarm or the First Alert Safe & Sound Smart Smoke + Co alarm make noise when they detect smoke or carbon monoxide in your rental property.
Your tenants will see and hear the warning at the same time your smart home system calls the police or fire department and sends a notification to your smart phone. Their cost is a small price to pay for peace of mind.