Smart devices in the home — everything from thermostats to networked kitchen appliances to robot vacuums — not only facilitate the lives of their occupants but also collect a ton of housing-related data. Real estate agents are gathering this information and using it to better understand and market specific properties and communities to clients. “The analytics and heuristics you can get from smart devices can help real estate agents understand more about the value of that home and the areas that are being utilized by the existing homeowners,” explains Paul Williams of Control4, which manufactures device automation and control produces for connected homes and offices. “It allows them to make assumptions about what prospective buyers would like. If a home theater is getting a lot of use, that may be something a Realtor would really want to highlight.” Smart home automation additionally can be used to help show off a home in the best possibly manner. “Smart technology is a way for a home to be differentiated,” according to SmartThings COO Andrew Brooks. “It’s a very powerful and emotional way for the home to be differentiated when prospective buyers come in. We’ve heard stories about buyers walking in and the lights go on, the music begins playing, and things respond to and around the guest as he’s walking through the house. It’s a very high-impact part of the sell.” Smart devices also can track where visitors spent the least or most amount of time during showings as well as which rooms they re-visited and for how long. Besides impressing buyers, automation also can be a selling point — particularly to the younger set, which not only want, but expect, smart devices in their homes. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University anticipates that home automation will become the No. 2 remodeling trend for homes in the next five to 10 years. | Read More