2016 is the Year of Smart Homes

Smart Homes are the Smart Choice

The Parade of Homes showcases the most popular trends in new home construction and remodels, but you need to look beyond paint color and tile selection to see the biggest revolution in home building. In fact, 2016 is being called the Year of Smart Homes.

A recent Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey found that almost half (45%) of all Americans either own smart home technology or plan to invest in it in 2016. And adoption skyrocketing, with a BI Report estimating 67% growth over the next five years; a rate significantly faster than smartphone or tablet device growth! 

What is a Smart Home?

You may have heard the term “Internet of Things”, which basically means putting chips in thousands of everyday objects that allow you to control them remotely. You may also hear this same concept referred to as Home Automation or Smart Home. Whatever the term, the reality isn’t too far from what you saw on the popular futuristic cartoon, “The Jetsons,” without the flying cars. Yet!

Over the years, we’ve seen a rapid increase in request for smart thermostats, lighting systems, security systems, and door locks. The gateway to full home automation seems to be entertainment, such as smart TVs and speaker systems. From there, consumers look to other smart features around the home. Below is a list of smart features that respondents of a realator.com survey either have or want:

A Few Smart Home Options to Consider

If you’re looking for a bit more detail around what possibilities exist with Smart Home technology, here you go:

  • Smart Thermostats have been around a few years, but are increasingly a standard feature in new home construction. Think of this like your own personal climate control – with a system that automatically increases the temperature when you wake up, lowers it when you go to bed, and adjusts with the seasons. In Minnesota, where we experience all 4 seasons (though some longer than others), this is particularly helpful!

  • Smart lighting is the ultimate personalization, an automatic scene-setter!  Not only can you use a smartphone to control the on/off switch, but you can also adjust the color and brightness to suit the situation. You may opt for an “entertaining” setting for when you have a dinner party, or “homework time” that turns the kitchen table lighting brighter after dinner!

  • Security Systems made the top of the list on the realator.com survey, which isn’t a surprise. Safety is critical and homeowners want to protect themselves, their family, and their belongings. To do so in a technology-driven world, they’re given remote monitoring on their smartphone, Wi-Fi-enabled door locks, and images of who is at the front door right on your phone or tablet.

Smart Homes Mean Smart Economics

It’s not just the “cool factor” driving this shift towards Smart Homes, but also the value they bring to Builders, Home Buyers and Sellers alike.

  • Smart Homes Sell Faster: Smart-home products are becoming a driving force in making homes more saleable and valuable. In fact, 81% of current smart home device owners say they would be more willing to buy a home with connected tech in place, and 66% would leave their smart home products behind if they thought their house would sell faster because of it.

  • Builders Can Grow Their Business: Approximately 1 in 3 (32%) of home builders say installing home technologies increased their revenue in 2014, according to CEA’s 13th Annual State of Builder Technology Market Study. They also reported an increase in profit after installing home theater pre-wire/systems, monitored security and structured wiring.

Smart Homes Becoming Mainstream

You may be thinking Smart Homes are for the young, the rich or the tech-savvy folks only.  And you would be wrong! The Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey found those with a household income of $50K to $75K per year had nearly the same amount of smart devices as those with incomes of $75K to $100K.

This trend isn’t just for the young, either; the study found those 65 and older owned MORE smart home products than millennials (ages 18-34), 40% versus 25% respectively, which means there is a lot of room for growth, particularly as the younger crowd transitions into homeownership.

Our advice to Builders is this: 2016 is the year of the smart home. If you're looking to grow your business, partner with skilled contractors like Horizon Electric who can help you successfully integrate Smart Home technology. We can help you be the builder that stays ahead of the market and gives customers the homes of the future (with or without the flying cars).