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Smart home technology comes in all shapes and sizes: from apps that let homeowners control the climate in their home to appliances that help save energy.
If you’ve ever wondered how to spark interest in your property – staying on top of your “smart home tech” game will make a world of difference to the renters and buyers in your area.
In this blog post, we’ll cover 15 awesome smart home solutions for real estate investors to consider.
Note: These smart home apps, tools, and appliances are listed from least to most expensive. The good news is most of them should be well within your business budget.
1) Evolve Water-Saving Shower Products ($29.95-$124.99)
Boosting savings by means of water conservation is a major bonus. This can be of interest to those who want to lease or purchase your investment properties.
Installing the showerhead, tub spout, and other Evolve products is easy as pie. Add in the major savings the devices offer, and you’ve got a winner.
A what kit? Trust me, this can take a considerable bite out of your electric bill – which conveniently, is also be a major focal point for renters and buyers. Electricity costs can plummet with this kind of smart home technology.
Lights can be turned on and off from anywhere at any time with the Hue app. (Cool right?) All you need is an internet connection and you can flicker them on and off from anywhere.
It also has an automation feature – which means you can now schedule lighting in advance. Why not plan your energy savings automatically when it’s this easy?
3) Nest Protect Smoke Detector ($119-$614)
One of these products is Protect. The next-gen smoke detector lets you know whether you burnt your dinner or if there’s carbon monoxide in a room. With battery self-check and the ability to work with most phones to receive notifications this a definite home run.
An awesome feature is the actual alarm sound itself — it’s a voice. That’s right, a talking smoke detector. An Alexa-esque voice notifies residents what’s going on in a calm but loud voice. Please fan me with a towel?
4) Key Please Leasing Robot App ($120)
Always fumbling with keys and forgetting where you left them? Key Please can automate one important aspect of your showings.
This company’s Leasing Robot allows you to control access, even if you aren’t there. How does is that even possible? Your tenants simply share their vital details with you and from there, you can grant them access to your property with a one-time code. It’s that easy.
Let’s be realistic, you simply can’t be everywhere at once, and this is a great solution to get more applicants, maintenance technicians and other trusted visitors in the door without having to constantly give listing tours on-site.
5) BeON Home Smart Lighting System ($129)
Ever wish someone could turn the lights on at your property when you aren’t around? This innovative lighting system is literally a copycat that learns and mimics the lighting patterns of residents. Over time, the automated system refines its schedule for how and when it lights up an entire home.
Doorbell alert and response tools also allow those who buy and lease your units to keep tabs on who’s knocking at their front doors and provide audio replies to them. It’s pretty cool!
6) August Smart Home Locks ($149-$279)
This is a smart home app and lock set that can automate a simple but daily task. Especially useful for short-term rentals on site like Airbnb, this lock allows you to control and monitor your doors entirely from your phone. You can even keep track of who is coming and going with a 24/7 activity feed.
With August, a resident can simply walk toward their front door and it will unlock. They can also set up temporary key access for anyone they know who will need to get in while they’re not home.
This is a great technology for parents too! They can add the August app to their kids’ phones and know when they arrive and leave their residence. Not to mention, it only takes 10 minutes to install and all you need is a screwdriver.
7) Tado Smart Air Conditioner ($179)
Don’t want to wait for the AC to kick in? Turn it on before you get there! The Tado Smart Air Conditioner allows you to control your AC from anywhere with the Tado app.
You can power it on/off and change the settings in the app from virtually anywhere, at any time. It even has the ability to create pre-set schedules to turn on your AC — so you don’t even have to think about it.
Tado says this helps owners reduce energy costs by up to 40%, which means it pays for itself in less than a year. That kind of savings can go a long way for real estate investors and homeowners with a tight budget.
Tado can keep your tenants cool when the temperatures rise, and if you live in areas where “hot” is often an understatement, this will definitely make life easier.
8) Lutron Maestro Sensor Switch ($18-$29)
Whether your tenants are forgetful and constantly leave the lights on, or you live with children who haven’t quite learned the proper habit of flicking the switch off when they leave a room – the Lutron Maestro is a brilliant solution that can help automate the lighting in any residential or commercial space.
As the name implies, this light switch will sense motion up to 30 feet away and can be programmed to stay lit for anywhere from 1 – 30 minutes after a person leaves the room. Of course, you can always push the button to turn it off manually, but just in case you forget, this switch will turn it off for you.
This switch also has an optional daylight feature, which will keep the light OFF if it senses daylight in the room. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the motion detection can be set to high or low. Given the amount of energy these can save you over the next 30 years, the cost is pretty reasonable.
9) Nest Cam Outdoor ($150-$200)
Worry about the kids or pets while away from the house? Want to ensure no fires or leaks occur while on vacation while also monitoring for strange activity around your house? The Nest Cam Outdoor security camera records 24/7 in full HD, and even features two-way audio.
Whatever the reason for implementing a security camera, this device from Nest is an awesome (and super affordable) option for renters and homeowners.
Activity alerts can be sent to residents’ phones via the Nest app. Meanwhile, motion and audio sensors can provide peace of mind.
10) Rachio Smart WiFi-Controlled Sprinklers ($199.99)
If you’re dealing with higher-end properties that warrant additional landscaping efforts (like the added cost of an underground sprinkler system), there’s a good chance you’re throwing some of your money away by over-watering the yard during the rainy season.
Rachio will skip a watering cycle if rain is predicted and adjust watering as the seasons change, which will save you time AND money. It can reduce your outdoor water bill by up to 50% with WaterSense certified technology.
It is so smart, that it can even water according to soil and plant type — information you can input from the Rachio app (which also works with Amazon Alexa). If you’re a fan of automation, you’ll love this!
11) Nest Thermostat ($249)
The third-gen edition of the revolutionary tech has evolved even further. It learns the preferred temperatures of its users and shuts off automatically when residents leave their home and when they come back. It also activates when you approach the device, and it can light up to show the time, temperature or weather.
Considering your thermostat controls a big portion of your energy bill, the fact that Nest thermostat was the first to earn an Energy Star says a lot about the savings to come. It doesn’t stop there, it also gives users a glimpse as to how much energy they use by providing regular energy reports.
12) CURB Home Energy Monitoring System ($399)
Most homeowners (and real estate investors) can’t see which areas of their properties use the most energy. but With CURB, you can see how each room and appliance contributes to your monthly usage and expenses.
The device is installed into the breaker box at each property. From there, it can learn everything you want to know about energy use — and how to adjust it each successive month.