More than ever before, almost every individual relies on technology to run every aspect of their life and nowhere is that more evident than when it comes to our homes.
For those wishing to get the best returns on their rental property, understanding the technology that is likely to drive demand, increase rental yield and resale value, and generally make life easier is vital.
With this in mind, we look at some of the top trends which are likely to affect your property investment in 2021.
Potentially one of the most significant shifts that took place in 2020 is the sudden reliance on all things digital. From ensuring that we stayed connected to friends and family via Zoom to those who were shielding to be able to order their groceries online easily – never before has the world been so reliant on being connected digitally to the outside world, even when the “outside world” was staying in.
According to a survey of over 1700 tenants in the UK, fast broadband is the number one priority when choosing a home.
It’s imperative for investors that they place the same importance on broadband speeds and connectivity when selecting a property.
Virtual viewings have been around for some time now, but thanks to lockdowns across the globe making it difficult for even local viewings to occur, they are suddenly becoming the primary option of choice for many vendors and buyers alike.
As a global property investment company, here at Benoit we have been undertaking virtual viewings and online tours for quite some time – and understand that, for a busy investor online viewing provides an easy way to quickly eliminate properties which don’t meet criteria without wasting valuable time or effort. Additionally, virtual tours and viewings allow one to invest overseas with a far more intimate snapshot of a development or unit that purely printed or online static materials.
Tenants and homeowners want their homes to be smarter. With more and more devices able to speak to each other thanks to The Internet of Things (IoT), we are now moving to a stage where being able to control home elements such as lighting and heat from our smartphones or with our voice is becoming, in some circumstances, expected rather than purely desired.
And we are now seeing the smart home phenomenon come on in leaps and bounds with households adopting things like smart fridges, which have inbuilt cameras, screen mirroring and a family hub.
On a broader basis, prop-tech is still pushing forward for better management of entire buildings – using machine learning and connected devices to save money and energy – helping to meet both sustainability goals and reduce running costs.
Health and wellbeing at home
Tenants interest in health and wellbeing has been rising over several years, but with the advent of lockdowns – at home opportunities for both exercise and mindful relaxation have been even more sought after.
Unsurprisingly, since the announcement of gym closures back in March 2020 the sales of exercise equipment spiked by an unbelievable 5800% in the UK. More than ever, tenants want to look and feel good – and this is now about more than just a treadmill in a musty basement of a residential block. Instead, smart tech such as wearable devices, connected machines that track the user’s progress, and the much-beloved Peloton are starting to merge tech and wellbeing – a trend which developers and landlords alike can do much to capitalise on.