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In a lot of ways, the real estate investment industry is also a hospitality industry. Much like other fields that require customer service, tenants need the same accommodations in order to create a positive and mutually beneficial relationship for both the renter and the owner. While landlords and property managers act as the point people for this line of communication, technology also helps to bolster this relationship.

Smart homes have become increasingly popular, and these technology advancements are not just limited to the rich and famous anymore. By creating a more customized and tech-savvy experience, you ultimately upgrade the value of your property and make it a more sought-after rental. As Brian Davis explains, mid-range homes tend to be the best opportunity to cash in with tech amenities since it helps your property stand out from the mix, but also doesn’t place your property outside of the price range of your optimal tenants. In Davis’s words, “In mid-range homes, however, landlords might actually see a strong return, since a few standout features can make the difference in drawing attention and applications for vacant units.

Real estate tech also doesn’t eliminate the role of landlord or property manager though. In fact, smart device implementation requires an increased line of communication. As Franco Faraudo says, “For this to happen a collaborative relationship needs to be cultivated rather than an adversarial one. Both the landlord and the tenant need to be able to use the information that the devices collect while keeping the more private pieces of information siloed between the two users.” While these steps toward automating residential properties improve the customer experience, they actually give occupants more access to the owner or manager. Before taking steps to transition to automation, be sure you are prepared to accept the added responsibility and accessibility associated with these systems.

If you want to easy into the digital real estate realm of possibility, there are a few small steps in the right direction like smart locks, smart security systems, and smart detectors. You can even build in charges for your tenants to cover these expenses should they opt in for these modifications. Brian Davis explains various options to optimize your property into a smart home at a relatively low expense in his BiggerPockets article. He says, “At a one-time cost of about $500, investors can boast about all the benefits of their smart home and ask a significantly higher rent or sales price.