By Scott Ledterman
Smart home technology has been the talk of the town for the past several years, but are consumers truly adapting? The fact is consumers are not only interested in what smart home tech has to offer them—it also influences their home buying journey.
A 2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey affirmed that 81 percent of Americans would be more likely to purchase a home if it had smart home technology installed. It only makes sense then that, within the survey, 33 percent of agents said homes with smart tech sold faster than those without.
What kind of smart home tech are these buyers looking for? To start, mobile control is a necessity for these tech-focused homeowners, with 62 percent of real estate agents finding buyers were interested in controlling home tech through their smartphones. The interest in mobile control aligns with an August study conducted by Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET, which confirms that 76 percent of consumers with smart home products control them from a mobile device.
These survey numbers are astonishing when it comes to taking a look at how quickly homeowners are adapting to smart home tech and how home buyers are starting to include it within their “must have” lists. It’s time for the real estate industry to notice that smart home tech is no longer the future – the future is here.
So, how can home sellers use this to their advantage?
Focus on smart security and safety.
Many of us, especially older generations, are used to doing things for ourselves, such as checking the refrigerator for what we need to shop for or ordering our own coffee. The concept of using smart home tech to do these things for us may not resonate with every homeowner. However, the one thing all homeowners can agree on is that we wouldn’t mind feeling safer in our homes.
When asked about the types of pre-installed smart home technology that would be most appealing if they were buying a home, most Americans said security (65 percent).
Smart home security systems can offer homeowners many advantages real estate agents should be prepared to tout. For example, when these systems offer professional monitoring, many insurance companies offer a discount on homeowner’s insurance of about 15-20 percent. Generally, this can completely cover costs of the service. Some insurance companies even offer a discount of around 5 percent for self-monitored systems—a big selling point for a potential home buyer.
Smart home products offer a plethora of additional benefits for homeowners who are looking to have peace of mind when purchasing the home of their dreams. With smart home tech, folks can keep an eye on their homes wherever they are, control the temperature of their homes to save heating/cooling costs, and even control lights or music to make it appear as though someone is home.
Innovation within the smart home space is occurring with safety devices we deem necessary, not simply a luxury—namely smoke, carbon monoxide and water detection. Incorporating these into smart systems is not only seamless, but also provides faster, streamlined intervention. Plus, with IFTTT and many other smart home product integrations, simply walking in the door can your turn your house on and camera views off. Incorporating smart home security into your home is easy for any user—no installers, no wires, just 15 minutes or less creates a smarter, safer environment.
In addition to being a selling point for a potential home buyer, smart products also reap benefits for real estate agents and sellers during the sale process. Investing in the installation of a smart home security system will offer great return on investment through the additional security for both the home seller and real estate agent. Security systems, especially those with a panic button, increase safety of the real estate agent while showing homes, while professional monitoring is a perk for homes on the market that are unattended and thus may be targets for break-ins.
A safe, secure home is a sure bet for any buyer, which is why incorporating technology that is truly smart and seamless is now a priority for attracting home buyers. For any homeowner, stepping out the front door with peace of mind is the ultimate goal. Life can’t get more seamless than that.
Scott Ledterman is chief operating officer & senior vice-president Sales and Marketing at Myfox Inc., where he serves as a member of the Executive Committee and focuses on driving global growth while developing the company’s U.S. operations, commercial footprint, and sales.