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The Smart Home: Agency creates an ‘official definition’ to standardise property descriptions

Coldwell Banker – which brands itself as “the original Silicon Valley real estate start-up” – has teamed up with high-profile consumer tech website CNET to come up with an...

Coldwell Banker – which brands itself as “the original Silicon Valley real estate start-up” – has teamed up with high-profile consumer tech website CNET to come up with an “official” definition for the oft-bandied term “smart home”.

The definition is, its authors claim, the first of its kind in the real estate industry and “will help sales associates, as well as home buyers and sellers, accurately identify smart homes”. It’s intended to take at least one bit of puff and waffle out of property descriptions, so that buyers can know whether they’re getting a proper techno-residence, or just a flat with working electrics.

Coldwell Banker is now using a little icon to flag up which homes are “smart” on its listings, and househunters can filter search results by smart-ness.

The Smart Home

Here’s the full definition of “Smart Home”:

Smart home: A home that is equipped with network-connected products (aka “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself.

In order to be categorised as a smart home, the property must have a smart security feature that either controls access or monitors the property or a smart temperature feature, in addition to a reliable Internet connection. It must also include at least two additional features from this list:

  • Lighting (smart light bulbs and lighting systems)
  • Safety (smart fire / carbon monoxide detectors and nightlights)
  • Entertainment (smart TVs and TV streaming services)
  • Appliances (smart refrigerators and smart washer / dryers)
  • Heating / Cooling (smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents)
  • Outdoors (smart plant sensors and watering systems)
  • Security (smart locks, smart alarm systems or cameras)
  • Temperature (smart thermostats)

Must Have:

Category Examples
Internet Connection  Cable, satellite or DSL

Must Have At Least Three:
*One of the categories must be security or temperature

Category Examples
Lighting  Smart light bulbs, lighting systems 
Safety  Smart fire / carbon monoxide detectors, nightlights 
Entertainment  Smart TVs, TV streaming service 
Appliances  Smart refrigerators, smart washer / dryers 
Heating / Cooling  Smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents 
Outdoors  Smart Plant sensors, smart watering systems 
Security  Smart locks, networked security cameras 
Temperature  Smart thermostats

Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC: “With close to five million homes bought and sold in the U.S. each year, it is imperative that there are standardized guidelines for identifying smart homes on the market. The new smart home definition will allow our network of independent sales associates to educate their home buyers and sellers regarding what defines a smart home and how the technology is making our lives more comfortable and convenient. We worked with CNET and tapped into the findings of their smart home testing facility in order to create a definition that is easy to understand and representative of the best smart home technology.”

Lindsey Turrentine, Editor-in-Chief of CNET.com: “87% of Americans acknowledge the value of smart home technology, but only one in four has this technology in their homes. The term ‘smart home’ can be intimidating and overwhelming. We want to make it easy for everyone to better understand what a smart home is, in order to simplify the process in helping them choose the right devices for their homes. Smart home technology today is fragmented, much like the PC industry 15 years ago. An official smart home definition for consumers and realtors will provide clarity and credibility to the term.”

Now we just need similar rules for “iconic” and “luxury”.

coldwellbanker.com/smart-home

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