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Your Ultimate Smart Home Primer

More consumers than ever before are seeing the benefits of having a home with smart technology. In fact, a 2016 Coldwell Banker survey revealed that owners believe smart home technology makes their home safer, saves them money, and saves them time.

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The same survey also found that 54 percent of home owners would buy or install smart home products if they were selling their home because they believe it would make the home sell faster.

In order to help agents and consumers understand the common smart home benefits and buzzwords, CRT Labs put together a comprehensive guide. Here are some highlights:

3 smart home terms and facts:

What are the benefits of smart home technology?

Smart home technology automates household tasks like adjusting a home's temperature and unlocking the front door or opening the garage door using voice-activation devices. Smart devices can work together to offer owners safety by alerting them if something in their home seems amiss. Smart technology can also save owners money by automatically controlling the temperature and energy of a home. Additionally, insurance companies and utility companies offer reduced rates and rebates for homes with smart devices.

Who owns the data and how is it used and are there security risks?

A home's smart home data can be used in a variety of ways, according to CRT Labs. Data is "generally used by smart device companies to improve product development and provide additional services to their customers," but they caution "You should also read the vendor’s privacy policy to see what they are legally allowed to do with the data. They may allow themselves to sell your data to 3rd parties, so read carefully."

While the home owner generally owns their data, CRTLabs is working to create a framework with the Online Trust Alliance that will allow maximum security for smart device data.

What's the impact on selling prices?

On a large scale, the financial impact is yet to be seen since the technology is so new, but survey results showed that 72 percent of millennial owners would spend $1,500 or more to add smart home technology. Fifty-nine percent of parents with children would also pay more for a smart home, according to Coldwell Banker's survey.

3 smart home common phrases to know:

  • IoT (Internet of Things):This buzzword describes automated devices like lights, thermostats, and locks that work together and are connected by the Internet. IoT products use data to simplify things that previously weren't automated.
  • Hub:In the world of smart homes, a hub is almost like a universal remote, according to CRTLabs. A hub is the main device that connects all of the different smart home products together so they're all automated.
  • SmartMeter:These electric and gas meters help owners monitor their utility usage by sending real time meter readings.

Source: "Smart Home Glossary," and "Smart Home and Internet of Things FAQ," CRT Labs 

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