WP Admin September 1, 2020 No Comments

A Modern Approach to Valuing Your Home

The current approach to valuing residential properties is out-dated. Professional appraisers will inspect your property and, ultimately, compare its value to what the neighbors sold theirs for. This method fails to adequately take into account the smart home revolution we referenced in our first blog. If you have invested in technology, shouldn’t you benefit from that increased property value? If you’re a landlord if you have a more secure, smarter, or energy-efficient property, why shouldn’t you charge a higher rent?

Home Smartify’s free on-line service enables anyone to assess how smart, secure, and green their residential property is and, taking advantage of our immediate algorithmic recommendations, improve it and its affect on their lives.  As part of an assessment, an applicant describes their home, its technology, and its usage; then our system, leveraging 20,000+ products we have graded, can determine and provide ways to increase their overall score.

So, whether you are a landlord looking to rent, a property owner looking to sell, or just somebody wanting to improve their home and its impact on their life, our free service can help.

We intend for Home Smartify to become the international, independent trusted source for guiding users through the complexity and variability of the home technological revolution.  This complexity, in part, stems from homes becoming a set of interrelated systems, e.g. exemplifying the “Internet of Things”. The explosive proliferation of intelligent and networked devices, e.g. smart refrigerators, ovens, lighting, doorbells, etc. are transforming homes as we know them.

Our service will strive to provide:

  • An improved home life – Make your life safer, easier to run, and more comfortable.
  • Increase the value of your home – The higher your Home Smartify score, the more valuable your property could be.
  • Education – We provide free guides and recommendations on how you can improve the quality of your home.
  • Greater transparency – So buyers, tenants, and guests know what exactly they’re moving into.
  • Energy efficiency – We help guide you on how to create a more energy-efficient home.
  • Cost-saving – As a result of the energy efficiency improvements, your home will become cheaper to run.
  • Clarity – We are helping you sort through the myriad alternatives, research sources, and the sheer amount of information on the home, to help simplify your decision-making.

Sample people to use Home Smartify
Meet Pippa, a 25-year-old, single Lawyer, who lives alone in London in her recently purchased first flat.

Pippa is incredibly proud of her flat, and the fact it took her three years to save up a deposit. She spends her lunchtime at work perusing the web for beautiful furniture and other ways of upgrading her apartment.

She is tech-savvy and an early adopter of new technology. She recently bought the latest Amazon Echo, which she uses to control some of the other technology in her home.

Pippa understands the benefits of connected homes, but as a savvy, price-conscious consumer any purchase she makes is based on the best financial value, followed by recommendations from friends and influencers.

The area of London she has moved into has a high crime rate, and as a young single woman living on her own, she is wary, so she wants to focus on making sure her property is secure, as well as high tech.

Why would Pippa use Home Smartify?

  • Our assessments would tell Pippa how safe, smart, and green her new property is.
  • From our recommendations, she can acquire the security and best smart home technology she craves.
  • She could fit in each 20-minute assessment during her lunchtime break and on the commute home.

Meet Peter and Sue, traditionalists whose home has the 1950s feel when it comes to technology. They are looking to retire in a year and want to rent out their property for six months while they go traveling. 

In order to be able to charge a level of rent that could finance their trip, they want to make sure the home is more modern. Today’s tenants demand that a rental property comes with things like Wi-Fi, an HD television, a decent refrigerator, and good security.

The couple has heard of a few home devices, such as the Ring Doorbell and the Samsung smart television, but they have only got a limited budget and want to make smart purchases. Peter, hard to convince of the benefits of smart technology, is mainly attracted to price-conscious propositions that could save him money.

How could we help Peter and Sue?

  • Our Smart Assessment would be able to tell the couple just how good the technology in their home currently is.
  • With their Home Smartify grade, we could then recommend products like the Hive Smart Thermostat which would save money.
  • With those purchases, they could enjoy a modern and smarter home and justify charging a higher rent.

Meet Dave, a recently divorced father with two children who is looking for convenience and support to help him run his young household.

Dave is attracted to any technology that will make life easier for him. He is a subscriber to Wired magazine and wants to experiment with new products while remaining price-conscious.

As well as price, Dave is focussed on finding products that help him become more time-efficient, whether that’s cooking, cleaning, or bath-time for his kids.

How could Home Smartify help Dave?

