In a data-driven real estate industry, advancements in PropTech have paved the way for more transparent transactions and efficient data organization. PropTech also gave rise to ”security technology’’, which has provided more ways for property owners to secure their investments.
As a category of PropTech, security tech can be classified as devices designed to enhance basic security measures. These include doorbells, locks, and intelligent video surveillance systems that are easily controlled and monitored through a mobile device or computer to make your property secure. Artificial intelligence (AI) has also enabled traditional security cameras to analyze security footage and detect suspicious activities without the need for human intervention.
According to the 2020 Apartment Resident Preferences Report published by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), 63% of residents showed an interest in homes secured by smart locks.
The emergence of security tech also significantly benefits families and individuals residing in your rentals. Every property owner must provide adequate protection for those living in their properties. While sustainability and innovation can attract new tenants, improving your rental property’s safety should remain your primary focus.
Thanks to security tech solutions available in the market today, making a home safe and secure has never been easier. Despite the initial costs of the devices, investing in the safety of your rentals is a crucial step. In this article, we discuss how security technology can help you improve your rental portfolio.
Good Security Makes Your Property Stand Out
Despite the nuances in state laws, one thing is for sure: you are legally responsible for the safety of your renters. In some states, insufficient security measures can make you accountable for any crimes on your property. This should be more than enough reason to make your rental home more secure.
Apart from ensuring legal compliance, there are numerous advantages to strengthening the safety of your property through security tech.
1. Security Measures Help Renters Feel Safer
One of the worst things that any resident can go through is to be in danger in their own space. Below are a few security threats and safety risks that renters can face at home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 26% of fires reported in the US from 2015 to 2019 happened in residential spaces. Within the same five-year period, it identified cooking as the leading cause of home fires and fire-related injuries.
Carbon monoxide alarms and heat detectors are some examples of security tech devices that can address the risk of fires inside homes. There are even interconnected carbon monoxide alarms that go off simultaneously and notify residents about the presence of harmful carbon monoxide gas in one area of a home.
Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) highlight that in 2019, property crimes were more common than violent crimes, with burglary and motor vehicle thefts cited as the second most prevalent property crimes in the US.
Meanwhile, in a similar study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2018, renters were found to be more likely victims of burglaries and home invasions. This was primarily due to the structure of 2-4 unit apartments that allowed numerous individuals to come and go as they pleased.
Smart padlocks and deadbolts have become increasingly popular in the security tech scene. Aside from serving their primary purpose, these upgraded padlocks and deadbolts enable residents to unlock doors via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Wildlife can become a threat to residents’ safety, especially if they forcibly enter a home or make nests in crawl spaces or attics. Bigger animals, such as raccoons and opossums, can be challenging to remove from your property without professional intervention.
Other examples of nuisance animals, such as bats, are typical in some areas of the US. These animals can populate a home’s walls or insulation. Bat infestations can pose health risks like rabies or lung disease, especially when left unchecked.
Preventing animal invasions is much safer than dealing with a wild animal once it has already entered the property. Security tech offers gadgets such as motion-sensor sprinklers or ultrasonic repellents to keep nuisance animals out of homes.
Water damage is one of the most common issues in a home. Research by the Insurance Information Institute shows that about 1 in 50 homeowners will file an insurance claim for water or freezing damages every year. The aftermath of house floods is usually extensive and requires the assistance of damage restoration companies. Water damage, when left untreated, leads to mold. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold contributes to various health problems, including asthma and allergies.
Although some water damage is expected to occur as a house age, security tech can help detect problems before they become disasters. Smart water shut-off valves, leak detectors, and water monitors catch leaks in the early stages and may even be connected to a property’s security system.
Investing in the right security technology can help you keep your renters safe from various threats they might face. Although it’s impossible to prevent all crimes and mishaps from happening, making the space more secure can cut their chances of getting hurt on your property.
2. Security Tech Boosts the Value of Your Rental
As with all home improvement projects, there are some costs associated with installing security upgrades on your rental property. However, this doesn’t have to count as an additional expense since investing in security technology upgrades can boost your rental cash flow.
