Buyers want smart tech, and they want it now: Features such as app controlled thermostats and lighting systems that were once upgrades are now expected by buyers to be standard in new homes, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting. If builders want to gain an edge on the competition, ramping up their smart home offerings could be the key to winning over potential buyers, especially the younger demographic. And as Millennials and Generation Z age into homeownership, smart tech may become less of a luxury feature and more of a dealbreaker.
While smart home technology was an interesting new home upgrade option three years ago, new home buyers in most price ranges and locations now expect new homes to come equipped with the ability to control temperatures, lighting, security, and other features from their phone—at no extra cost. Buyers also now expect high-speed Wi-Fi in every corner of the house. The builder who is still offering these smart home features only as upgrades is increasingly more likely to be viewed negatively, except in areas with no new home competition or in the most affordable price ranges.
As builders continue to pivot to entry-level price points, the importance of including smart home technology in the base price of the home becomes even more evident. Our last survey of new home shoppers showed that younger buyers are far more likely to expect smart home features included. A whopping 73% of all young single buyers without kids expected to control their thermostat remotely from their phone, compared to 60% of all shoppers.
New home shoppers expect to see signs like the one below in TRI Pointe’s Pardee Homes at Aliento in Santa Clarita, CA. Pardee collaborated with Amazon to create these voice-controlled homes, and the model homes are outfitted with clever signs throughout that call attention to different smart home features. For more info, ask about subscribing to our DesignLens service. (You can read more about DesignLens below.)