Residential property investing in El Mirage

When to Invest in New Technology for Your Tenants

At Active Renter Property Management, we view all of our tenants as customers and we believe that this is a practice that should be used by all landlords. This mindset is supported by evidence that many tenants choose not to renew their leases because of poor responsiveness from management.

Naturally, poor customer service and responsiveness could include a variety of behaviors, but we are specifically referring to actions that include:

  • Landlords waiting too long to make an initial response to a maintenace request or similar issue
  • Repairs and maintenance that are not completed in a prompt manner
  • Landlords or property managers that do not complete projects in a way that is professional or effective
  • When tenants find it hard to get in touch with the landlord or property manager and are forced to play "telephone tag"
It is in conquering these problems that we find ourselves to be most effective as a property management company. We are able to take care of these calls around the clock. However, if you are self-managing it may be more difficult for you to offer this level of service, so you need to find a way to compensate for this gap.

One way that you can add value to your rental property is by supplying technology that your tenants can find nowhere else. Today's consumer expects added value options and features, and this is no different where renting is concerned. If you can fill a value need, your tenants may be more forgiving of short-comings in other customer service areas.

Technology Suggestions from Property Management Experts

The following is a list of technology products that you can implement in your rental properties. You don't need to put it all in, and we wouldn't suggest that, but adding just one of these items can help you mitigate conflict with tenants over service and can even help you fetch higher rents.

Home Security

The first example of tech that you can include in your home is a security system. While the start-up cost can be steep, the ongoing monthly fee is 30 dollars on average and this cost can even be added into the monthly rent.

surveillance camera for rental property

Wi-Fi Services

A second option would be to provide Internet services as part of a rental payment or for a much smaller monthly cost. This is a definitive way to please your tenants through technology because nearly everyone today relies on an internet source. Not only that, but many people work from home, either full-time or outside of their normal work hours. This means that many tenants will care greatly about the quality of wi-fi. No internet, or poor internet, means that they can get very little done. By providing outstanding wi-fi, you can help keep your tenants happy, which will ultimately motivate them to re-sign for the property.

Online Tenant Portal

A third technology option you can offer your tenants is an online tenant portal. This is a technology tool we use for all of our tenants and we have found it to be beneficial for two reasons.

One, it makes it easier to pay the rent each month and ensure that it is paid on time. For some tenants it might be bothersome to have to make sure their landlord gets a check every month. With an online tenant portal they can not only make deposits, but they can also make scheduled, automated payments. This make their life easier and we have found that it greatly reduces the number of tenants who are late on rent.

Two, a tenant portal can supply better customer service as it allows your tenants to send in maintenance requests. The way ours is set up, a request comes in and the tenant receives an automated message letting them know we have documented their maintenance problem. This ensures that we are immediately responsive to the tenants message. Then, the maintenance request goes into a ticket system that keeps our maintenance requests organized. This ensures that we never miss a maintenance call. For reference, the front page of our tenant portal is here.

Smart Home Technology

Another way to offer technology to your tenants is through smart home amenities. While this can be costly, it can also be worth it. Ultimately, you will need to decide if this is a tech offering that will work for you and your specific rental. One of our favorites is the Wink Smart Home Hub from home depot (shown below). At 49.99 it is a fantastic price to start your smart home system and it connects with many of the standard smart home devices. It is definitely high-tech and a sure way to make your home stand-out amongst the crowd if you are catering to high-end renters.

Smart Home for Investment Property

Take it Back to the Basics

Finally, when we hear the word technology we shouldn't let our minds be filled with fantasies of space-age technology that would have fit in on the Jetsons. It is important to remember that many tenants will be happy with a dish washer, laundry machine, dryer, or a fridge of higher quality. It may not be what first comes to your mind, but many tenants will find these appliances to be very useful and will be willing to offer higher rents when these options are available.

As a final note, you should give thought to providing optimal customer service through modern technology, but be sure you limit your risks. If you can't afford these investments, or they won't work in your market or for your demographic of renters, you should be wary of adding them to your rental.

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