Builders: Here’s the Smart Home Tech Today’s Buyers Want

Amazon Alexa

Many homebuilders are now offering “smart home” packages, but the truth is, not all smart technology is created equally.

More importantly? Not all smart home tech is desired equally — at least not with today’s discerning homebuyers.

Though a catch-all “smart home” offering might get buyers in the door, it’s not ultimately what will close the deal — or inspire them to choose your homes over another builder’s in the area. What will push them toward signing on that dotted line? That’d be the right smart technologies, integrated at the right place in the home.

So, what are those technologies and which ones should you focus your building and design efforts on? Let’s break it down.

In-demand Smart Home Tech

Home security provider ADT recently conducted a survey of about 1,000 people to determine what smart home tech they’re using, which technologies they’re not, and which ones they expect to use more in the future.

Here’s what that survey revealed:

  • People are most interested in smart home technologies that add convenience and comfort  — things like smart speakers, smart home hubs (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.), smart thermostats, or smart locks and security systems that can be controlled via mobile. More than 60 percent of people surveyed had a smart hub device, with nine out of 10 saying they were satisfied with it. Only a small fraction (2.8 percent) said they were unhappy with their smart hub device.
  • They also like data. Homeowners, in particular, want to be able to track data on their properties, including data on energy usage, water usage and more. They prefer to track this via mobile app.
  • After convenience and comfort, security and energy efficiency are the top reasons people want smart home technologies. They also like devices that help with weather monitoring or health and wellness goals.
  • Voice-enabled devices are the most popular. Nearly four in every five people would rather have a voice-controlled smart device than one controlled via an app.
  • They’re willing to have as many devices as it takes. Most people surveyed had anywhere between two and five smart devices. More than 13 percent actually had six to 10 devices, and over 3 percent had a whopping 11 or more smart home devices.
  • When it comes to security devices, smart cameras, alarms and doorbells rank highest. Homeowners are overall satisfied with smart motion sensors and locks, but these items aren’t in as high demand.

At the device level, people seem to overwhelmingly prefer Amazon products over other options. Of those surveyed who had smart hub devices, 71 percent had an Amazon Alexa. Only 21 percent had a Google Assistant, while the rest were split between Samsung, Apple, Wink and Logitech products.

What Buyers Don’t Want

But not all smart home technology will win a buyer’s favor. According to the data, there are some devices that today’s consumers just aren’t on board with — especially if you break it down by generation or parental status.

Here’s what ADT’s survey shows buyers aren’t all that into:

  • Smart appliances – Smart ovens, refrigerators and cleaning devices rank at the very bottom of the list for consumers. Smart garage door openers aren’t too popular, either.
  • Smart lightbulbs – Though these can save serious energy over the years, 13 percent of people surveyed said it was the worst smart home purchase you could make.
  • Smart plugs – Like lightbulbs, smart plugs also ranked among the worst smart home devices according to the survey.
  • Smart hubs, for older generations – Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are more concerned with data security and are therefore more wary of data-sharing devices like smart hubs. In fact, 55.6 percent of Boomers say they’re more worried about protecting their data than their homes. The opposite is true for Millennials and Generation Z, who would rather protect their homes and belongings than their personal data. This cohort is more on-board with hubs and other data-sharing mechanisms.

Preferences also vary by parental status. According to the survey, parents are more concerned with protecting their home than non-parents are. This makes them more likely to gravitate toward smart security devices, smart hubs, smart locks and the like.

Be Smart About Going Smart

The moral of the story is simple: In this day and age, it’s not about just using smart home technology. It’s about being smart about those technologies, as well as how you use them. While some devices can add marked value (and marketability) to your homes others may not be worth it at all — or worse, they could make it harder to sell your homes to certain demographics.

Want more help keeping your buyers happy and on track toward closing? Then let Embrace Home Loans help. Our loan officers are here to care for your buyers every step of the way. 

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By Aly Yale / April 5th, 2019 / Categories: / Tags: , ,

Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.