Ready or not, home automation is likely not a fad, and Realtors will have to keep up with new developments in this area for years to come, writes Clareity’s Matt Cohen.
Smart devices that allow someone — consumer or real estate agent — to control different electrical and mechanical systems in a home from one unified control, often a smartphone or tablet, are now much less expensive than they used to be.
“Smart connected devices and appliances will have a significant impact on homes this year, and with Google’s acquisition of Nest, I think it’s safe to say the Internet of Things has finally hit home,” wrote Inman News columnist Tom Flanagan recently.
Such devices do have their drawbacks, however: Their wireless Internet connectivity makes them vulnerable to hackers; manufacturers may not offer software updates; and some home automation devices may not work together, Cohen said.
“But, it is possible to imagine a networked home automation system in which the problems of security and obsolescence have been worked out, and in which the benefits come to the fore,” Cohen writes.
“Using your smartphone as your garage opener, your door key, your thermostat controller, your television remote, and the recipient of notes from your smart refrigerator saying that you need to buy more milk and that the hamburger on the third shelf is getting dicey — the power to do all this may simply be too compelling for much to get in the way of adoption long term.”
At the very least, Realtors will increasingly need to know enough to use smart devices when they need to and will need to know to ask about and carefully record what automation elements may convey with the home, he added.