This week, Nate Clark, founder and CEO of Konnected, shares tips on integrating existing wired home security sensors into an upgraded, smart-home ecosystem.

There’s no doubt that smart home technology has certainly advanced a lot in recent years. However, much of the technology has been a part of home security systems for decades. 

It’s more than likely that you’ve come across a home with an old-looking security panel that no longer functions. The company that installed it could be out of business completely, or perhaps, the owners just ended their subscription, and are left with a panel and bunch of sensors.

Konnected is a solution that allows homeowners to pair existing wired home security sensors with their smart home system. To learn more, I interviewed Nate Clark, founder and CEO of Konnected, which he created to help traditional home security fit into a modern, smart-home-centric lifestyle. 

(Note: This interview has been edited and condensed).

Why should agents recommend a smart-home automation upgrade to their sellers?

With a recent rise in home sales spurred by an influx of city residents flocking to the suburbs, selling a home right now can be very competitive. Naturally, Realtors are recommending that their sellers make interior and exterior upgrades that can improve their chances of selling quickly and receiving asking price.

But, have you ever walked into a home that has aesthetic updates throughout — like new countertops and restored hardwood floors — only to find that it still features an ugly security panel from the 1980s as the first thing to greet prospective buyers when they enter the home?

A home’s security system, like its interior and exterior, can benefit from an affordable makeover that will allow it to be the base point for whole smart home integration.

Whether the prospective homebuyers are coming from major metropolitan areas (where access to amenities and smart home features are standard offerings in apartments and condos) or are tech-savvy first-time buyers looking for modernization, smart home automation will catch their eye, and give your sellers the competitive edge in the neighborhood. 

How can an existing wired security system serve as the gateway to smart home automation?

A smart automation product like Konnected can both help sellers protect their home by using their existing wired security system as well as serve as a starting point for whole home integration. Imagine being able to tell prospective buyers that they can control the home’s audio, lighting, locks, thermostat and security system from their smartphone.

Konnected integrates with a home’s existing wired security system panel and can connect to a widely adopted platform like SmartThings, making it an affordable upgrade that adds modernized value to a home. This kind of upgrade provides Realtors with plenty of upselling points during home tours and open houses.

Being able to show prospective buyers how they can use an app on their phone to turn on their driveway lights as they come home, adjust a room’s temperature without having to get up from their chair, or arm their security system while they’re hundreds of miles away on a trip adds an exciting wow factor to a sales pitch.

With the ability to connect via SmartThings, prospective buyers also have options for customization based on how they’d like to build their version of a smart home and manage security since the foundation is already laid.

Aren’t smart home upgrades expensive?

Most Realtors know “the look” that sellers give when they’re advised to make some upgrades to increase their home’s value. While they know that upgrades will benefit their sale, sellers worry about the mounting costs of making fixes and changes.

But rest assured — a home automation upgrade is really quite affordable and one of the easiest ways sellers can add value to their property. The Konnected Alarm Panel starter kit costs $99, and it’s an inexpensive upgrade that can modernize a home with smart features and add to that move-in ready appeal that so many prospective buyers are seeking.

Integrating Konnected with SmartThings also allows the new buyer to customize the home’s smart features to their personal preferences. No longer will your sellers have those outdated circa 1980s alarm panels adorning their home’s entryway that could negatively impact a homebuyer’s first impression.

Instead, sellers can opt for a sleek, touch-screen panel or simply use an app on their smartphones to connect with their home’s hub. Homeowners who have been paying home monitoring fees for security can also plan to save up to $50 per month with a smart system that would allow them the ability to self-monitor.

The savings is passed down to the buyers, who can opt to self-monitor security via their smart hub, creating another value add in the Realtor’s sales pitch.

Can a homeowner self-install a smart home upgrade?

The idea of setting up smart home automation might sound intimidating to the average homeowner, but a smart upgrade doesn’t require extensive technical know-how.

Fortunately, systems like Konnected offer a straightforward setup process that allow homeowners to integrate a control panel into their home’s existing security system. Step-by-step video instructions are available to guide homeowners through the process, so the average DIYer can self-install the product.

Konnected also has installation support available for any questions that may arise during the process, providing peace of mind for homeowners. For those who might have moved away from their sale home, Konnected also works with installers nationwide that can help with setup.

Once the smart security panel is installed into the home’s existing wired panel, homeowners are walked through the guided program initiation process via an app that they can download on their phone or tablet.

The guided setup will help homeowners connect to their smart hub and will prompt them to establish their preferred settings for features like home security sensors and alarms, and the integration of audio systems, lighting programs, smart locks, thermostats and more. Once activated, the system is highly customizable for the new homebuyer who might desire varying levels of automation and monitoring. 

Where can homeowners find smart home products to begin their upgrades? 

Most smart home automation products, including Konnected, can easily be found on Amazon and are often able to be shipped within a day or two. You can also visit the company’s website for more information. 

The company’s website can also provide any details on supplementary parts and products that can both streamline the installation process and enhance new capabilities in your system.

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.

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