Popular “Smart Home” Features

As technology developers continue to top themselves, there are more and more features that homes can have to make them “smarter”.  As houses are put on the market to be purchased, real estate agents and brokers know what buyers are looking for, and the five listed below are some of the most sought out.  We especially love #3, and can help you make it happen at your home.

5 smart home trends homebuyers want in 2017

Agents should stay sharp on the newest technology and how it will save their buyers money in the long run

By Kayla Matthews


  • People are willing to spend more for smart home tech, and as such, real estate agents need to be well-versed in things like smart thermostats, leak detection sensors and home security trends.

IoT, or the “Internet of Things,” is bringing some amazing trends to pass. The platform involves connected devices of all kinds. A great example of this is smart home technology.

As a real estate agent, you might think this technology is beyond your needs. Not only that, you might think there’s little to no use for it in your industry.

However, smart home technology and IoT may make it easier to sell homes and real estate, especially to younger audiences. A recent survey revealed that 86 percent of millennials are willing to spend more money to rent a place with smart home technology already implemented.

If they’re willing to spend more on rent, it stands to reason they’re willing to spend more for a home purchase.

That same survey found 65 percent of baby boomers are willing to spend more to rent a place with smart home technology. Although that number is significantly less, it’s still pretty substantial.

If anything, it shows that smart home technology is quite popular these days. So popular, in fact, that 80 million smart home devices were delivered globally in 2016, which is a 64 percent increase from the prior year. Those numbers are expected to continue climbing well into 2017.

Considering those stats, now is the time to get on board with IoT and smart home technology.

But what are the most viable trends that you should be on the lookout for? What technology is in high demand from homebuyers? More importantly, how will it help you make a sale faster and move some homes?

1. Leak detection sensors

Fire alarms, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, radon detectors, moisture detectors — these are all devices that help you keep the home environment safe. There are even air quality devices that measure the air inside a home and identify dangerous toxins.

A Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey revealed that safety devices — like the detectors mentioned — are a large part (56 percent) of what qualifies a homes “smart” in the eyes of those polled.

Why is any of this important? Because we all need to feel safe at home, and smart technology that can handle this kind of monitoring can help us with that.

Perhaps the most useful of these devices is the smart leak detection sensor. They monitor the plumbing in your home and walls to ensure there are no major leaks or malfunctions. This can help you prevent serious water damage or the buildup of mold and mildew inside your walls from a slow leak.

This could be a game-changer for those older homes with lots of character, which can be a crapshoot in terms of dependability.

For example, is there central heating and cooling? Is the plumbing outdated or worn down? What other elements of the home need to be updated?

Installing smart leak detectors in new and older homes can waylay some of this worry.

2. Connected thermostats

For homeowners, energy consumption is a big deal. The more power and energy you use, the higher your electric bill is going to be.

You constantly have to manage how much energy you’re using, and that involves monitoring several different aspects of your home, including lighting usage and air conditioning reliance.

Connected or smart thermostats can help alleviate this problem by conserving energy over time. They are much more advanced than simple, programmable thermostats.

They will learn your habits and preferences and can even detect your presence. This allows for scenarios like leaving the air off while you’re not home and letting it auto-adjust to a comfortable temperature when you’re on your way.

Ecobee and Nest, smart thermostat manufacturers, claim you can save anywhere from 12 percent to 23 percent of power consumption costs. Even so, it’s still money saved, and, in today’s world, any amount of money back in your pocket is a good thing.

Smart thermostats can help you sell a property, especially if you drive home the idea that they offer cost savings and better energy efficiency. Not to mention, something like the Nest thermostat can double as a central hub to interface with and control other smart home products.

3. Smart garage doors

Have you ever left home and realized you left your garage door is wide open? With a traditional door, you must return home to close it. With a smart garage door, you can monitor your garage door from anywhere.

Check the open or closed status from an app on your smartphone, and, if it’s open, you can close it, even remotely. You can be miles and miles away from home and still control your garage door.

This opens up a world of possibilities, too, like letting the dog or house sitters in through your garage or opening your home to emergency services or neighbors when you’re gone. Now imagine explaining all this to interested homebuyers. It’s an easy sell, right?

Smart garage doors offer both convenience and better security for the homeowner.

4. Smart watering systems

Another form of consumption homeowners need to be wary of is their water usage. Not just in terms of clean water for drinking, cleaning or bathing but also the water used to irrigate land.

If you live in a deed restricted community, you keep your grass trimmed and healthy or you risk fines and complications. But, at the same time, you may be restricted by law as to the amount of water you can use due to water shortages and droughts.

Smart watering systems make this process much simpler and more efficient.

Not only can you schedule watering sessions, but you can also keep track of how much water you’re using. This is important because it can help you keep your water consumption to a minimum, and it can also help you save money over time.

5. Smart home security cameras

Security is a huge concern these days. You don’t need to look far at all to see something concerning.

According to Safewise, a burglary occurs every 18 seconds in the United States.

A report by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology shows that about 60 percent of convicted burglars were deterred by the presence of a home security system.

The takeaway here is that home security matters, but for homeowners, the cost savings are also a concern. Most home security solutions, like the ones offered by ADT or Brinks, are expensive. There’s a certain cost you must deal with if you want to protect your home.

But if you have a smart home security camera, those costs are pretty much negated. You only need to pay for the equipment once, and any service fees are minimal compared to conventional security plans.

For example, Canary offers up to 30 days of cloud video storage, 24/7 remote incident support, an extended warranty and a homeowner’s insurance reimbursement, and their service is only $9.99 a month.

A property with smart home security cameras pre-installed will be both safer and cheaper in terms of operating costs for that security system. Again, this should be another easy sell for real estate agents.

With the demand for and convenience of smart home tech, real estate agents should stay sharp on the newest trends and how they will save their homebuyers money in the long run.

Kayla Matthews covers smart technology and future trends for websites like VentureBeat, Curbed and Motherboard. You can read more posts by Kayla on her personal tech blog: Productivity Bytes.

Email Kayla Matthews

Article image credited to scyther5/Shutterstock

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