Get an edge with smart home tech in 2018

3 ways real estate agents can stay ahead of the smart home trend

It’s January, so I’m still 100 percent committed to keeping my New Year’s resolutions. This year my top resolution is to be an early adopter.

Personally, I felt like an early adopter when I saw “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on opening night before my friends, but being a professional early adopter in real estate means something entirely different.

What if I told you there was a growing trend that could turbocharge your real estate business? Something that 40 percent of agents agree helps sell a home faster in cities and suburbs throughout the country, regardless of list price, according to a survey by residential real estate brokerage consulting firm T3 Sixty. A trend that has grown 33 percent since just last year.

That trend is smart home tech, and 2018 should be the year you become an expert in it or risk being left in the dust.

Imagine if half of your clients asked you the same question, but you didn’t know enough to provide a confident answer. Now, more than ever, sellers are looking to their agents for advice on what smart home upgrades to make to help their homes sell faster.

In fact, almost half of Americans think their agent should be able to help them “smart stage” their home with the latest smart home tech. This represents a huge opportunity for you to stand out from the competition.

Earlier this month, I headed out to Las Vegas (for the fourth year in a row!) for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to learn about the latest technology trends impacting the home.

Below are some tips, stats and best practices for anyone looking to be an early adopter and use smart home to grow their business in 2018.

Smart stage homes to increase appeal

Simple and inexpensive improvements like adding smart thermostats, smart fire detectors and smart carbon monoxide detectors make a home stand out to buyers. In our latest Smart Home Marketplace Survey, over 70 percent of homebuyers said they would want these features pre-installed in their next home.

Recently, I spoke with an agent whose clients were looking for a home with smart safety features for his growing family. After seeing the benefits of smart fire and carbon monoxide detectors in the first home they toured, they were sold.

Get to know smart home tech

Forty percent of real estate agents report personally using smart home tech daily or weekly in their own homes or offices, according to the T3 Sixty survey.

Having firsthand experience with smart home tech helps personalize your recommendations to clients. But you don’t have to put every gadget in your house. I think my wife may impose a one-in, one-out policy on gadgets if I bring one more virtual assistant into our house (I currently have three).

Focus on testing out products that solve a common problem. For example, if many of your clients are young parents who care about home security, read up on smart cameras and smart locks and talk to friends and family who own them. Believe it or not, according to a survey of 3,000 U.S. adults commissioned by Coldwell Banker, two-thirds of homebuyers want these items pre-installed in their next home!

Be the smart home expert, and stand out

While it’s exciting to see increased consumer interest in smart home tech, there’s a gap when it comes to those actually purchasing devices, according to a report from market research and consulting firm Parks Associates.

This gap is largely due to consumers feeling overwhelmed with purchase options. Think about the first smart home product (or even smartphone) you tested, how did you hear about it? You probably had a few questions and looked to someone else as a resource.

Again, that’s where you come in as the expert! Making the perfect recommendation when it comes to smart home tech is the ultimate way to set yourself apart from the competition.

To learn more about what we saw at CES and see how you can use smart home tech in your business, visit