Smart Home Trends
Smart homes can be managed from anywhere via smartphone or tablet—their systems can be, anyway. Heating and cooling. Security. Entertainment. Lighting. Appliances. Some homeowners are turning on their lights, starting dinner and generally waking up their houses before they even reach their driveway.
 
While the smart home concept is familiar to us—and to many of you—it hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet. We were surprised to learn that the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) found in its 2016 Smart Home Survey that only 15% of respondents’ clients were asking about smart home technology. What’s more, 52% were not even familiar with what’s available for smart home technology.
 
Interesting, but our guess is these numbers will change. Consider the fact that in 2011 only 35% of U.S. adults owned smartphones, per the Pew Research Center. Today 77% of the adult population owns one. As smartphones have become the norm, so too will smart homes. As such, we predict most homebuyers will soon be at least familiar with the smart home concept. In fact, we believe many are going to expect their homes to be smart.
 
Here are the devices we think will be the tipping point for many homeowners who’ve yet to give the smart home concept a try.
 
Smart home assistants. We don’t have the data to back this up, but voice-enabled assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo may be the easiest way for your clients to enter the world of smart home gadgetry. They operate via familiar voice recognition technology and make interaction with gadgets almost second nature.
Smart locks. Per the above-referenced NAR study, security and privacy were homebuyers’ top smart home issues. This makes smart locks another easy point-of-entry into the smart home market. Depending on the model, smart locks can be activated by phones or other devices. They even allow your clients to give lock privileges to their family and friends.
 
Smart doorbells. These can be real lifesavers. Again, depending on the model, a doorbell camera can enable a homeowner to see who is at the door before opening it. They can come with motion detectors, push notifications and even a microphone that allows two-way conversation.
 
Smart leak detectors. The Delta® Leak Detector (Designed with iDevices®)—available this fall at retail—will be one smart gadget we think clients will appreciate. The small disk can be placed anywhere to quickly identify the presence of unwanted dripping or pooling water. Tuck it near water heaters and sump pumps, behind appliances, under sinks, inside cabinets or even in attics and basements. If the unit detects water, the device sends an alert to your client’s smartphone or tablet. 
 
Smart appliances. Thermostats may be the first smart appliance your clients are willing to adopt, but once comfortable their options are almost limitless. Have you heard about smart ovens? Some scan bar codes on meals and cook the food accordingly.
 
Your clients look to you to bring the latest-and-greatest smart home innovations to their door—literally. So, next time you’re asked share these options. How’s that for smart?