FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — As successful security salespeople understand, prospective customers oftentimes do not focus solely on price but actually place a higher importance on other attributes. By skillfully framing the sales dialogue using knowledge of those attributes, installing security contractors can move the focus from price to value.
Sales pros close deals by tapping into the customer’s emotional side (ex., peace of mind) as well as their logical side (ex., return on investment). With that in mind, consider a recent article from Realtor.com that elucidates ways homeowners can increase the value of their residences by up to 5% by adding security and smart home wares.
Home appraisers are even beginning to factor in smart home technology into their valuations, Realtor.com reports, which means buyers and sellers alike should take note. And so should security sales pros to better demonstrate ROI, among other benefits, to the customer.
Consider the following five reasons Realtor.com provides in which “smart products can make your home a better place — by saving money, time, headaches and other hassles.” Those sound like solid themes that could be conveyed in a winning sales conversation. Have a look:
No. 1: Smart homes are safer
Homes should be our safe space, and an array of smart home devices can help ensure that. In fact, one survey by August Home found that 63% of consumers cite home security as the biggest motivation to buy a smart home device.
The most obvious smart home security devices to use are cameras that detect break-ins; they can also be serviced by companies that can further assess the danger and send the police rushing to your door. But burglars aside, smart home devices can detect an array of other threats: smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, moisture levels (important if you’re concerned about leaks or flooding), radon, and so much more. Smart locks can also be locked or unlocked from afar, removing the hassles of lost keys and pricey locksmiths.
Even better, most smart home security products won’t drain your wallet as much as you might think. According to Houzz’s 2016 Smart Home Trends Survey, the majority of smart home security upgraders (76%) spend just $1,500 or less on these features.
No. 2: Smart homes save money
Want to slash your home’s energy bills? That can easily be done with smart thermostats like those from Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee, which can perceive how many people are in a room and adjust the temperature accordingly, and also allow you to make adjustments remotely, with your phone.
According to a Nest study, the company’s smart thermostat saved consumers on average 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, that translates to an average savings of $131 to $145 a year, which would mean this smart device (which costs $249) can pay for itself in less than two years.
Because smart thermostats are fairly cheap (Honeywell’s costs $159) and boast a clear payoff, they’re a great way to start smartening up your home. If you’re ready to broaden your home’s budget-friendly amenities, consider smart lighting, smart dishwashers or laundry machine. Sure, these items are more expensive — Kenmore’s Smart 5.2 cubic foot front-load washer costs $1,290 (on Amazon), more than double the same-sized model without smart features — but they’ll save you money down the road by conserving heat and water.
According to Consumer Reports, water-efficient laundry machines use about 13 gallons or less for an 8-pound load — half the 26 gallons sucked down by a regular washer.
No. 3: Smart homes save you time and stress
It’s time for the fun part: Smart homes make life easier!
“A lot of people don’t want to have to lift a finger around the house,” says Tom Flanagan, founder of Real Estate Things, a blog about real estate technology. And many aspects of this Jetsons-style fantasy are actually within reach.
For instance, rather than needing to schlep across the room to turn on your stereo, you can just tell a smart speaker (like Amazon Echo or Google Home) to play your favorite tunes. And since these speakers also work as virtual assistants, you can ask them for the weather forecast, or how many teaspoons are in a cup in the midst of cooking, or to add toilet paper to your shopping list.
Granted, all these little tasks might not seem like much hassle individually, but they add up, and they’re just the beginning. These Wi-Fi-enabled smart speakers can also act as smart home hubs, enabling various smart gadgets to speak to one another (i.e., your smart alarm clock can wake you up and turn on your smart coffee maker, while your smart fridge can sense you’re out of eggs and add that to your grocery list). It’s no wonder, then, that according to the 2017 U.S. Houzz & Home Survey, one-third of Americans who’d recently purchased a home plan to add some form of automation.
No. 4: Smart home gadgets aren’t as hard to install as you might think
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to install most smart home products.
“They’re made to be user-friendly,” says Austin-based home technology expert Stacey Higginbotham. Many offer online instruction videos, and you might not even have to pick up a drill, since many operate wirelessly (like Arlo Pro’s Security System with Siren below, $201.45 at Amazon).
No. 5: Smart homes are easier to sell
When you eventually sell your home, smart devices can pay off in a number of ways. According to Consumer Reports, smart home features can boost your home’s resale value by up to 5% — that’s $15,000 on a $300,000 home. Research also shows that home appraisers are beginning to factor in the value of tech features.