By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator
The technology available at our fingertips continues to become seemingly more advanced by the second, and our dependence on it to perform even the smallest of tasks appears to be increasing along with it. Smart technology is now making its way into our homes, intending to make our lives easier and successfully making us humans lazier than ever. From ordering our groceries to turning on our lights, these cutting-edge devices are changing the way we live life and turning our houses into smart homes.
Smart homes are sweeping through the market, becoming a must-have for clientele that extends far beyond millennials alone. In fact, only 43% of smart home product owners are considered millennials. The usability and, for the most part, easy installation provided by this technology is making it an appealing investment for people of all ages. A recent survey shows that 32% of Americans claim to currently own some form of smart home technology, a percentage that is likely to grow rapidly in the coming years and a trend proving that many of your clients are willing to spend significant amounts of money in order to join the bandwagon. According to a recent report, the smart home market is estimated to reach a value of $53.45 billion by 2020. That’s some serious cash, and the real estate industry will play a major role in making that prediction come to life.
Although this technology has historically been considered part of a niche market for the rich, it is now becoming more affordable and accessible than ever. As an agent, being aware of the latest advances and which smart devices tend to appeal to different segments of clientele is a strategic edge worth brushing up on. If you happen to receive pushback from your clients in response to the added cost, which isn’t necessarily as significant as one might think, make sure to emphasize the savings that the initial investment can lead to in the long run. For example:
• Some insurance companies are now offering discounts on premiums to those who install smart security systems.
• Automated temperature devices can pay for themselves in energy savings in as little as two years.
• Smart fridges can now notify you when your food is approaching its expiration date, minimizing the amount of food that goes to waste.
When touring a smart home with clients, set the stage to help them envision the specific roles that smart products could play in their life. If you are convincing enough, they may decide they can no longer live without it, potentially resulting in a major win for you.
To get you started, we have compiled a list of a few of the major players in the industry today that will likely be on you client’s must-have lists soon, if they aren’t already.
Smart Locks. 62% of realtors say that they have found Smart Locks to be one of the most desired devices among their clients. It’s not surprising, considering that they automatically lock when you leave, unlock when you arrive, and allow you to control them remotely. Imagine carrying your bag of groceries into your home without feeling like you’re performing a juggling act for the neighborhood while simply grabbing your keys to unlock the door. If a home has a mother-in-law suite that clients want to put to use or possibly even rent out, a Smart Lock will definitely be a must-have. These nifty devices have the potential to be incredibly useful, so if your listing has one it’s worth emphasizing. Here’s a leading smart lock on the market today if you aren’t already familiar.
Smart temperature. We’ve all had those nights where you finally get settled into bed, only to realize that you have to get back up to adjust the thermostat. It’s not fun for anyone, making it unsurprising that programable thermostats are gaining popularity. As a favorite among non-millennial clients, this product is already integrated into the homes of 40% of smart product owners over the age of 65. Keep in mind that the benefits that it presents go beyond pure usability. Smart thermostats also appeal to “green” minded individuals and virtually anyone that wants to save money by minimizing energy usage. Have a client that is constantly traveling? Let them know that the ability to control the smart thermostat in your listing remotely will allow them to save energy while they’re gone, but still warm the place up prior to arriving home from a trip. You can see an example of a smart thermostat here.
Smart fridges. Why bother making a grocery list when most of us end up forgetting them at home anyway? Smart fridges now have built in cameras that connect to apps, giving you access to what’s inside of them from wherever you need it. Some even take it a step further and keep tabs on what food you need so they can order your groceries for you. It isn’t just about food anymore though; these fridges also connect to other devices in order to act as a resource for you to do things like check the local weather, watch tv, and rock out to your favorite music. If your client loves to cook or has kids that could use entertainment during meal prepping, this product will likely catch their eye. Smart kitchen appliances are admittedly quite useful, and a definite game changer for users of all ages. This is a great example.
Brush up on the latest products available so you can speak your client’s language when you come across a listing with smart devices. There are constantly new products popping up within the smart home industry, so get excited and remember to always utilize them as a major selling point during your presentations! Use the grocery bag anecdote, we’ve all been there.