Time is one of the most precious resources a landlord must manage. Scheduling repairs, organizing maintenance, and maintaining security all take time and money. Fortunately, recent advancements in home automation technology have led to exciting developments in property management technologies. Towergate Insurance put together a guide and looked into how this can save landlords huge amounts of time and resources.
The “Internet of Things,” or IoT, refers to Internet-connected objects that communicate with each other and are controlled remotely across a network. One of the most common applications of the IoT is home automation, or the “smart home.” Landlords can now use this smart technology to automate procedures that once required a more hands-on approach.
Take home security, for example. New smart tech motion sensors — similar to burglar alarms, but smaller and less intrusive — can alert landlords via smartphone whenever they detect unauthorized motion. These sensors even switch on automatically if tenants leave without turning on the alarm. Smart tech security cameras can be synced to wi-fi and monitored from a phone or tablet, while storing video footage in the cloud for easy retrieval.
Landlords can boost security with “smart bulbs”: motion-sensitive light bulbs that “learn” the habits of occupants. These devices switch on when occupants are in the property, and deactivate when no one is home. They can even turn themselves on when someone rings the doorbell, to deter potential burglars. They can also be controlled via phone or tablet.
“Smart locks” are another recent development in home security. These keyless locks use wireless signals from smartphones to open doors, eliminating the risk of physical keys. Landlords can create “virtual keys” for tenants or guests, and revoke access when tenants move out. Landlords can authorize maintenance personnel remotely and log all entries and exits. Smart locks can even open doors automatically when a user approaches!
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Security isn’t the only way that smart technology can save landlords time and money. One of the most pernicious and costly problems for any property owner is damp. New smart tech sensors have recently hit the market that monitor humidity and moisture levels. These devices consist of small wireless sensors that alert owners to water leaks and changes in humidity and temperature. These alerts can prevent major problems and save hundreds per year in repairs.
Smart thermostats, one of the most popular home automation devices, allow users to set a property’s temperature through a phone, tablet or laptop. This not only helps maintain proper temperature and manage heating and cooling costs, but can prevent mishaps like burst pipes and water damage.
Landlords who own outdoor spaces can install smart irrigation systems, which replace the cost of a human gardener with network-connected sprinklers and solar-powered sensors. A smart irrigation system monitors weather data, plant life, and soil conditions, all controllable from a mobile app, making a well-maintained lawn a remote-controlled affair.
There are many more digital suites available for landlords to make their jobs easier and more streamlined. Apps like Rentify, Imfuna and Landlord Vision help landlords run credit checks, draw up agreements, manage inventory, schedule tasks, and more.
Managing properties is still a lot of hard work — but home automation technology and the Internet of Things is poised to make a landlord’s life much easier.
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