Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are Your Agents Ready to Sell Smart Homes?
The “connected home” has finally arrived. Make sure your agents are familiar with the latest industry advancements.
February 22, 2016
Smart home technology is beginning to reshape how homes operate, and it’s having implications on staging homes, holding open houses, setting sales prices, and other selling tasks. Now more than ever, agents need an education on the latest products and trends to stay ahead of the curve.
As the price of technology comes down and gadgets become easier to use, the connected home tech industry is seeing explosive growth, increasing 32 percent in just the previous year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.
With products such as locks, lightbulbs, appliances, and thermostats able to be controlled via smartphone or tablet, an estimated 100 million households worldwide had some type of smart home device by the end of 2015, according to Deutsche Telekom, a German telecommunications company. And that number is expected to grow to 300 million over the next decade.
Salespeople who are unfamiliar with this $967 million industry risk underestimating a home’s value when it comes to efficiency, security, and convenience. What’s more, real estate companies are encountering issues of security and privacy when a smart home is sold to a new owner.
“The connected home is here, and its influence on everything from home pricing and curb appeal to how we move through our daily lives is transforming right before our eyes,” says Sean Blankenship, Coldwell Banker’s chief marketing officer.
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Coldwell Banker Real Estate recently launched a smart home technology campaign to educate consumers and agents alike. The franchise partnered with tech news source CNET to provide content on the latest smart home innovations on its blogs. It’s also sponsoring the CNET Smart Home in Louisville, Ky., which has been dubbed a “living laboratory” to test new products in a real-life home.
Last month, Coldwell Banker cosponsored the Smart Home Marketplace at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, where, during an educational session, Blankenship suggested staging properties with smart home technology to show the potential and make your listings more competitive.
Real estate brokerages could begin partnering with companies that make smart home devices to showcase gadgets at open houses, Blankenship said. Agents might demonstrate how to control the thermostat or appliances from their mobile device or set up actions like having the lightbulbs adjust from task lighting to a more relaxing mode to showcase a home using different lighting.
For a home that already has such products installed, Blankenship recommended putting up signs throughout the home that explain how the gadgets work so that the technology isn’t overlooked by home shoppers.