Smart home tech has become more than a nice-to-have upgrade. Many in the homebuilding industry now deliver it as a standard offering.
That’s a key takeaway from a new UTOPIA survey of 357 builders, architects, home designers, remodelers, and contractors. More than a third (37%) of respondents to the 2021 Utopia Smart Home Technology Survey are homebuilders (single family, custom, or multifamily), while 27% are architects or designers for single family homes and 16% are architects or designers for multifamily projects.
Smart home features are now standard in all the homes of close to half (46%) of respondents. Almost a third offer smart home features as an upgrade option. Almost one-fifth offer such features as both standard and upgrade options. And very few (less than 3%) do not sell or market smart home features at all.
Of the smart home features that are a standard offer, the most common is the video doorbell. Almost a third of respondents provide video doorbells as standard, and 42% offer them as an upgrade.
Here are the seven most common smart home features that are standard in respondents’ homes:
- Video doorbells (32%)
- Smart home fitness (20%)
- Smart home control and monitoring systems (20%)
- Touchless fixtures (20%)
- Smart garage control (20%)
- Internet-connected HVAC systems (19%)
- Smart home entertainment (19%)
It’s not surprising, then, that respondents say video doorbells, an integral part of home security, are the most important smart home feature for their buyers.
But there’s also a bit of a disconnect between the smart tech that builders install and the smart tech they think their buyers want. Less than 14% of respondents specifically have smart security systems as a standard offering. Yet respondents overall see smart security systems as the third most important smart home feature for their buyers—just behind smart locks and keyless entry.
Similarly, less than 15% of respondents provide wi-fi networks and mesh wi-fi systems as a standard offer. Yet respondents see this smart tech feature as the fourth most important one for their buyers.
The survey also revealed an area with promising growth potential: a phone app that controls smart home tech.
When asked what share of their buyers they think would pay a premium to control some or multiple areas of their home via a phone app, over 38% say most of their buyers. Almost 21% say almost all their buyers. And almost one-third say about half their buyers. Less than 1% think very few of their buyers would pay extra for this feature.
For the complete findings from the 2021 Utopia Smart Home Technology Survey, download the 9-page PDF report by clicking the "Download Report" button below.
Thanks to the Housing Innovation Alliance for assistance in producing this exclusive research report.