Today’s market is a competitive one. Property owners and managers are always on the lookout for new ways to attract good tenants and be ahead of their competitors.
Recent studies have shown that for renters technology is becoming more and more important, so much so that they have come to expect it. As a result, using tech is a great way for property managers to stand out from the crowd.
So how does using tech influence renters’ decisions – and how can a property manager leverage these technological innovations to attract more tenants?
In 2017 these questions were examined by Buildium’s research team and Software Advice. In the Buildium research, over 1000 American renters explained why, where, and how they choose to rent. The research conducted by Software Advice explored what home technologies are 300 tenants most likely to use, and how can this information be useful for property managers.
How do renters find and choose properties?
Technology plays an important role in each stage of the renters’ experience, starting with how they find and apply for a rental unit. More than 50% of tenants surveyed by Buildium preferred to find rentals online. For a property manager, this emphasises the importance of listing their rental units online and creating informative and appealing descriptions.
So how can a property manager use tech innovations to attract more tenants? According to Buildum’s research, before choosing a place to live, the majority of tenants will take the following things into account:
- Neighborhood safety
- Cleanliness and appearance
- Layout or floor plan
- Energy efficiency
- Property management company
There are numerous ways to improve the potential of a rental unit. One of the most important aspects that property managers have to take into account is the fact that renters are attracted by units that are clean and look good. Unfortunately, there's still many property owners and managers who hold off upgrading a properties energy efficiency and amenities for fear of budget deficits.
Owners and managers should be aware of the fact that certain modifications like new appliances and thermostats could justify higher rent. Promoting high-tech features that are eco-friendly and energy-saving will make a rental property much more appealing and also reduce the tenant’s energy bill.
A large percentage of renters are Millenials, and they are very attracted to cutting-edge tech. For them, a rental unit that has high-tech features can be the obvious choice.
How do tenants prefer to interact with landlords and property managers?
Once the tenants have moved in, great communication is essential for a positive relationship with their landlords or property manager. Choosing when and how to communicate with tenants is an important thing to consider and can help you earn their respect.
The Buildium report found that tech always wins when it comes to landlord-tenant communication. The majority of tenants prefer to communicate with property managers or property owners via email or text (53%), as opposed to receiving phone calls, visits, or letters. The report also found that almost 50% of interviewed tenants prefer to track the maintenance requests electronically through property management software.
How do tenants prefer to pay rent?
The majority of tenants would only accept a rent increase between 1 and 5 percent every 1 to 3 years. Furthermore, a third of all interviewed tenants said that they don’t tolerate rent increases at all. Paying rent will never be a tenant’s favourite aspect of renting, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle.
Despite today’s technological advances, only about 30% of tenants are able to pay their rent online, but more than 50% wish they could benefit from this technology and the same percentage would use a mobile platform if it were available. In conclusion, if they are able to pay rent online, your tenants will be happier and more likely to rent long-term.
What technologies are renters more likely to pay for?
So, is there any way to use technology to attract more tenants and also justify higher rent? According to the report:
- Around 50% of renters are willing to pay more for central air.
- Around 40% of renters would pay higher rent for high-speed internet connections.
- 30% of renters will take energy efficiency into account when choosing a rental.
- Only 15% of renters would be willing to pay more if the building is eco-friendly.
Smart Home Technology Trends to Come
It was estimated that by the end of 2017, around 15% of all households will have smart homes and that these technologies will become mainstream within five years. The rates of adoption for smart tech are rapidly increasing, so property managers should focus on making their rental units more efficient, smarter, and cheaper.
Have you tried using a property management software to automate some of the tasks associated with managing properties? If you haven’t, now is the perfect time. Jump on the Bricks + Agent platform and offer your clients and tenants an easier way to keep up with all property maintenance updates