There are hundreds of products and services that go into building a home. It looks like there will be more as the homes getting smarter all the time. Advances in technology are introducing devices that will make homes more intelligent. The massive tech giant, Google, is betting on it.
Recently they purchased a company called Nest for approximately 3.4 billion dollars. Yes, a “B”. Nest specializes in smart technology for the home. Their website says, “We take what’s familiar and look at it in a new light. Our team focuses on making technology that’s simple, fresh and helpful.”
They have developed a smart thermostat. They claim it will save the average homeowner 20% on their heating and cooling bills. You can control the thermostat from your computer, tablet or smartphone. After a week or two the thermostat learns how you like the home and self-adjusts to suit. It learns what you like and responds in kind. Now that is a real self-programming thermostat.
A 20% savings on heating and cooling bills is no joke. Lower costs raise property values. Many Berks County home buyers ask the Realtor® for a copy of the heating and cooling bills of a home they have an interest in purchasing. A 20% savings would be an average of approximately $600 per year or $50.00 per month. In mortgage money, this is $10,000 of added home value as we have learned from past articles. Money savings and ecologically sound, not bad.
Nest has also designed smoke & carbon monoxide alarm systems controlled through your electronic devices. Safety is one of the main reasons people buy a house. This product takes safety to another level.
With Google now involved, we are likely to see many new smart devices in the home. Imagine knowing every time your refrigerator is open, maybe one of your appliances texts you and asks for servicing or the air quality sensor emails you a readout of the conditions inside your home.
How is a real estate agent to keep up with all this innovation? In my humble opinion, it is the duty of a real estate professional to keep up with the industry in which they practice and serve the public. Unfortunately many agents are not as familiar with basic home components as they should be. Many home buyers and sellers choose a Realtor® because they like them, or they have good taste. These traits are essential but should not be the top reason you want a professional to serve your real estate interests. Being familiar with home construction and the materials used obviously have merit.
The next generation of smart products will not only add value to the homeowner while living in the home but will add value when they sell it. That is if they choose an agent that is aware of the features and benefits of the upgrades.
On the other side of the thought, maybe real estate agents will not have to keep up. The homeowner can turn on lights before the showing and turn them off after it has ended. They will be aware if the Realtor® grabbed a sandwich out of the smart refrigerator, and lock doors the buyer’s agent left unsecured. All this from their phone.
No doubt, the homeowner will know if the agent was at the home for the showing because the IP cameras will pick up the movement and real-time video it right to your Android Nexus pad. No more leaving business cards or looking for foot marks on the carpet.
How soon will it be before there are virtual real-time showings of the home? Soon Google may invent the “Smart Agent” and do away with us all….Not on my watch! An excellent real estate agent is still worth their weight, plus some, in electronic gadgets.
Agents need to up their game and get smarter. If not, the home may just sell itself.
Knowledge is Power!
Jeffrey C. Hogue
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