Four Takeaways From IMN’s 9th Annual Single Family Rental Forum

By: Michelle Ramos

The SmartRent team enjoyed the Miami heat for IMN's 9th Annual Single Family Rental Forum, east.The SmartRent team enjoyed the Miami heat for IMN's 9th Annual Single Family Rental Forum, east.The SmartRent team enjoyed the Miami heat for IMN's 9th Annual Single Family Rental Forum, east.The SmartRent team enjoyed the Miami heat for IMN's 9th Annual Single Family Rental Forum, east.

Recently, our single family rental team at SmartRent had the opportunity to head down to Miami for IMN's 9th Annual Single Family Rental Forum (east). Fortunately for us, not only was the sun shining but the conference was a hit too! We had the opportunity to learn all about some of the latest smart home technology trends we’re currently seeing in the industry and where it’s headed post-pandemic.

So, if you couldn't make it to the conference, here are four key takeaways we think will shape the future of the single family rental industry:

1. Your tech stack is EVERYTHING

While smart home technology certainly appeals to renters, it’s important to have the right tools and automation in place to actually make them smart. That means fitting properties with smart home devices that integrate with multiple platforms that speak to one another is crucial. This allows operators and property teams to have complete visibility of the home, giving them the ability to work proactively rather than reactively.

During the Vendor Hot Seat session, our very own Nick Trimmer discussed how the SmartRent smart home devices could do just that, “A lot of times residents don’t even know they’re having an issue, and we’re solving it for them.” Through strong integrations that lead to automation, our solutions allow property teams to get ahead of a possible issue. This leads to increased operational efficiency and fewer headaches for your tenants. Happier tenants will ultimately lead to greater retention rates and higher occupancy.

Technology and virtual solutions are now at the forefront of successful teams. Including a technology-driven framework that touches each point of the lifecycle is key for post-pandemic strategies. What once seemed like a nice-to-have, like rent guarantee insurances, is now considered a necessity for single family rental teams.

2. Have an out-of-the-box post-pandemic strategy

Many changes were prompted by the pandemic and forced organizations to develop creative solutions to engage their customers and maintain their volume of business. The single family rental space was no exception. Sitting in at multiple sessions during IMN’s three-day event made it very clear that industry leaders all believed that the pre-pandemic strategies must look very different for post-pandemic.

As the market and society continue to shift, leaders believe that it’s important to think of housing as a service (HaaS). Today's tenants expect a modern living experience that fits their lifestyles, so owners, operators and property managers must adapt. Whether it’s packaging certain pieces of smart home technology into leasing options or creating different tiers of smart home “amenities,” this creates an appeal to both potential and current tenants.

3. Communication, communication, communication

How teams engage with tenants is also just as important, especially during times like these. It is essential to include a human element while engaging tenants. Teams should create different outreach campaigns that offer tenants resources and solutions they may not have previously heard of. This not only helps them but helps you as well in the long run. Avoid the typical phone call and try a different form of outreach. Test SMS, video or even email campaigns to see which resonates best with your tenants.

Your messaging is also key for your outreach. Position your team as an ally to your tenants, keep a constant conversation going and be the driver in that conversation. In times like these, offer them unique resources and solutions to help them overcome difficult situations. When things are going well, build a relationship by offering ways to keep them connected to their local communities.

Whether it be picking up the phone, developing a unique communications campaign, or simply offering a community town hall, communication with tenants is essential. Teams should test out new ideas for outreach and learn what’s the best way to reach their tenants.

4. Don’t reinvent the wheel

Instead of adding to your staff’s workload, and possibly more headaches, outsource where possible and when possible. (You will thank yourself later!) There are countless vendors in the space that can simplify your team’s life. As experts in what they do, leverage that expertise into an integration with your current platforms, doing so will create a solution that fits your specific needs. Partnering with the right expert can do so much for your team. It can help you increase revenue by monetizing in spaces you hadn’t thought of monetizing before, or even help you save both time and money.

Whether you’re looking to add smart home technology to your homes, on the market for maintenance solutions, or need to expedite the inspection process, find a skilled vendor in that area and let them do the heavy lifting for you.

Smart home technology is here to stay.

All in all, things look promising for the single family rental market. Owners, operators and property managers have so much potential at the moment and technology at their fingertips. The pandemic has highlighted the need for remote and virtual solutions and pushed technology to the forefront. Incorporating the right smart home technology stack, integrations with partners, and solid communications can bring any team the success and returns they’re looking to achieve.

Interested in improving your smart home technology stack? Schedule a demo to learn how SmartRent can help you build the right strategy for your team.