A debate by two Millionacres pros
Pro stance by Liz Brumer/Anti stance by Lenz Katz
A smart home is no longer just for the tech-savvy young couple living in Silicon Valley. Smart homes have seen widespread adoption within the last decade, especially in the United States. The Consumer Technology Association found in a 2020 survey that 70% of U.S. households have some form of smart home technology. This is more than a fad; it's the natural evolution of science and technology. And it's not just something to consider for your own personal residence. They have a wide range of uses for real estate investors as well. Read on to get the inside scoop on why you would want to use them for your next investment property.
What is a smart home?
A smart home is a residence that has incorporated one or more technological devices that is capable of performing part or all of an activity for the resident without their direct physical input. By connecting the device to Bluetooth or WiFi, the resident can control the item remotely or allow its built-in intelligence to do the task for them. This can mean actual automation like a sprinkler system that detects when the lawn needs to be watered or a thermostat you can control on your phone to keep the home at the ideal temperature based on changing weather or needs. In our modern society, the Internet of Things has been applied to many tasks around the home:
- Doorbells and locks
How can it benefit an investor?
Whether you are a landlord or a flipper, adding smart home technology can be a great way to attract renters and buyers because it incorporates items they're likely intending on incorporating or would love to have anyhow. A Coldwell Banker smart home survey found that 78.8% of Realtors and brokers said that buyers are willing to pay more for smart homes. Think of it as the next level of move-in ready. Consumer reports found that 77% of homebuyers would want a thermostat, 75% want a smoke detector, 66% want security cameras, and 63% want locks.
You can go all out and incorporate a comprehensive smart home system like the Nest, which could run a couple thousand dollars, or you could simply upgrade a few already necessary items. Instead of paying $50 for a keyed front door lock, upgrade it to an electronic one for just $100 more. Or swap out the $15 basic smoke detector for the $35 one that will connect all the alarms in the home and tell you the exact room where the threat is located in the event of an emergency. Both of these features look great to potential buyers but also help the landlord out by gaining access for the plumber without the resident having to let them in, or it simply provides peace of mind that there will be quicker response in an emergency.
Smart homes are the way of the future
When something is able to improve our standards of living, make our lives more efficient, or save us money, the appeal is compelling. Smart homes offer many benefits, which is why it might be a good idea to start incorporating smart technology into your real estate investments to capitalize on what technology has to offer.
...Or are they?
From the perspective of someone who lives in a smart home, not only are they a recipe for disaster, but they’re also an endless source of little annoyances all day and night long.
Basic functionality: still a struggle
First of all, they’re not that smart yet. If you don’t agree, you’re not one of the many people to experiment with smart security sensors that alert you when someone has crossed a threshold, only to discover that the sensors can’t tell the difference between a human and a cloud of bugs.
Switching from the sensor-activated to voice recognition: Try asking Alexa to turn on the nursery light every time you need to change a baby 24/7. Smart home apps require only slightly less repetition than the actual baby does in order to follow a command. You find yourself wondering: Who do I need to sweet-talk here, the baby or the smart lights?