As any landlord out there would testify to, managing buy-to-let properties can easily become a full-time job, not least if you have multiple properties with a dozen tenants. Maintaining and managing property requires varying responsibilities, from insurance to boiler maintenance. But there’s good news, because nowadays there are various companies developing technology specifically for the purpose of helping buy-to-let landlords.
Maintenance & Management
Managing all aspects of your buy-to-let interests can be incredibly time consuming, not least when it comes to the maintenance demands of your property. There are now a number of companies providing landlords with software from which they can manage and maintain all of their properties from one single platform.
In terms of maintenance, companies such as FixFlo are offering various methods of streamlining the process of identifying, delegating and completing any task you can think of. But before their software alerts you to a maintenance issue, it will also try and help the tenant solve the issue themselves with helping and informative advice. This means that the number of times you have to pay for a repair is cut down dramatically because you won’t be called out for easily fixes.
Believe it or not, VR is becoming a regularly used tool for buy-to-let landlords. They are using to help draw tenants towards their properties, by providing them with 360 degree virtual tours in place of standard, estate agent photos. In markets that are particularly diluted, such as that of major cities, it can be difficult to ensure that you are at 100% occupancy at all times. A Virtual Reality tour of a house/flat is certain to make it stand out from the crowd. One particular VR company, EyeSpy360, will help you produce a VR tour for no charge whatsoever.
Helping landlords be more energy efficient is the Internet of Things (IoT). By saving energy, you save money, and when this is carried across multiple properties the savings can be considerable. Smart light bulbs, smart thermostats, plugs and even smart windows. They all help bring the running costs of a property down to a minimum, but on top of that, they will also increase the value of your property, allowing you to demand a higher level of rent. If tenants know that the property is working hard to save them money on their utilities bills, they will be prepared to spend a little more on the rent.
Security & Safety
The Internet of Things is also helping landlords keep their properties far more secure than ever before. There are smart security cameras, motion sensored with live feeds sent directly your phone. If an intruder sneaks into the back garden, you can be instantly alerted with a text message. The same goes for doorbells; no matter where you are in the world, you can see and speak to the person at your door through smartphone apps. There are even smart locks, again, controlled by your smartphone, much like Apple and Android Pay.
In terms of safety, smart technology has also started taking control of C02 and smoke detectors and fire alarms. The smart smoke detectors can even work out whether the smoke is coming from burnt toast, or something more sinister and dangerous. As always, when any of these alarms are triggered, you will be instantly notified via your phone. Some companies even include the ability to turn off the gas supply to the property remotely, to avoid any increased danger in the case of, for example, a fire.