The relentless parade of technological innovations over the past two decades has changed the way we many things today. No area of life has escaped the influence of high technology, even something as mundane and straightforward as managing rental property.

Landlords were just folks who happened to own and maintain the property. They were easily spotted thanks to their rings of apartment keys and perhaps a clipboard, ledger, or something similar. If you had an issue, you’d call them up and leave a message, or write a note.

But with high technology, even something as simple and straightforward as the rental market has undergone a modern, trendy makeover. Fortunately, the changes aren’t superficial; they represent the next wave of innovation in the housing market. Here are some outstanding examples.

Networked Fire Alarms

Finally, the convenience and versatility of wireless network technology comes to the world of fire and smoke alarms! Now a property owner can have the peace of mind of being able to monitor and control fire and smoke alarms via the web. And the beautiful extra is, you no longer have to trudge to the property and turn off a false alarm in person; you can do it remotely.

Bluetooth Door Locks

Talk about something that sounds like it’s out of a science fiction movie! Now you can use Bluetooth technology to control deadbolts. As pointed out in “Think Smart: Using Mobile-Compatible Technologies For Rental Housing”, these locks allow residents, owners, and maintenance teams to secure and enter dwellings quickly via a smartphone or fob. Residents can send an electronic key to a maintenance personnel’s phone, and all that the latter needs to do is touch the lock with the phone and presto!

This is an advance that eliminates the hassle of having to leave a key for maintenance people needing access to your place.

USB Ports In Electrical Outlets

That sound you hear are millions of USB fans screaming “Finally!”. Yes, it’s now possible to get electrical outlets that offer not only the traditional AC power plugs but also that sweet, sweet USB power outlet. Considering the ubiquity of USB-powered devices (phones, tablets, MP3 players, GPS), it’s a wonder this hasn’t happened sooner.

LED Light Fixtures

The incandescent light bulb is going the way of the horse and buggy, and America is slowly phasing out Edison’s signature invention (that’s okay- by all accounts, he was a jerk anyway). The two favored replacements are CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) and LEDs.

The latter are an expensive initial investment, but they use 75% less power and last 25% longer. They represent the next step in energy efficiency, and should gradually be introduced to any rental property.

Security Systems Monitored Via Mobile Device

Let’s wrap this up with a feature you actually may have seen advertised on tv courtesy of your local cable company. It is now possible to get a home security system that can be monitored through your smartphone or tablet. Used in conjunction with a few security cameras, any landlord can have the peace of mind of knowing that the property is secure and safe without having to take the time to inspect the premises first-hand.

There’s another bonus in using security cameras. If you set them just right, you can tell how bad the snow is in your property’s driveway and be able to make a judgement call on whether or not it needs to be plowed.

For those of you out there who rent, check out these “5 Tips To Make Your Rental Feel Like Home”.