Just like a swimming pool or a newly-renovated kitchen, enhanced security tech features can be amenities that justify higher rental rates. A survey conducted by SafeHome.org, a leading resource for home and personal safety data, found that American renters were willing to pay an additional $30 monthly for added security measures in their rental homes. Features considered highly valued among the survey’s participants included security cameras, alarm systems, and smart doorbells.
Integrating innovative security tech into your home can also improve the quality of renters your property attracts. A prospective resident ready to spend more for increased security is more likely to be financially stable and pay their rent on time.
Security tech also influences the decision of renters to stay longer in your property. A 2021 Renter Safety Report found that 2 out of 5 renters have considered moving to another property due to safety concerns. This indicates that the most practical way to prevent renters from ending their lease early would be to take the required precautions to keep them safe.
3. Safer Homes Are Cost-Efficient
When a rental property suffers from a security or safety threat, there are always financial consequences to be anticipated. Data from several studies demonstrate this:
- As per the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, approximately $13.3 billion worth of property was stolen in 2019. When a home is burglarized, the average losses amount to roughly $2,700.
- The NFPA reports that $12.1 billion worth of property damages resulted from structure fires. On average, residential structure fires were responsible for $8.7 billion in direct property damage.
- According to project costs collected by HomeAdvisor, a homeowner can spend up to $5,164 to resolve damages resulting from water damage.
Given these expenses, the upfront cost of installing a security feature offsets the possible losses that come with home invasions, fires, and other preventable hazards. In most cases, preventing a security breach is ultimately cheaper than paying for the damages after.
Taking the initiative to install security tech upgrades on your property also signifies that you’re one step ahead of your renters. By ensuring that the necessary security measures are in place, you’re helping residents save the time and effort they would have spent if they handled this problem alone.
4. Upgraded Security Features Lower Landlord Insurance Costs
In a national survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average cost of homeowners insurance in 2017 was around $1,211 annually. On the other hand, landlord insurance policies are normally priced 15% higher than homeowners insurance. One approach to lowering your insurance premiums is to improve the security of your rental property.
The National Insurance Real Estate Group advises that adding security tech features to your rental property could help you lower your premiums by up to 25%, depending on the company you’re working with. Since your property is less likely to suffer from insured losses, your insurance company will agree to reduce its rates for you.
5. Security Tech Lets You Monitor Multiple Properties
If your portfolio consists of multiple properties located in different areas and neighborhoods, it can get hectic to try and stay on top of all the tasks. Security tech upgrades allow you to monitor the safety of your renters and properties, even when you can’t straighten things out yourself. For instance, if one of your renters suffered from an invasion, having security footage on hand could help with the investigation.
Another issue that may arise with managing multiple properties is maintenance. No matter how well your renters take care of your property, the occasional leaky faucet or mold infestation is bound to happen. This can be even more tedious once several maintenance issues arise simultaneously. Therefore, it’s no surprise that in a 2017 Rental Property Owners Survey, 61% of property owners considered maintenance as one of their most significant stressors.
One way to manage the struggles of maintaining your rental properties is by employing security features such as water leak detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and smoke alarms. These innovative devices are designed to detect the presence of harmful gas in the air or possible water leaks before they become full-blown maintenance emergencies. Having security cameras in common areas of the property can also help you spot any gutters that need to be cleaned out or shrubs or trees that are in dire need of trimming.
If you’re overseeing several properties at once, hiring a tech-enabled property manager like Poplar Homes would be helpful. Our innovative property technology enables you to secure your renters and investments and quickly respond to maintenance requests 24/7.
Investing in security technology has significant benefits for you and your renters. By ensuring the safety of your property and residents, you’re able to save on insurance premiums, conduct preemptive maintenance, and monitor properties remotely.
Thanks to the many advancements in real estate and PropTech, countless security devices are suited to each resident’s specific needs and concerns. These security tech upgrades might be costly at first, but they are one of the best ways to ensure long-term security and peace of mind when it comes to your property investment.