  • We could recommend certain products for him, particularly in the kitchen, which will make life easier for him. A smarter oven, microwave, and refrigerator will make cooking easier, quicker, and more enjoyable.
  • Given the high costs of running a young family, Dave could allocate a budget for new technology. Our recommendation tool will advise on the best products to buy with that money.

In our next blog and the third in our series, we will go through how you use Home Smartify to grade your property.


WP Admin August 12, 2020 1 Comment

The Smart Home Revolution is HERE

As long ago as ooh 2008, the idea of home improvements consisted of a new slab of paint on the living room walls or an upgrade of the fridge you bought back in 1984. Indeed, when we thought of new technology for your standard home, we thought of slow evolution across decades: so for the television, from black and white to color to satellite to digital; from the introduction of the microwave; or the addition of Wi-Fi and broadband. That though has all started to change. Like Sauron’s all-seeing eye in Lord of the Rings, in the last few years, tech giants from Google to Amazon to Apple to Samsung have turned their gaze (and ample R&D resources) towards improving your home life.

For those of you unfamiliar with the current revolution taking place in the home, let’s start with some figures: The smart home market is expected to grow to $151.4 billion by 2024, with penetration of smart home technology reaching 19.3% of homes. That is largely being fueled by the tens of thousands of new smart home products introduced each year, ranging from smart windows that display a different landscape depending on your mood to robots that clean every type of floor, to fridges which automate your weekly food shop. In no time at all, residences will look like something from – depending on your cultural taste – Blade Runner or the Jetsons.

The smart-home revolution has already begun and the giant tech companies are fighting it out, exemplified by some of the recent acquisitions: Amazon’s $1 billion purchase of Ring, a maker of smart doorbells and cameras, was followed by big-dollar takeovers of Nest (maker of smart thermostats, smoke detectors, and other products) by Google, and of SmartThings (maker of a smart-home platform) by Samsung, as well as Apple’s financial commitment to Echelon, another platform maker.

Consumer awareness that a ‘smart’ home has the potential to make their lives considerably easier, more comfortable and cost and time efficient is growing. How so? Some examples: 

  • Picture yourself commuting home on a hot day and the temperature is high enough to boil an egg.  Instead of walking into a hot and stuffy home, you simply use your smartphone to turn your air-conditioner on so it is nice and cool when you arrive.
  • Imagine that it’s date night and it’s your turn to cook dinner and you are late to get home.  You can start to heat the oven before you get home, or have it adopt a bespoke temperature setting to cook that tricky lamb. Later, during dinner, you could tell Alexa, the voice assistant on Amazon Echo, to play your romantic playlist, dim the lights or even read out the Kama Sutra.

Smart home technology is also about more than convenience and flexibility – but security and safety. To give another brief, but hugely significant, example, in March 2017, USA Today wrote a story about the impact of the Ring ‘smart’ doorbell. https://eu.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2017/03/29/crime-busting-video-doorbell-ring-expands-clones-undercut-price/99677840/

The author wrote:

”The Los Angeles Police Department did a study of two neighborhoods, one with Ring products, the other without, “and we saw a 50% reduction in burglaries in the neighborhood with the doorbell, while the other side saw no changes.” ”

So this one device, costing about 200 bucks, saw a 50% reduction in burglaries in areas that adopted it. And that’s ignoring the other smart security devices which could also increase your home safety: burglar alarms, security cameras, smart windows, and smart door locks. As touched on above, Ring has since been acquired by Amazon for a billion dollars.

There is no limit on the possibilities for your smart home. Home automation is the future.

A key element of this home revolution is the concept known as the ‘‘Internet of Things’’ (IoT). In 1999, the British scientist Kevin Ashton coined the term before anything, except computers, was actually connected to the internet. In the last two decades, Ashton challenged society to imagine a world where the internet will permeate all aspects of people’s lives.

The first and most obvious benefit to smart homes is convenience, as more connected devices can handle more operations (lighting, temperature, etc.) and free up the resident to perform other tasks. But beyond this, smart home IoT devices can help achieve other notable targets, such as the reduction of costs and conservation of energy. In our example above, you’d have a comfortable and cool apartment when you get home, but note that, in reverse, you’d be leaving that air conditioner off when you’re not home, which would lower your electricity bill and reduce energy consumption. Smart lights and various other energy-consuming devices can provide similar benefits.

In our next blog, we at Home Smartify will introduce ourselves in more detail and explain why the current method of valuing the usefulness and effectiveness of residential properties is antiquated and in need of its own revolution, something which we, in fact, provide for free