THE FACTS ABOUT SMART HOMES
Consumer demand for smart-home technology is surging, with reports predicting the industry will reach $130 billion between 2020 and 2025. But despite the popularity of the idea, many of your clients don’t fully understand what constitutes a smart home, how the technology works, or how it can affect a home sale.
For example, many falsely believe that home automation, which allows owners to set the functions of their home on a timed schedule, is the same thing as smart-home technology.
A smart home is a home that learns through artificial intelligence what the homeowner does, and will eventually do the automations without interference from the homeowner or simply put, smart homes use Wi-Fi connectivity and machine learning to streamline daily tasks in the home using a centralized hub that can be controlled on site or remotely via smartphone. That goes far beyond automation.
To better educate your buyers and sellers about smart-home technology and set reasonable expectations at the start of a transaction, take a look at these three common myths you should bust for your clients as suggested by Realtor Magazine.
Smart-Home Devices Always Boost Property Value
While smart-home products can fetch a higher sale price—for example, 44 percent of millennial buyers say they’re willing to pay an extra $3,000 or more for a home with smart features. Consumers say they find smart security (58 percent) and thermostats (56 percent) more appealing than smart appliances (34 percent) and entertainment (29 percent), according to a survey. That may be an indication of which items will add the most value to a home sale.
All Smart-Home Devices Work Together
Many consumers think that as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection, all smart-home devices will automatically work in tandem. But while Wi-Fi connectivity is a crucial part of smart-home technology, different devices have different means of exchanging information between them, called communication protocols. Some wireless protocols use infrared technology, while others use Bluetooth, Thread, Zigbee, or Z-Wave. Make sure you have all of your devices on the same wireless protocol; otherwise, you will have problems setting up automation for all your devices.
Although that can make a home sale more difficult, as buyers will likely flinch at having to manage multiple smart devices in different ways. For sellers with existing devices or recent buyers who plan on adding smart technology to their home, advise them to use a centralized hub to control smart devices. A hub makes it easy for users to automate, schedule, and control tasks on all of their smart devices from one place, typically via a smartphone app. Some systems can be programmed to activate a series of tasks when the homeowner is within a certain distance from their home. For example, when a homeowner pulls into the driveway, sensors can unlock doors, open blinds, and turn on lights.
Provide extra caution to clients who plan to install devices themselves: Before they purchase, they should ensure that all devices are compatible with each other and the hub they want to use. Buyer’s agents can recommend that their clients ask for a demonstration during a home showing so they can see for themselves whether the technology works seamlessly together.
Smart-Home Devices Are Not Secure
Recent security vulnerabilities associated with smart phones, voice-assisted devices, and other gadgets may have consumers worried that smart-home technology could further expose them to hackers. But as adoption of smart-home technology becomes more widespread, so do data security protections since there is an industrywide movement towards securing connected devices that will alleviate consumer concerns about hacking and device security.
In fact, the data security of smart-home devices may be more at risk when being transferred between owners. You don’t want to be vulnerable to identity theft because remnants of your personal information were left behind after a sale, says Sheryl Roth, an investigator for the Office of Technology Research and Investigation at the Federal Trade Commission.
About the writer: Shaura Cuyan writes about all the hottest Real Estate trends and predictions for Summit VA Solutions! She has previously written for a number of freelancing gigs and writes her own blog on lifestyle and current issues. She is a Graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Communication, taking up her Masters in Development Communication.