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Homebuyers and sellers are showing increasing interest in smart homes and smart home technology, according to the inaugural Smart Homes and REALTORS® report recently released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). REALTORS®, in turn, are seeking certifications to denote experience with smart homes.

“More homeowners are adopting smart-home technology and that will likely impact buyers’ purchase decisions in the future,” says NAR President William E. Brown. “While consumer interest in this trend is still developing, REALTORS® are becoming well-versed in successfully marketing smart homes and their features, such as devices and appliances.”

Based on responses from REALTORS®, the report found:

  • Most clients find smart privacy and security features as “somewhat” or “very important.”
  • Some clients find smart lights, locks and thermostats to be “very important.”
  • Some clients are neutral about smart appliances, doorbells and voice control features.

Clients are most interested, according to the report, in smart home devices over whole home or specific room technology. Approximately half of clients, however, are not familiar with what’s available in terms of smart home technology—about 40 percent of REALTORS® reported having smart home-related discussions with their clients. Forty-one percent of clients, markedly, are not interested in smart home technology at all.

Forty-two percent of REALTORS®, as well, are seeking a smart home certification in response to client interest. Most (47 percent) are REALTORS® over 55 years old.

NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) plans to use the report to benchmark its efforts in educating members on smart home technology, helping REALTORS® and their clients better understand the market, as well as advocate for safe use of smart devices.

“As smart home technologies evolve, it’s extremely important that our members are aware of what’s available and what advantages and challenges these devices provide,” says Mark Lesswing, chief technology officer at NAR. “The work we’re doing at NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology is key to this understanding. This report helps us understand how our work is impacting our members.”

For more information, please visit crtlabs.org or www.realtor.org.

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