In today’s digital world we are all connected to each other and to objects like never before. Technologies allow for objects to do more for us than ever before, from thermostats to garage doors to slow cookers.
What Homeowners Want
The survey by the National Association of Realtors showed that while most homeowners (82 percent) are not asking real estate agents about smarthomes, they are still interested. Customers want smarthome functions that provide them with particular benefits, the top of which are:
- Security (81 percent deem it “very important” or “somewhat important”)
- Privacy (75 percent)
- Energy savings (78 percent)
- Cost savings (77 percent)
- Comfort (71 percent)
While homeowners are intrigued by the possibilities that smart products can provide, fewer than 50 percent could name even the most popular products such as Nest thermostats or tools offered by well-known brands like Amazon, Apple, and Google.
Products of Interest
While there are many smart products that are available today and more coming to market each day, there appears to be particular interest in a few items:
Smart locks do far more than let you in and out of your home. Today’s smart locks let you monitor who is coming into your home while you are away, with some models allowing you to assign access privileges to friends, family members, contractors or others. Many come with a mobile app that lets you lock and unlock doors remotely or a web app that can be used with a desktop computer or laptop. These apps allow you to set access privileges and some provide for voice activation or geofencing, which lets you set a perimeter that, when detected, locks or unlocks automatically.
Today, homeowners can replace a basic incandescent light bulb with a smart, LED-equipped bulb controllable by smartphone, tablet or computer. Bulbs today can come in a standard white light or can change colors or brightness on the fly. Light beams can be dispersed broadly like a traditional bulb or narrowed to provide a focused beam. Bulbs can be scheduled to save on energy costs and brighten up the home when you arrive.
One of the most popular early technologies, the smart thermostat offers a lot of other good options for homeowners. Like smart lights, they help conserve energy by scheduling temperature changes for when homes are occupied. While some only control heating and cooling, modern models also manage ventilation and dehumidification systems, too. Others can analyze the habits of house usage and recommend settings to lower energy costs further.
Given that so many home buyers are still unaware of the smarthome possibilities, giving them information is one of the most valuable things a real estate agent can do.
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