Managing rental properties can be a hectic job, especially when you have multiple to watch over. Understanding what is happening to your units is critical when it comes to a high-cost system like heating and cooling systems. Monitoring these systems becomes even more challenging during extream weather events. While the smart thermostats help, it still does not provide the insights you might need to manage your property fully.
While we already know from research that 44 percent of millennial buyers say they’re willing to pay an extra $3,000 or more for a home with smart features, according to Coldwell Banker’s 2016 Smart-Home Marketplace Survey. You are not selling but renting the house; this survey will stand up with an even broader market of renters. Adding additional “Smart Home” features will not only make your property management easier it should fetch a higher rental price.
Adding “Smart Home” Features
How do we start to monitor just the basics, like whole home and individual room temperatures along with how the furnace or air conditioning cycles. Having this underlying data, you can start to pick out trends along with possible insulation or HVAC issues before they happen. By deploying an IoT solution in the house using small temperature humidity wifi devices that will send back data to an IoT platform at an interval. You start to collect data that will build a clear picture of what is going on in the home. Pair that up with external temperatures from web API’s like weather.com and others, and you can begin to obtain usage patterns and detect issues as mentioned above. Now that we have temperature telemetry data for the home, we need to connect two more devices to the furnace and AC unit. Connecting the IoT device can be done with a simple relay or switch that is triggered when the units turn on.
Can this scale?
The simple answer is yes; it can scale out to a much larger deployment such as apartment buildings or multiple rental homes. This IoT solution starts to have a more significant impact on how you manage your houses or apartment buildings. By gaining access to this data, you can begin to predict usage or even prognosticate HVAC and even tenant issues before they happen. This data now allows you to troubleshoot or start to be proactive with preventative maintenance and possible tenant issues.
How is this data used to provide a “Smart Home” feeling for your tenant? Now that the information has been collected, you can start to surface or use this data to offer benefits to your renters such as discounts when using less AC or heating cycles when compared with external temperature data provide an energy report that includes usage suggestions. This data can, more importantly, be used to improve the efficiency of your home reducing maintenance cost and ultimately bringing a more significant ROI.
How do you get started?
Now that you have some idea of what you want to do, how do you get started? The Internet of Things is still finding its stride; people are still trying to warp there brain around how to use it and get started. When it comes down to it, IoT is merely a new way to start thinking about things. We can begin to solve complex issues that combine physical world data with digital information like the external weather to make faster and smarter decisions. When starting a new IoT project, its best to seek IoT experts and consultants like Echolo who have already successfully implemented IoT solutions. Companies and people that do find assistance are far more likely to succeed at an implementation than companies or people that have a go at it on there own.