Whether it’s remote temperature controls, video intercoms and surveillance, auto-sync music/multimedia devices, or all of the above—smart home elements are the type of savvy investments that sellers can use to both lure in potential buyers and add value to their properties. To illustrate how quickly the smart home trend is progressing, a recent marketplace survey found that 45 percent of Americans have either incorporated smart technology into their home or plan to do so in 2016. Furthermore, 27 percent of those polled who did not have smart technology in their home said that they planned on installing smart devices within the calendar year. And as for saleability, 54 percent of respondents said that they would install smart technology into their home if they knew it would speed up a sale.
Demand from the public has also been met with substantial investments from prominent tech companies. While smart homes were for years the playthings of the tech-world elite—think Bill Gates’ personalized music recognition system—large home security companies such as ADT and Vivent have made smart home elements more accessible to the general public. The services are further infiltrating the mainstream as Comcast just started offering Bay Area homeowners remote video, lighting and temperature-control services starting at $40/month. AT&T is also getting in on the game and plans to unleash a streamlined smart home package of its own.
“We think it’s going to become more the norm than the exception to have a smart home,” Comcast’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of New Businesses Mitch Bowling recently told The San Jose Mercury News. That survey backs up Bowling’s claim, noting that age, level of education and even financial status are becoming less significant factors among today’s smart homes investors. To that point, 25 percent of those making $50,000 to $75,000 a year had smart home technology, compared to just 26 percent in the higher $75,000 to $100,000 bracket. There was also just a 1 percent difference in smart home adoption between those with college degrees and those with only some college education. All of these factors are just the beginning of why 2016 has been dubbed “the year smart home technology will be mainstream.”
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN A SMART HOME? LET’S TAKE A LOOK:
While U.S. home owners spent $20.64 billion on home security in 2011, that number is expected to jump to $34.46 billion in 2017, according to financial research firm MarketsandMarkets. Gone are the days when a trusty neighbor and a “beware of dog” sign were the first line of defense against burglary for vacationing homeowners. Inexpensive video doorbell systems are now sending live video feed via a triggered cell phone system to home owners, as well as outgoing audio to whomever happens to be checking if they’re home. Such video monitoring (and recording) can be employed throughout homes and properties, providing a level of surveillance that will keep home owners at ease and unwelcome parties at bay. These devices can also even be linked up to security responders for a further level of home protection.
Eco-Friendly and Cost-Effective Comfort and Luxury
No one likes to return home after a tropical getaway to a frigid house that was kept in such condition simply to avoid exorbitant heating bills. With a smart-technology thermostat, one can just press a few keys from their smartphone while waiting at the Honolulu airport and come home five hours later to a toasty home—even in the dead of winter. And as for the luxury angle, when grabbing a taxi home from SFO, they have the ability to sync their smartphone to their smart home so that they arrive to a fully lit abode with smooth jazz playing right upon entering the door.
Calming Common Concerns
The smart home has effectively become the answer to the eternal question, “Did I leave the stove on?” Products like the line from iGuardFire will shut off potentially hazardous kitchen appliances that have been on too long. Similarly, wireless smoke detectors connected to smartphones can alert homeowners of any carbon monoxide or smoke issues when they’re away from their residence.
In short, the perks of investing in a smart home start with enhanced security, luxurious comfort and an unprecedented ability to prevent costly mishaps. As this market continues its rapid growth and increasing affordability, one would be hard-pressed to find a home buyer that didn’t see the value in such major lifestyle and security enhancements.