Whether you work for private landlords or a rental management company, smart home tech can attract tenants to your property. These devices improve security, boost energy efficiency, and enhance the convenience and quality of life for your renters. But which smart home gadgets make the most difference?
Here at Asurion, we don’t just fix and protect your gadgets—we teach you how to get the most out of it, including how to automate your rental property. Here’s our guide to the smart home tech all landlords need.
Out of all the smart home technology on the market, the No. 1 device renters want most is a smart thermostat, according to a 2022 survey by rent.com, an online rental marketplace. This goes for people renting homes as well as apartments. Smart thermostats let your tenant create a heating and cooling plan for their home that responds to their daily schedule, temperature preferences, and even the weather. When connected to Wi-Fi, these cool home gadgets adjust the climate to make your renter more comfortable and save energy and money—whether they’re awake, asleep, or away.
Landlords benefit too. Placing smart thermostats in empty units and common areas, like a lobby, gym, and laundry room, can help you save money and energy. Plus, you can control and track them remotely, without having to visit your property.
Big picture. Smart thermostats will not only attract tenants; they'll help them—and you— lower utility costs and reduce energy use. For help navigating the smart thermostat market, check out our guide to the best smart thermostat for your home and what to know before switching to a smart thermostat.
Smart locks were the second-most-requested devices among renters, according to the same rent.com survey. And for good reason. They let you or your tenants lock and unlock the door using a keypad, a fingerprint scanner, or an app. There’s no need for a physical key or to be on the property either.
When a 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. Smart locks also make it easy for landlords to create a new passcode as soon as an old tenant moves out and a new one moves in. Meanwhile, tenants can use smart locks to create temporary passcodes for pet sitters and set up alerts for when their door is locked or unlocked.
Big picture. Smart locks cost more than regular locks, but the convenience and remote access they provide make up for the difference. Plus, you won’t have to hire a locksmith to change the locks again.
To learn more about these smart home gadgets, check out our guides to smart lock safety and everything you need to know before buying smart locks.
Forget about flipping switches. Smart lighting lets tenants control their lights remotely, set schedules, and control single or groups of lights from their phone. They’re also handy if you want to light up vacant apartments at certain times of the day. Smart bulbs are energy-efficient, lasting 25 times longer and using at least 75% less energy than incandescents, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Installing a smart light is simple too. Just unscrew the old bulb, replace it with a smart one, and connect it through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth®. You or your tenant may then have to download a companion app and sync the new smart bulb. To learn more, check out our guide to smart lights.
Big picture. Smart lights are an easy, affordable way to improve your property’s appeal and attract tenants.
Smart home hub
When you start adding smart home tech to your property, you’ll need a command center to connect and communicate with all your devices. That’s exactly what a smart home hub does. Once hooked up to Wi-Fi (or other standards like Zigbee®, Z-Wave®, or Bluetooth), it lets tenants control their smart home tech using voice commands, an app, or a touch screen. There is no single best smart home hub—only the one that ’s right for you. There are many brands and models on the market, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the tiny Echo Dot® to the full-screen Google Nest Hub Max™.
Big picture. Choose a hub that’s compatible with your smart tech, like Google Home® devices and Alexa-enabled devices. To learn more, read our guide to the best smart home hubs and what’s Matter—and why it matters for your smart home.
Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector
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 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 phone.
Big picture: These devices can help you avoid a disaster, so installing them is worth it for the peace of mind alone. A good rule to follow: Before a new tenant moves in, make sure your smart detectors are connected properly, check all their batteries at the same time, and keep track of when they’ll need new ones.
Smart water leak detector
A leaky roof or basement flood can be expensive to repair, especially when you’re replacing carpets, flooring, and walls. That’s where smart water leak protectors come in. These smart gadgets for home, like the Moen® Flo Smart Water Monitor or the D-Link® Water Sensor, send alerts to your phone when they detect moisture. Some are simple sensors you place on the floor, while more complex models can track water flow for potential leaks. You can even install an automatic water shutoff, which can save your home from flooding.
Big picture. Identifying leaks early is the key to avoiding major property damage. Smart water leak detectors help you stop leaks before they turn into something worse.
Smart home wireless video doorbell
Installing a smart doorbell not only tells your tenants you take their safety seriously—it makes their lives more convenient. This device is a doorbell and security camera in one. It lets tenants track who’s coming and going, check in via video, and talk to someone at their door through the device’s app on their phone. It can also record brief clips when someone approaches the front door or porch and watch that area live. No one has to open the door—or even be home. Popular models include Ring®, Eufy®, and Google Nest Doorbell™.
Want to install your doorbell on your own? Check out our step-by-step guide.
Big picture. A smart video doorbell improves security on your property and gives your tenants peace of mind.
Smart home devices and privacy
Smart home tech boosts safety and makes the little things in life a little easier, but they also can come with safety and privacy implications. Smart home devices can collect data on users, which companies then sometimes sell to advertisers. So research the brands on the market before buying anything, and make sure you understand how your renters’ data will be used and stored. It’s also a good idea to be sure your tenants know how to use their new tech and understand the learning curve that comes with a smart home.
Big picture. Because a lot of smart home tech connects via Wi-Fi, make sure your tenants understand the pros and cons of smart devices and know how to protect themselves from hackers and data thieves.
Want to learn more about smart home tech? Whether you’re in rental management or you’re a private landlord, check out our guide to transforming your ordinary rental into a smart property.