Business Matters: The Growth of Smart Home Technology
How smart is your home? It’s a question more home buyers are asking. Technology now lets you control practically anything in your home either with your voice or through your phone.
“I would say within the last five years, smart home technology has really picked up,” said Doyle, a realtor who lives in Maple Grove. “A lot of buyers are really looking for smart home technology. So it actually does help homes sell faster.”
As a realtor, Doyle not only sees the demand, but he tries to stay ahead of the curve by testing and outfitting his own home with smart technology. Doyle can control almost anything in his home with his Alexa Echo Show voice assistant.
“What that allows us to do is to see who’s at the door. We can ask questions. Get recipes,” he said.
Video Doorbells Remain Top Sellers
Just about everywhere in his home, Doyle has smart technology at his fingertips.
That includes a Ring Doorbell Pro at his front door.
“One thing I do recommend for people wanting to get a video doorbell, is that your WiFi connection is very important. So if you have a router that you got from your internet service provider, it’s probably not going to handle the video feed. So you’re going to want to upgrade your router first,” Doyle said.
Smart Thermostats Can Save You Money
Doyle also has a Ecobee smart thermostat.
“Smart thermostats are a great way to save money. Basically when you’re not home, there’s no reason to heat or cool your home,” he said.
Doyle says smart thermostats typically pay for themselves in about a year’s time. Energy companies even provide rebates. CenterPoint Energy, for example, will provide a $75 dollar rebate if you submit your purchase before the end of the year.
Plenty of Smart Lighting Choices
Then there’s smart lighting, which Doyle integrated throughout his home.
“We have Lutron switches for all of our regular lights, and then outdoor is where we have our colored lighting with LIFX bulbs.”
Doyle recommends going with smart switches over smart bulbs if you’re choosing between the two.
“When you replace the bulbs in the ceiling, what ends up happening, is you have a guest that comes over, they’re going to turn off the switch at the wall, not realizing they’re going to need to use the app, and now if you’ve lost all smart functionality of the light bulb,” he said.
Water Detection Also Smart
One thing Doyle recommends for your basement is something he says could save you thousands of dollars. He installed an EcoNet water valve control with a smart sensor attached to it, which will help prevent damage if there’s a water leak.
“We actually have little water sensors in the rest of the house, like underneath the kitchen sinks. That way if we’re gone or on vacation and something were to happen, we would get a notification and water would be shut off before the damages get too high.”
Smart Home Choices Can be “Overwhelming”
Doyle understands that all the choices can be a bit much. He offers this advice.
“Try to stick with one brand or brands that work with each other,” he said. “Don’t get overwhelmed because you don’t need to do everything at once. I recommend just doing one room at a time. And really start with things that can save you money.”