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A Look at the Latest and Greatest in Smart Home Technology

January 14 2016

smart home controlAre more are of your clients asking about smart home technology these days? That's no surprise--according to a Coldwell Banker survey, 45% of Americans are expected to have some sort of smart home technology by the end of 2016.

The survey found that smart home technology appeals to both potential buyers and sellers, with 54% of homeowners stating that they would install smart home products if they were selling their home and knew that the technology would make their home sell faster. Over half of buyers said that smart home technology like security and temperature controls would be most appealing in a home.

The survey results were revealed just before this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where attendees got to scope out all the latest gadgets, from laptops and cameras to virtual reality headsets to automotive gear and, yes, smart home technology.

  • Halo Smart Smoke AlarmHalo Smart Smoke Alarm - This sophisticated device can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide and send alerts to your phone, so you're informed of emergencies even while away from home. The alarm can also issue voice-driven weather alerts. The best part? Its battery lasts a whopping 10 years!

  • TOTO smart toiletTOTO smart toilet - We get it, a smart toilet sounds like a potentially awkward idea. But how's this for a selling point? The TOTO smart toilet only has to be cleaned once a year, thanks to high tech materials and a system that uses ultraviolet light and electrolyzed water to clean with every flush. The Toto will also lift its own lid for you, pre-heat the seat(!), and even clean you off with a bidet-like feature. How's that for taking care of all the dirty work?

  • iTouch faucetiTouch faucet - Looking for that perfect temperature? The iTouch faucet sports a keypad that replaces faucet handles and lets you get the precise temperature you want. If that sounds just a touch too hoity-toity, know that the iTouch is meant to reduce water waste by saving time spent adjusting temperature It's not just for sinks, either. The iTouch can be installed in showers and tubs, too.

  • Somfy Smart Shades - Somfy offers motorized blinds, shades, screens and more that can be opened or closed right from your smartphone. What's cool about this is that you can program your shades to open or close at a certain time of day. That's great if you need extra motivation to get out of bed in the morning, or you're on vacation and want to make it look like someone's still home to deter burglars.

  • LG StylerLG Styler - Ready to cut down on your dry cleaning bill and the hassle of keeping track of those darn tickets? The LG Styler is a smart closet that steams, cleans and de-wrinkles your clothes. (Yep, you can say goodbye to your iron, too.)

While this is only a tiny fraction of the smart home technology available today, these examples should give you an idea of the latest tech available.

The Smart Home Tower of Babel

The only downside to having so many options is that many smart devices can't yet talk to each other because they use different protocols or radio frequencies to communicate. Instead, many smart tech products integrate with smart tech systems--like Apple HomeKit, Brillo, or AllJoyn--to speak to other devices.

That means that when you're showing a client a listing with smart features, you may need to have a conversation about the system the house uses. This is particularly important if the buyer plans to move smart appliances that communicate on, say, Google's Brillo system into a house based on Apple's HomeKit.

Overall, though, smart home technology is a wonderful selling feature and a trend that you should expect to grow massively in the years ahead.

Agents, it's your turn--what's some of the coolest (or weirdest) smart home technology that you've encountered in listings?