High technology is no longer an amenity; it is a must. Tenants expect the bare essentials in the property - cable ready access, internet access, and sometimes even security systems. If you own a high-end property and are looking for a more upscale tenant you may also wish to include features like mobile access to security and camera systems or multi-room sound systems. Technological features like this can be expensive, but depending on the property these systems may be a worthwhile investment if you are hoping to attract tenants who want to experience a higher quality lifestyle and are willing to pay higher rents to secure this lifestyle.
Some of the features you should consider for your property are:
- Abundant Power Outlets: Almost every tenant has a need for as many outlets as possible for TVs, sound systems, computers and other power-hungry gadgets. It is simple to augment existing outlets with outlet expanders, which can multiply a conventional two plug outlet into many. If you would like to increase the number of available outlets, you may need to make changes to the wiring inside the walls and increase the allowable load on the circuits.
- Internet and Wi-Fi: If your property houses multiple tenants you should provide them with a high-bandwidth wi-fi connection. You can improve the signal strength of your property-level wi-fi by utilizing repeaters and other amplifiers. If you prefer you may ask your internet provider to wire the property which will allow tenants the option of physically connecting their internet devices to a fast hard-line connection.
- Home Automation: For very high-end homes, many families would like to increase their peace of mind with a remote access security system or improve the energy efficiency of the home by controlling major systems through a mobile device. Adding remote or mobile access to various systems in the home generally requires expert assistance. A number of cable or security system providers will install these systems for lighting, cameras, and heating and cooling, but they typically charge a monthly fee for the services. For the more technologically savvy there are a number of computer hardware and online tools that can automate a home without the hassle of upfront and recurring fees. These systems can also be accessed from any internet ready device like your tenant’s smartphone or tablet.
- Home Standby Generators: Many tenants will sleep more peacefully - and pay higher rents - knowing that their home is immune to power disruptions. A standby generator may be a key selling point in an area that is prone to inclement weather. Many professionals dread the idea of losing key work or data, and a standby generator can increase the rental value of a property that is safeguarded against this risk.
- Intercom Systems: Families with young children can benefit from a whole-house intercom system that allows parents to monitor their children’s activities. Although there are some wireless versions on the market, an integrated, in-wall system is often a more appealing option.
- Sound Systems: Many newer homes have sound systems that accommodate multiple rooms. These systems usually involve speakers distributed through key rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, and living room. These systems appeal to tenants of all ages, but are especially valued by the younger generation of tenants who are committed to multi-tasking.