Rising tenant expectations are forcing property owners to become more customer-centric and innovative in their property offerings. With even more people entering the rental property market, tenants now have a lot of options to choose from when looking for property to rent. It has become extremely important for property owners and landlords to look for innovative home and utilities technology for their properties to aid customer retention.

When it comes to utilities, the most attractive option is prepaid meters (both electrical and water). Prepaid meters allow tenants to track usage and use a pay-as-you-go system that cuts out monthly utility bills. 

The 2020 tenant looks for innovation, convenience and information at their fingertips. According to Deloitte Insights, the utility customer of the future has a personal relationship with their utility, which provides a dedicated “smart home platform” that they can access through their phone, laptop or tablet. The platform delivers a personalized, data-driven customer experience in real time. For example, being alerted when their prepaid meters are running low on credits or being able to identify when high consumption occurs is crucial. Innovative utilities technology means that a tenant will be able to buy tokens and recharge the meter from their phones, wherever in the world they are.

Most tech-savvy professionals also expect instant support and assistance. Being able to manage their entire utilities platform using familiar technology makes things easier for them. They want to access support through a laptop, tablet, or phone and also be able to purchase their utility tokens whenever and wherever they want it. Data is also a key component for 2020 tenant and being able to get data about their utility consumption is extremely appealing.

Other innovative home and utilities technology options include smart air conditioning. There are some smart air conditioners that can save electricity by up to 68% when compared to regular air conditioners. These smart air conditioners are an attractive feature in property used for vacation rentals. Some devices can be controlled via a smart home app using Wi-Fi and it also gives you feedback about how the device is operating and lets you monitor and limit power usage. This is not only beneficial to the tenant but the landlord too.

Some smart homes have taken it one step further by setting up devices allowing you to turn off the lights or stove without having to go back home, or manage the alarm system remotely. Smart homes can also be set to automatically switch off appliances and lighting if they don’t detect movement in a room or area.  Being able to monitor movement or see what is going on in your home is a very appealing option for homeowners and tenants alike.

When it comes to smart water utilities technology, there are numerous options available to reduce excessive water consumption. There are smart water monitoring devices that can record water usage, checks for leaks, and sends real-time reports to an app. While many water monitoring devices monitor water running through your whole house, newer ones can target how much water is used in one particular area.

Whilst these technologies may still be in its infancy, smarter home and utilities technology, is no longer a fad, it’s an expectation. With 81% of home buyers saying that they’re more likely to purchase a home with smart technology already in place (according to the 2016 Coldwell Banker Real Estate Smart Home Buyer Marketplace Survey), smart home devices don’t just add convenience, they add value.