Home Selling and Technology: Are Buyers Willing to Spend More on Smart Homes?

We have a guest blogger, Tony Gilbert, who works in Washington and Texas, sharing his take on smart homes.  This is an informative topic especially for who would like to know more about why home buyers look for smart homes, as well as some of the most popular smart home features.

A new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate found significant consumer interest in smart homes: 57 percent of buyers looking at pre-existing homes would consider these older homes “move-in ready” if they came with smart home features, and 61 percent of Millennials would favor properties with smart home features. Here’s why smart home features have piqued interest and what homeowners can do to position their home for a fast sale.

smart home technology

Why Home Buyers Want Smart Homes

The interest in smart home technologies cuts across generations. While it should be no surprise that Millennials are interested in connected things — one quarter of Millennials already have at least one smart home feature — a majority of boomers want connected things, too.

Energy savings is a main reason to install smart devices, such as smart thermostats or smart water systems. A smart thermostat adjusts to inhabitants’ patterns so it’s only heating or cooling the home when someone’s there. A smart thermostat can save anywhere from 12 to 23 percent on utility costs, quickly paying for itself.

Smart watering features are popular as homeowners grow more conscious of water scarcity. Homeowners like the idea of turning off the sprinkler from their smartphone if it starts raining. These systems also regulate water use, so lawns and gardens receive only the amount of water they need based on size.

Security features are popular, because they promote peace of mind, even when homeowners are away. People who travel frequently for business and parents of young children enjoy the anywhere, anytime access to their home systems.

Peace of mind may be priceless, but energy and water savings translate directly into cost savings. Home buyers who value smart homes understand they may be paying extra up front, but expect these costs to translate into cash savings that also benefit the planet.

What are the Most Popular Smart Home Features?

Individuals preparing to place a home on the market can increase interest, sell the home faster, and recoup expenses by investing in popular smart features, but which smart home features are most desired? These are strong places to start:

  • Smart-home technology packages – Packages deliver multiple connected devices in one convenient bundle, allowing homeowners to access many of the top desired features for less.
  • Security cameras – Interior and exterior security cameras not only allow parents to watch children or pets, they increase a sense of security and safety.
  • Smart leak detection sensors – Smart leak detection sensors monitor the plumbing system to provide advance notification of leaks; this is a game changer, especially in older homes where the plumbing hasn’t been updated and may be prone to leaks.
  • Smart locks – Smart locks allow homeowners to provide anytime, anywhere access control, increasing security.
  • Network-connected appliances – Using WiFi or Bluetooth, network-connected appliances let you know when they need repair, allow you to control the appliances when you’re away from home, and curb costs.
  • Smart doorbells – Smart doorbell show who’s at the door, reducing surprise and allowing home owners to screen out canvassers, strangers, or other unwanted guests.
  • Smart air filtration vents – Smart air filters purify the air, reduce unwanted odors, reduce allergens, and decrease environmental toxins.
  • Smart smoke detectors – Smart smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms protect your home and notify your device if anything goes wrong, increasing peace of mind.
  • Smart garage doors – Smart garage doors allow homeowners to open and close the door remotely, which can be used to provide access for house cleaners or dog walkers visiting the property.

To match growing demand and willingness to pay, home sellers should cover the spectrum of smart home technologies. Adding one smart thermostat or smoke alarm won’t generate significant interest or value. For the time being, sellers should stick with the home they’ve got or go all-in on smart home improvements.

For more information about the latest smart home technology and how it affects both home buyers and sellers, listen to my recent chat on the Center for Realtor Development Podcast with Chad Curry here.

 

Credits:

Tony Gilbert – Guest Blogger

www.techzone360.com

www.CRTLabs.org

 

The 95/5 Principle

I know you have heard of the 80/20 principle, “The Pareto Principle”, and I agree with that principle for the general work environment. 20% of the effort for 80% of the results.  And Pareto may have even found a scientific way to prove it.  

As a real estate agent, I watch lots of folks make decisions, and I get to watch others decision making processes. I have the pleasure of opportunity for observation.

And what I see often enough leads me to come to this principle –  that people often make decisions based on something that is actually a small part of their lives.

In general application, the 95/5 principle is in effect when people buy a house where a major focus of what they want is something they will seldom use.  For example, they have to have a dining room for 2 family gatherings per year.  They require a dining room for 60 hours out of the 8,760 hours they will live there in a year.  I know, that is less than 5%, but let’s go with it.  Maybe they will have a few dinner parties.  The result of this is that they rule out houses that may actually work well for them, or even better in other situations they use more often, but they hold out for the house with the large dining room.  I call that  95/5 decision.  It is neither wrong, nor right.  It is a consideration that I want my buyers to recognize.  Once they recognize it, they are then deciding it on purpose, rather than letting an emotional need drive the decision making process.

We frequently see this also as a factor for seldom-played grand pianos, extra bedrooms for unborn grandkids, and a large yard for kids who don’t play outside.  Again, if a buyer can afford it, they can, of course, buy for things they love and wish for.  If they cannot afford the larger home, it is my desire that they’d be realistic in their usage of their house.

Certainly, the choice is the buyer’s and they can and will buy for the 5%, and that is fine.  House buying is mostly emotional anyway.  But for those of you on a budget, do you want to buy for the 5%?

Happy Shopping! You can read about the personal side of this principle here.

Discussing Dementia and Tiny Houses – Join us!

Are there any people aging in your family?  Are you aging?  Okay!  We are all aging.  If we are honest with ourselves.  I have seen some pretty good cases of denial in my classes.  I get it.   Well, whether honest or in denial about ourselves, we all know our parents are aging.  

One of my favorite classes I teach is the Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation course for the National Association of Realtors.  This class helps agents prepare for the situations that come up uniquely with our elder clients.  Surprisingly there are many – situations with stuff management, legal concerns, health issues that affect housing, and financial needs.  Many of these require other professionals to help them, but Realtors are often the first point of contact for the client and it is hugely helpful when the Realtors have contacts to help their client.

Barbara Drum

 

The Boomers are changing the face of retirement and aging – not a surprise.  There are new options, challenges, and opportunities for agents working with Boomers and their Elders.  I am attaching a link to a webinar interview I did with Barbara Drum, a resident and Marketing Manager for The Village of Wildflowers near Asheville, NC.

 

 

Barbara lived out many of the things we discuss in our SRES classes.  We had a great interview about her life, which includes working in a Memory Care facility for patients with Dementia and Alzheimers, caring for parents with Dementia, and moving to a Tiny House community as an effective financial decision for a place to live in semi-retirement.

Enjoy this hour-long interview from a woman who has been on these journeys and shares them with great perspective, interest and laughter.

You can see the Tiny House Community she lives in at http://thevillageofwildflowers.com.

Here is the link for the webinar if you are interested.  I hope you enjoy it and learn some great things.  

Effective Negotiating begins with Education

And is perfected (if there is such a thing as a perfect negotiator) in daily life. Negotiating skills are only improved with use. I try to use them every day. With my kids, the salespeople at the store (1 for 2 today) and for my clients. We had a great class in Murfreesboro with the Middle TN Association of Realtors on the 20th. Thanks to Debbie Mann and the Women’s Council of Realtors in Murfreesboro for sponsoring the class.