Diving Into Single-Family Rentals? Here’s What to Keep in Mind

By: Michelle Ramos

Single-family rentals are rising in popularity, and proptech is the key to streamline operations and maximize NOI.Single-family rentals are rising in popularity, and proptech is the key to streamline operations and maximize NOI.Single-family rentals are rising in popularity, and proptech is the key to streamline operations and maximize NOI.Single-family rentals are rising in popularity, and proptech is the key to streamline operations and maximize NOI.

It’s no secret that the real estate market is booming. With rising home prices and apartment dwellers seeking more space, single-family rentals (SFRs), which offer the amenities of home ownership without the cost or commitment, are becoming increasingly popular.

Currently, the SFR market holds about a 35% share of the rental industry. That means a third of today's renters are renting a single-family home, and that number is only expected to grow as investors continue to flock to the market.

There's no doubt that the SFR market is lucrative, so for those investors who are moving into the space to expand their portfolios, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind.

Let's dive into some of those considerations, a few challenges that SFR portfolios face, and how SmartRent solves them.

A Scattered-Site Portfolio

Often, SFR investors’ properties are scattered across a given region. This means no property or maintenance teams are sitting on-site to attend to mishaps or answer residents' questions. Conducting tours of these properties may also seem like a daunting task with no leasing agents nearby, especially when confined to typical business hours.

However difficult these may seem, these challenges are easily tackled by incorporating the right solutions that help your property team effectively and efficiently manage your assets.

Equipping SFR Portfolios for Success With Proptech

Adding key pieces of proptech into your SFR portfolio can make a positive difference for investors. Proptech can help investors build a portfolio's net operating income (NOI) and easily streamline operations for property teams, alleviating headaches and streamlining tasks.

Streamlining Operations

SmartRent Manager gives property teams complete transparency into each asset. As an easy-to-use interface that integrates with widely used property management software (PMS) and customer relationship management tools (CRMs), SmartRent Manager streamlines daily tasks and creates one source of truth. Teams no longer have to jump from platform to platform to complete tasks, and they'll also avoid having to manage multiple software systems to get their jobs done.

A great example of how SmartRent Manager empowers users is through work order management. Using SmartRent Manager, teams can seamlessly manage work orders on the same platform. Property teams can see all open work orders, regardless of location, and assign them to nearby maintenance teams through the work order management feature. They can then track the status of each maintenance task remotely, giving them valuable time back in their day.

Protecting Assets

After investing in building these portfolios, investors need to protect them as well. Investing in smart home devices, like leak sensors, adds a layer of protection to assets. One of the most common issues investors run into is water damage. The average home insurance claim for water damage is $11,098, and this number can quickly multiply if leaks aren't caught soon enough. SmartRent's leak sensors instantly alert residents (via the SmartRent app) and property teams of possible leaks. This helps avoid the costs of water damage and the headache of clean-ups, move-outs, and gallons of wasted water. Smart sensors, home security cameras, and video doorbells also help investors protect their properties while also appealing to renters.

Expanding Tours Without Leasing Agents

Scattered-site teams are often faced with balancing leasing tours with other daily tasks, which require traveling to and from different locations within their region. Tours are often limited to business hours, which then lowers the number of tours that can be scheduled. Fortunately, Self-Guided Tours (SGTs) solve the challenges many SFR teams face.

SGTs allow residents to tour a home on their own time without having a leasing agent present. With SmartRent's SGT solution, prospects can sign up for tours via a web application and schedule a tour at the most convenient time. Property teams are then alerted when a tour is scheduled, when it starts, and when it ends. The solution also collects valuable prospect data that is transferred to the property team's CRM so they can follow up with the prospect.

This solution allows teams to expand their touring hours, gather valuable data, and lower their sales and marketing costs – saving money in the long run. This also means that teams can reduce the time spent traveling from tour to tour and focus on more pressing tasks.

Increasing Resident Satisfaction

Proptech doesn't just hold its value with investors and operators; it's also a powerful tool to attract and retain residents. Many of today's renters are looking for integrated homes equipped with electronic access, keyless locks, interconnected doorbells, mobile-controlled security systems, and voice-activated assistants. They're also looking for proptech devices to speak to one another to create daily automations that add convenience to their busy lives. Some are even willing to pay more in rent per month for homes that offer these features. Investing in smart home technology can increase resident satisfaction, rental rates, and retain residents for longer periods.

To meet this demand, the SmartRent Resident App delivers powerful automated solutions for residents. Avoiding app fatigue, it connects each smart home device to one app where residents can control each device and set daily automations. For instance, a resident can create an automation that unlocks their front door and lowers their AC at the usual time they're arriving home from work.

One client within the build-to-rent space, Quinn Residences, recently experienced the positive impact that adding SmartRent technology into their portfolio can make. After installations, they noted that resident satisfaction increased within the installed communities, and many sang praises of the new proptech they had within their homes.

The SmartRent Experience

SmartRent works closely with SFR investors to equip their portfolios with the solutions that increase NOI, protect their assets, and attract and retain residents. From SGTs to smart home IoT, our experts work with investors to build a custom strategy that's the best fit for their portfolio.

The market is booming with no time to waste. Set up some time with a SmartRent expert to learn how this technology can work for you.