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4 Simple Smart Tech Solutions for Builders

“New tech” this and “smart device” that—how am I supposed to know what’s best for my build? Look no further, for here are the simple smart tech solutions you need to get started on.
Homeowners want smart tech, but not just any new device. Security and safety seem to be the way to go

Homeowners want smart tech, but not just any new device. Security and safety seem to be the way to go. Photo by iStock

In a world that is constantly innovating, it seems as though the technology we create becomes instantly obsolete. I mean, how many new iPhones do we really need?

For builders, that fact can be daunting, especially in a market that expects some degree of smart home technology in new homes. In fact, nearly half (46%) of homeowners list smart tech as a must-have feature in a new home.

Fortunately, there are simple solutions that builders can implement to stay in favor.

SIMPLE SMART HOME TECHNOLOGIES FOR BUILDERS

From security devices to smart sensors, here are four smart home solutions to help you get started.

1. Video doorbells

Research from the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) shows that gateway smart tech implementations include video doorbells and smart thermostats.

However, the most important use of smart technologies for consumers is that of home security. Almost 60% of homeowners list smart doorbells in their top three products they would pay to include in their home.

Additionally, 52% of survey respondents list security devices as a must-have feature in their dream home. Security and safety will definitely be the best bet when it comes to which smart home solutions to include in a home build.

As we reported in a previous article summarizing the Utopia webinar on smart and sustainable homes, the best thing for builders to do is make sure the whole-house wiring is solid and sound. Some products may need to be added or upgraded by the homeowner in the future; as long as the home has good wiring, they’ll be in good shape.

2. Smart lighting

The NHTI research also finds that smart home control systems are important to homeowners. One easy-to-control system is lighting.

Because the biggest apprehension with smart home tech involves security and privacy, it’s hard to see how smart light bulbs would be a cause for concern.


NHTI gateway smart tech for consumers
New Home Trends Institute gateway smart tech for consumers, from Utopia webinar Building Smart and Sustainable Homes. Photo courtesy NHTI

According to a Rent.com survey, nearly 45% of homeowners want smart lights in their homes. Forty-two percent of renters said the same.

So take a crack at installing a smart bulb or two in the living/entertainment room. Take it a step further and offer smart blinds as well—another product that over half of homeowners would consider purchasing now or in the future.

3. Remote systems control

Conversely, homeowners are more likely to rank home control systems over smart tech that simplifies minor everyday tasks, such as turning off a light.

New technology can allow the homeowner to check if they’ve left their garage door open, front door unlocked, and even if they’ve left their hair straightener plugged in.

The Rent.com survey found that both house and apartment dwellers want the same smart devices. Over 46% of homeowners and 44% of renters want a smart thermostat. Smart locks, an important security feature as well, is desired by nearly 42% of homeowners and 40% of renters.

Another thing to consider is implementing smart appliances, such as washing machines or dishwashers. Thirty-one percent of homeowners want a smart appliance, and 36% of renters feel the same.


Rent.com survey on smart home tech devices wanted by property type
Smart tech devices wanted by property type from Rent.com survey. Photo courtesy Rent.com

So while buyers will enjoy the ease of using their phone to adjust lighting, they'll love the ability to monitor and control these systems even more.

4. Maintenance sensors

Though this requires a bit more forethought and education on the product, smart maintenance sensors are becoming increasingly more attractive to homebuyers.

According to research from NHTI, almost half (46%) of interviewed homeowners would like to use embedded sensors in their homes to detect maintenance issues.

A water monitoring sensor is especially important, as 61% of homeowners would consider purchasing one now or in the future.

Electricity monitoring is also growing increasingly important as new homes go all-electric. Devices like the SPAN smart panel monitor energy usage and alert the homeowners of abnormalities.

BONUS: LEAST DESIRED SMART HOME TECH

5. Health analysis tools

Although the technology is possible to implement—and may be successful in certain 55+ housing markets—average buyers will be weary. This one might be best saved for the homeowner to invest in down the road.

6. Voice-controlled devices

Though it's something that is owned by 23% of renters, voice-controlled smart devices aren’t as popular with homeowners, according to NHTI. This is likely due in-part to security and privacy concerns, as well as the awkwardness of speaking to inanimate objects.

About The Author

Quinn Purcell, UTOPIA Associate Editor

Quinn Purcell

Quinn Purcell is a graduate of Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, and an emphasis in Multiplatform Journalism. He specializes in video, photography, copywriting, graphic design, and even music production. He currently serves as Associate Editor for Utopia. When he's not working you can usually find Quinn at a local brewery, or watching true crime shows with his cat.

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