Person Holding Phone With House In BackgroundToday, we had our Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home automation experience installed. From a single controller or mobile device, anyone in our family can controls connected lights, locks, thermostats, home entertainment devices, and even schedule when devices turn on or off. Everything is connected.

Smart Homes May Add More Value

This week, Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CEDIA announced a collaboration to develop a smart home curriculum for real estate sales associates. Coldwell Banker and CNET, the world’s largest and most trusted online source of consumer technology news and reviews, also developed the definition of a smart home which is illustrated below. At the onset, Coldwell Banker will be culling smart home features from their database through keyword search to determine listings that qualify for the designation. By pulling qualitative data from the Coldwell Banker database in the form of key words in the property descriptions, they hope to begin measuring benchmarks in relative price per square foot and days on market for Smart Homes. Today consumers can search for Smart Homes on but the company expects that they are at the beginning of a long road to lead the industry into support for Smart Homes. Coldwell Banker recently released research that indicates that 87% of consumers value Smart Home features.

Coldwell Banker to Lead the Industry in Smart Home Adoption

“After conducting extensive research both on our own and in partnership with CNET we both felt that it was critical to bring consistency and credibility to the term “smart home” by creating minimum requirements,” said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC. “For eight months, CNET has been testing smart home products in a house in Louisville, Kentucky to further recommend which smart appliances, apps and platforms are most valuable for consumers. The definition came out of this research and insight.” The partnership to develop the definition with CNET could not be better. CNET is connected to the core and the edge of the technology development for Smart Homes.

In the newest phase, Coldwell Banker, in partnership with CEDIA, has developed a smart home curriculum available exclusively for the Coldwell Banker brand and its affiliated franchised brokers and agents. CEDIA is the international trade association and central touch point for 3,700 member companies who design, manufacture, and install technology for the home.

RESO, NAR, and MLS Support

For Smart Home designation on properties to really have an impact, the designation will need to become integrated with the industry’s leading groups including the Real Estate Standards Organization, the National Association of REALTORS®, and the 735 MLSs. The Association will need to take a leading role to adopt Smart Homes as an official designation. This means educating REALTORS® and Brokers on when they can market a property as a Smart Home without any backlash of legal action. The Coldwell Bankers definition and certificate program will be a great thesis to bring to the table with NAR.

In order to be categorized 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:

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

Once a home is qualified as a Smart Home, it will be incumbent on MLSs to join in and support the initiative with a field in the MLS. This will allow MLS subscribers to search for Smart Homes, include Smart Home features in compliant property descriptions, and use Smart Home as a feature in comparative property analysis reports (CMAs).

The Real Estate Standards organization will also need to include the feature in its definition Wiki, a place where property attributes are curated before they become part of the formal RESO Data Dictionary. “The wiki is a great place to start looking before ever adding a field to the MLS that will someday find its way into the IDX program” says RESO CEO, Jeremy Crawford. It is better to start out by creating an industry standard that will let every REALTOR® and broker website display a property attribute unilaterally to the consumer on their property search websites.

Kudos to Coldwell Banker Real Estate for their leadership.