Why the #REALTORypn community says it’s time to get “smart”

We may not all have robot butlers just yet but there’s no denying homes are becoming “smarter.” I’m talking the growing popularity of smart home products—devices that let homeowners control their home’s lighting, thermostat or even lock their front door all from the touch of a smartphone.

In August, REALTORS® from across Canada attended the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) third annual Young Professional Network (YPN) Leadership Retreat. We had the opportunity to discuss home technology trends and tour NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) where we saw first-hand how these new technologies will expand the role of the REALTOR® and impact the future of the real estate industry.

So, what are the biggest trends and how can you use them?

Conserving energy: good for the environment and your pocket!

Knowing how much energy your home or business is using and when helps put usage and cost control in your hands. Before smart home systems, monitoring consumption mostly meant scanning the electricity bill each month and being diligent about shutting off lights or washing clothes/dishes during off-peak hours. New technology can help track energy use, look for patterns and provide a bigger picture of your home and family’s efficiency.

REALTOR® tip: Use your next open house to demonstrate how the heating, air conditioning, lighting and appliances can be turned on/off or adjusted from your smartphone or tablet and how to check usage levels. A couple of examples are the Nest Learning Thermostat and the ecobee3 Smarter Bundle, both priced at around $350.

Health and quality of life: what could be more important?

Being aware of the air quality levels in your home in real time can help you recognize when and where ambient air pollution levels may be cause for concern. New technologies can now provide a snapshot of dust pollution, pollen, humidity, temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and even noise pollution levels in your home or business.

REALTOR® tip: Just as potential buyers are looking for homes in safe neighbourhoods, technology is making it easier to know whether they’re also buying a healthy home. Show potential buyers how to monitor their indoor air quality and explain how they could improve on those readings. One example is the Netatmo Smart Weather Station, which runs for around $200.

Convenience is key.

Convenience is one of the biggest benefits of smart home technologies. These devices provide remote access so you are able to control your home or business without even stepping foot on the property. All of these smart home technologies streamline common tasks, making life easier.

REALTOR® tip: Set the mood for a showing using your smartphone or tablet: turn on the lights, add some music and open or close the blinds. Alerts on your clients’ smartphones can also let them know when potential buyers have arrived and completed their showings. An example is the Canary All-In-One Home Security Device, which can be purchased for about $200.

To the #REALTORypn community at the event, it was clear smart home technology is becoming a popular selling feature for homes on the market today. Understanding how these technologies benefit your clients can help you become a valuable resource by providing knowledge that saves money and contributes to a better quality of life.

At the end of the day, the more a buyer knows about their potential new home, the more informed they’ll be to make one of the biggest purchases of their life.

REALTORS®, tell us in the comments below how you’ve been using smart home technology and what tools you’d recommend.

As our former Assistant Marketing Manager, Carly Pagliarello helped promote CREA’s valuable products and services and engaged with our members at industry events and tradeshows. Prior to joining CREA, Carly worked at an advertising agency where she specialized in Pharmaceutical CRM Marketing. When not in the office, she can likely be found outdoors, cycling, playing tennis or skating on the canal or in the kitchen baking treats for her family and friends.

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