The Internet of Things is quickly becoming a reality, and there's no place where this is more obvious than in our homes. According to predictions from market researcher MarketsandMarkets, the global smart home market will grow to about $58.7 billion by 2020, fueling a 17 percent compound annual growth rate and creating a significant consumer market for smart homes. Buyers know the benefits that come with these systems, and they want them in their homes — do you know how to sell it to them? Here are a few of the more common smart home features real estate agents should be familiar with:
Smart thermostats are one of the quickest and cheapest ways to upgrade a home. A smart thermostat like Nest learns from the homeowner's habits and preferences and adjusts its settings accordingly. It can also pull the weather forecast from the Internet to set the optimal temperature and create monthly reports, all of which help the home be energy-efficient and save the homeowner money.
Homeowners who use a smart thermometer can save between 10 and 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling bills, according to the company website. Show potential buyers an example of the monthly report that Nest generates to demonstrate how much money they can save with this smart device. If you're showing a house that already has a smart thermostat installed, show the potential buyer how he or she will reap the savings benefit without having to invest in the upfront cost of the device.
Being able to control your lights with your mobile device is a wonderful smart home feature. Philips Hue is probably the most popular example of this type of smart lighting. Homeowners can use a smartphone app to turn the lights on and off as well as change the colors and brightness of the lights. If you have a potential buyer with young children, you could light up one of the bedrooms with a bright pink light to make it feel fun and youthful. If you're trying to show off a home theater experience in the living room, put LED light strips behind the TV and sync them to music or a video for an immersive experience. This is especially great for highlighting a movie or entertainment room or showing a client that the space is great for entertaining.
If your buyer isn't interested in the aesthetics, explain the more practical features of smart lighting. For example, they can set schedules or set up sensors, so the lights automatically turn on when they get home.
While getting a new appliance is a good way to increase the value of a home, going one step further with smart appliances makes it a selling point. Whirlpool has developed washers, dryers and kitchen appliances that monitor energy costs and delay or start their cycles when it is most energy-efficient time. Users control these appliances with an app, which enables alerts and remote commands from anywhere there is a data connection. You should point out any smart appliances to potential buyers because they will save them money in energy costs and add value to the home.