Landlords

Does the rental sector need a smart tech overhaul?

Property Reporter
|
9th June 2021
Smart Home 777

Last week, experts from the industry shared some interesting ideas on what the home of the future could look like, but while
smart homes may be the focus of the future, smart tech is yet to sway residents in the rental market when it comes to property preference and the money they are willing to pay.

Research from Build to Rent specialists, Ascend Properties, suggests that the build-to-rent sector is the future of renting, presenting better homes with all the mod-cons expected from today’s residents including great broadband, onsite amenities and communal outdoor areas.

When it comes to smart tech integration, however, residents are less worried, with just a third stating they would be more likely to rent a home purely because it had smart tech integration.

In addition, the vast majority (74%) also stated they would be unlikely to pay more for a rental property simply because it was smart-tech-enabled, with just 2% willing to pay much more than the market rate.

That’s not to say that we should turn our backs on smart tech completely as some features appeal more than others.

The ability to save money through smart tech features such as utility management and smart metres held the greatest appeal amongst potential residents. Safety also ranked high, with features such as smart locks and surveillance also holding high appeal.

A smart entertainment system and the ability to access lighting and heating remotely also appealed, although eco-friendly smart tech and convenience features such as voice activation were less sought after.

Ged McPartlin, Managing Director of Ascend Properties, commented: “It’s fair to say that while smart tech is a great addition to the home, residents aren’t quite ready to pay above the odds for the privilege of a fully automated home of the future. In fact, it’s important to get the basics right and provide the fundamentals such as good wifi, or a well maintained outdoor space, before you start to add the additional bells and whistles.

"But that’s not to say there isn’t a market for some degree of smart tech and with any investment, it’s about choosing the right additions to compliment the property itself, as well as the wider lifestyle offering you are trying to deliver.

"By doing so, you can appeal to the modern resident without deterring them with a cost of renting that sits far above the expected rate.”

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