You can’t escape technology and the impact it’s had on making our lives easier. From paying for parking using your phone to asking Alexa to order a new bottle of washing up liquid, most of us have had our lives enriched by technology. It can save us precious time, money and make life a whole lot easier.
And it’s no different for landlords – technology has fundamentally changed the buy-to-let market. In recent years, many landlords have been forced to adapt to changing tenant expectations and how they manage their properties moving forward.
At Quealy & Co Lettings, the team put their heads together and identified some of the most useful technologies utilised by landlords and how they make life easier in a more demanding tenant market.
1. Online property management systems
Online systems have benefited both landlords and tenants in recent years by providing real-time access to information and improving communication during the tenancy.
A repair portal service, a common feature available in most managed tenancies, allows tenants to report problems online, from wherever they are and at any time of day. It means that tenants have the convenience of reporting a problem immediately and they are also able to see the progress of the issue being resolved online.
Many landlords will also have access to online web portals which provide 24-hour access to admin such as statements, tenancy information and repair updates. We have invested in Fixflo which many of will have seen already. In addition we have invested in a new property management system which will soon allow you access online to everything that is going on, instant access at the touch of a button.
2. Livestream Virtual tours
Looking at your next home from the comfort of your current one sounds great – especially while we’re all socially distancing. Plus, not all tenants or landlords will have the means or time to attend a viewing, so offering a virtual tour makes the whole process much more convenient. We have adapted our method of marketing and conducting viewings, principally during the pandemic, but it has changed the way we do things forever. We conduct viewings online, tenants have the ability to look at particular aspects of the property and ask us questions online. This has enabled us to reduce our void times significantly and so maximise returns for our landlords.
3. Smart locks
With smart locks, keys are a thing of the past as entrants use a digital passcode to gain access – meaning there’s no need to hide a key under a doormat or plant pot.
Smart locks give landlords more control over who enters a property, which is ideal for landlords managing student accommodation or short-term lets.
The need to change locks is eradicated by smart locks too – if keys go missing, you might be compelled to change the locks as a safety precaution – smart locks mean keys are a thing of the past. If you do need to restrict access, for example once a tenant has moved out, you can just change the passcode.
4. Smart meters
Smart meters are replacing old gas and electric meters – meaning there’s no need to have someone come round to take a physical reading. Data is transmitted automatically and more accurately, so bill estimates are also more accurate. Landlords can also make use of smart meters to track usage, which is especially helpful when bills are included in monthly rent charges.
5. Smart smoke detectors
Another safety measure a landlord may choose to install is smart smoke detectors – which can be particularly useful when a property is empty. Smart smoke detectors can send real-time alerts to smartphones - so if a fire is detected, action can be taken immediately. Installing smart smoke detectors can also offer greater peace of mind to your tenants.
If you’re a landlord, you might already be utilising smart technology available in the market to help maintain your rental property – it can be helpful in nurturing a better relationship with your tenants and to even increase profitability.
These are just a few of the technologies that are being harnessed in the lettings market. Please do call us if you would like any information about any of the above. Call our friendly and experienced Quealy Lettings Team on 01795 429836 or email email@example.com for all your lettings needs.