• Although the concept of a "smart home" is still new to consumers, they want to know more about smart home technology -- and be assured that it will save them money in the long run.
  • Smart home products that help with mundane tasks in a reliable, consistent manner are useful and provide homebuyers with peace of mind.
  • Expert smart home assistance is extremely valuable, so it's worth taking the time to learn about these new products.

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Imagine a refrigerator that can catalog its contents and recommend menus, or a smartphone app you can use to lock your home’s front door from anywhere in the world. These aren’t futuristic home fantasies — these are smart features that connected consumers are increasingly expecting to find in prospective properties.

Smart devices are electronic gadgets that connect, share and interact with users and other devices, and they’re revolutionizing homes worldwide.

Technology research firm Gartner has predicted a typical family home could contain more than 500 smart devices by 2022. However, Gartner also pointed out that most consumers see “smart home” as a nebulous term without a clear value proposition.

As a real estate professional, it’s critical to stay abreast of trends such as smart home technology to share your knowledge with curious clients. Here are five important things you should know about the connected consumer:

1. Consumers are enthusiastic about automated home devices

A 2015 survey of 1,600 North American consumers conducted by smart home solutions provider Icontrol Networks revealed that 50 percent of the overall population is “excited” about smart home technology.

In addition, 50 percent of respondents said they plan to buy at least one smart home product in the next year.

With everything from smart thermostats to smart trash cans available on the market, it’s easy to understand why smart home technology is becoming so popular. As an agent, you can educate homebuyers about this technology and highlight how smart home devices work to demonstrate the long-lasting benefits of investing in a smart home.

2. Consumers want to spend less time on chores

Smart home products serve as timesavers for today’s connected consumers. An August 2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET survey of 4,043 American adults showed that 57 percent of respondents who have smart home items noted these products save them an average of almost 30 minutes per day.

Vacuuming, washing dishes and cleaning windows remain some of the most arduous, time-consuming household tasks. But with smart home technology, innovative gadgets can complete these chores automatically.

By encouraging consumers to take advantage of smart home technology, you can enable them to finish chores faster.

3. Consumers don’t want to break the bank

Did you know that consumers can save money with smart home technology? That’s right — the Coldwell Banker-CNET survey showed 45 percent of respondents who have smart home items pointed out that these products save them an average of nearly $100 per month.

Explain to your clients how smart home products can help them reduce their monthly expenses. Also, highlight the return on investment (ROI) of these gadgets to help them understand their long-term value.

4. Consumers prioritize peace of mind

Most homeowners are looking to simplify their lives — not make them more complicated. And as a result, they want smart home devices that provide consistent, reliable results.

A smart home can give consumers peace of mind because it enables them to utilize the latest technology to enhance the quality of their lives. Help your clients use smart home devices, and ultimately, keep things simple.

5. Consumers are looking for trusted advisers

Smart home devices offer numerous benefits, but these gadgets are far from perfect. Technical issues might arise at times, especially because smart home technology is still developing.

So how can consumers get support for their smart home gadgets? They’ll need trusted advisers who understand the technology and can ensure it works properly. You can be that expert if you take the time to learn about smart home products and ensure your clients get the assistance they need.

Support your clients as they consider smart home devices — you’ll be happy you did. By doing so, you can help them make informed decisions and leverage smart home gadgets to become more productive and efficient.

Jeffrey Ill is the vice president of product at Esurance. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Email Jeffrey Ill.