Home trends come and go, but one thing that is here to stay is home automation. Home automation refers to technology that automatically controls various parts of a home’s ecosystem, including climate, lighting, and entertainment.
Smart homes were once considered science fiction, but the tech is more accessible and approachable than ever. Companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google have gone all-in on automation, offering products like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. In just a few steps, homeowners can use voice commands to trigger an event using “if X happens, then Y happens” logic. (We’ve written about marketing automation before, and the concept is the same with homes!)
So why is this important for Realtors®? Home automation is expected to become a $53.5 billion-dollar industry by 2022; it’s currently at a solid $31 billion.
Forecast market size of the global smart home market from 2016 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)*
Prospective buyers certainly have automation in mind when searching for their next home, but most don’t come with the equipment already installed. That’s why it’s important for you, the agent, to be able to demonstrate how these automation gadgets can be implemented into a client’s potential dream home. Most hubs (like the Echo) are small and can be easily moved into a new space. Like we mentioned in our recent article about home staging, agents have to do all they can to sell the lifestyle that a property has to offer.
Clients may still be intimidated by home automation, assuming that it’s expensive or complicated to set up. The truth is that these items are often user friendly, relatively inexpensive (many of Amazon’s tools are under $100), and can save them time and money. Below is a list of smart home products that you can recommend to clients, as well as tips on how to use these tools to your advantage and sell more homes.
Popular smart home products
Nest Thermostat: The sleek thermostat by smart home company Nest was one of the main products that made automation more exciting for homeowners. This device learns a homeowner’s preferred temperatures throughout the day, which can help them live more sustainably and save big on their energy bills.
Nest Smoke Detector: The popularity of the thermostat encouraged Nest to make more products, and they released the cool-looking smoke detector that doubles as a night light and a CO2 detector. The design is much more appealing than the outdated devices still found in many homes.
Amazon Echo: The Echo (and related projects including the Dot and the Button) is a voice command smart home hub that functions as a multimedia speaker, virtual assistant, and much more.
Google Home: The Home is Google’s answer to the Echo and works with the whole Google ecosystem.
Philips Lighting Hue: The Hue light system by Philips comes with a variety of lamps, light strips, and lightbulbs that can all be controlled via smartphone.
How to use home automation to sell more homes
A recent report by research agency T3 Sixty and Coldwell Banker outlined several ways for agents to use the smart home trend to their advantage, including:
• Talking about smart homes to clients to show that they are knowledgeable about market trends and the clients’ desired lifestyle.
• Incorporating smart devices into home staging (which the report refers to as “smart staging”). “As this is an emerging trend, brokers and agents marketing Smart Home capabilities will stand out from the competition,” the report states.
• Giving a smart device to a client as a closing gift. As the report says, “A Smart Home technology gift is not only something buyer clients will use, it is something they will remember.”
• Staying in touch with clients to give them updated news on smart homes and tech that appeals to their lifestyle.
Whether you are already in-the-know about smart home technology or still have some learning to do, the numbers are clear: savvy agents need to get on board with home automation!