If you find yourself listing and marketing smart homes, it’s important to understand the potential benefits. The National Association of Realtors has realized the potential and recently written a letter in support of technology standards.
” Increasingly, technology innovations are driving the delivery of real estate services and the future of REALTORS®’ businesses…. As consumers increasingly embrace technology on the home front, NAR is playing a lead role in shaping the evolution of the Internet of Things (IOT) including smart homes, smart buildings and even smart community spaces.” – NAR to Telecommunications and Information Administration
Origin of Smart Homes
Smart homes have become a growing aspect of the real estate market. What started out as bonus feature in the luxury market is slowly gaining traction further down the price point scale. One of the primary movers in the space – SmartThings – started out as a KickStarter campaign in 2012 to connect home security and lighting to your smart phone. Since then connectivity has moved to TVs, refrigerators, thermostats, and smoke detectors.Perhaps the most visible representation in today’s market is the Nest Thermostat which you can control via your phone and receive alerts (like say your furnace has failed while you’re getting away for Christmas).
One of the major trends in this market segment in voice-activated controllers. Amazon has sold 3,000,000 units of its Amazon Echo device which combines a virtual assistant with connectivity to Amazon Prime’s expansive music library and Audible’s audiobooks. Like tablets, the system has grown as developers have found ways to connect Echo with other systems like their smart home devices. With a sentence, you can set your temperature, lock the door, turn on the lights, order Amazon products, or have a Lyft driver pick you up.
Google announced its entry into the market with Google Home in May. The promise they offer is tighter integration with the Google ecosystem including voice activation of Google Chromecast and more intuitive voice search.
NAR has realized that this is an important segment of the housing market that they need to be active in. In 2015 they created their own lab to study and innovate within the space. Inman News recently interviewed the managing director of NAR’s CRTLabs who noted the relevance to REALTORS®:
“‘If we can look at what’s on market and educate
[Realtors] to the value of these devices (energy savings, control, comfort, safety, security), then they have another value add for their relationship with a homeowner,’ Curry said, explaining CRTLabs’ mission.” – Inman News
Here’s a video from that interview that identifies the work they are doing on behalf of REALTORS®.