In the UK, the smart-home revolution is already well underway, but it still has a long way to go. The next few years are likely to see a lot of exciting developments in the smart home sector. Here are some of the trends to look out for and why they matter.
Existing properties being substantially updated
Smart technology is increasingly being integrated into new-build properties. In older properties, however, it’s often been added as an afterthought and without any real planning. Going forward, however, there will be much more emphasis on making older properties as smart as new ones.
Realistically, this is unlikely to mean that older properties will ever match new ones for sustainability and efficiency. The simple fact of the matter is that they were built to very different standards. It could, however, mean that older properties do become a lot more efficient than they currently are.
This has obvious environmental benefits. It also has the benefit of lowering household bills. Home sellers may therefore prioritize “smart” updates to their home as a fairly simple and affordable way of adding value. Home buyers are increasingly likely to give preference to updated properties due to their relative economy and convenience.
Smart devices becoming more interoperable
Right now, smart devices can often be controlled centrally, e.g. by smart homes assistants. They do not, however, typically share resources or cooperate with each other in any meaningful way. This is a major area of opportunity for the smart device industry.
For example, say you drive home and deactivate the smart parking barrier on your driveway. This recognizes that you are back and alerts the devices in your house. These devices then start making preparations for your return as you’re walking up your driveway. If you’re a renter or use shared facilities, you may start to manage them through a custom app.
The most obvious benefit of all this is convenience, but there are plenty of others. In simple terms, the smarter devices work together, the more they can improve efficiency, security and privacy. Again, where smart devices are implemented effectively into homes, those homes are likely to increase in value as they become more attractive to buyers.
Property transactions getting smarter
Before COVID19, the real estate industry was very clearly stuck in a technological rut. When the pandemic struck, the industry was forced to adapt and innovate quickly. Now everyone has seen what can be done and the vast majority of sellers, buyers and real estate professionals want the progress to continue.
Expect to see smart technology enable not just better remote viewings but also on-site viewings where only the prospective buyers are physically present. For example, smart devices can be used to self-clean areas of a property before a home tour. They can then be used to let in verified buyers and give them a suitable level of access to a property.
Neither the seller nor the estate agent will need to be on site. They can manage the home tour remotely, controlling the property as necessary. This could go a long way towards allowing everyone involved to use their time more effectively.