Utilizing Smart Thermostats as a Property Manager
Smart home technology has become increasingly popular for homeowners. Such technologies, especially smart thermostats, help homeowners automate homes while adding convenience and even financial savings. However, what is popular and helpful for a property owner is not always useful to a property manager such as Martin Feinberg. Smart thermostats are one such device that can either be a good investment for professional property managers or a poor one, depending on other factors.
Smart thermostats are popular because they help save energy. They can help save on heating costs because they allow users—landlords or tenants—to control the temperature in a unit based on different parameters such as usage, weather patterns, and/or time of day. Smart thermostats are designed to make temperature adjustments based on the user’s behaviors and patterns. For example, smart thermostats can “learn” when a tenant is present and therefore will heat or cool an empty unit less than an occupied unit.
Smart thermostats also allow users, such as property managers, to monitor the temperature of a property remotely. This means that property owners or managers can control the energy output of their properties without needing to be in the unit.
Pros of Installing A Smart Thermostat:
- Premium amenities can attract and retain tenants, which is helpful in competitive markets that have lots of options for perspective renters.
- Installing a smart thermostat can sometimes allow a property manager to charge more a month in rent, as some renters are willing to pay more for smart home technology.
- In units where the rental property owner pays the utilities, smart thermostats can help them save money.
Cons of Installing a Smart Thermostat:
- Smart thermostats typically cost between $100-$250, depending on the brand and where they are purchased. If a property manager plans on installing such technology in a lot of units, the cost can add up. Some states offer rebate plans though for energy-saving devices so it can be worth it to look for such opportunities.
- If the tenant pays for the cost of utilities, they will also be the ones saving money using a smart thermostat.Even though the property owner will not see those savings personally however, saving money on utilities can help good tenants choose to stay in a unit longer, thus providing a financial benefit to the owner in the long run.
- If other renovations are needed in a unit, spending money on a smart thermostat might not be the best use of funds.Though many renters appreciate smart technology, a new washer/dryer or central air conditioning will usually be a better investment.
In the end, property managers need to consider their rental, budget, and market when deciding whether a smart thermostat is a good investment or not. An experienced property manager will be able to help determine if installing such technology will help make a unit competitive with other rentals in the area and be worth the time, effort, and money needed for the upgrade.