It seems like despite this year’s global health crisis, business is still booming for the real estate market. Just recently, Zillow released a report stating that homes are currently selling at the fastest rate ever recorded, according to the company’s weekly survey.
So, it’s safe to say that the industry is on an upward swing. That said, real estate agents should still strive to be aware of any trends that might help sell homes during the rocky times.
One thing that’s worth noting is smart home technology. Given the fact that we’re all spending significantly more time at home, buyers need to know some of the wonderful perks that smart home tech has to offer.
That’s why, this week, I reached out to Mitchell Klein, the executive director of Z-Wave Alliance, via email to ask what he thinks agents need to know.
(Note: This interview was edited for grammar and style).
What do real estate agents need to know about smart home technology?
Real estate agents are in a unique position when it comes to the smart home technology discussion. For many of their clients, they might be the first person championing for smart home technology, and the benefits and lifestyle enhancements they can expect.
On the other hand, it’s possible their clients may have had a poor experience with smart home technology in the past, and as their agent, you’re in a position to show them the benefits of a well-implemented system and the value it adds to their home.
Agents who have a baseline understanding of the types of systems out there and how they are installed (like DIY systems) set themselves up to play both sides of the field and guide their client toward an informed decision that best suits their needs.
Going a step beyond, an understanding of the different protocols — such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi — enables agents to make specific recommendations that clients are more likely to accept since they already view their agent as a trusted adviser on their home journey.
Agents already spend a lot of time searching for the house or neighborhood that best fits their client’s need. Looking at smart home considerations adds significant value to the services provided and a huge benefit in helping find the perfect spot for homebuyers.
How do smart home products add value to your home?
There are many ways in which smart devices can add value to your home. Smart home technology that provides safety, security and peace of mind are high in consumer demand.
Smart locks, security systems and sensors ensure that the home is protected from intruders. They notify the homeowner or occupant when an attempted unauthorized entry takes place. Other connected devices provide convenience and energy savings and can also cut down on utility expenses.
Smart lighting and thermostats allow the homeowner or user to control them remotely and provide energy management. This type of technology helps differentiate smart homes, increasing their market value.
Smart home devices that are easy to use and can be transferred among owners add the most value to a home. Whether DIY or professionally installed, smart home systems that users can manage themselves and control via an app provide the most value.
Popular features like voice control are continuing to gain traction, and having an in-demand device, or one with unique features, impacts the home’s value.
How do you think millennial homebuying could change in a post-pandemic world?
As the largest group of homebuyers, millennials find themselves adapting every bit of their personal and professional lives to take place within the four walls of their homes. Many are realizing their current setup just won’t cut it for working and socializing from home in the long term.
With that said, many millennials are fleeing cities and headed toward the suburbs. They are finding that they need more space (at a less expensive price point), with a designated area for working, in case we are hit with another wave of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders are extended into next year.
In this case, homeowners need to ensure their work-from-home setups are running on a reliable network that won’t cause outages, delays or interference during peak (and off-peak) work hours, regardless of how many people are using the system at any given time. This can be a huge selling point for agents showing homes that include top-of-the-line smart technology.
During these times of uncertainty, it’s important for agents to stay in the know of any economic shifts, both positive or negative, that could affect their business. It’s also important to know everything from new trends in homebuying to shifts in consumer purchasing behavior.
Smart home technology provides countless benefits to the average homeowner, but given the climate we’re currently faced with, it can also add tremendous value to your sale — now more than ever before.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.