Get Smart Home Savvy


“Alexa, order a five-hundred-pound bag of jasmine rice.”

“Alexa, wake me up at 3:00 in the morning.”

“Alexa, play Macarena on a loop.”

After the third occurrence of clients or their kids issuing odd commands to every Amazon Echo device we encountered during showings, I realized that we’re seeing the beginning of the Jetsons’ age of home automation — not to mention high-tech means of pulling pranks on unsuspecting sellers!

Although it’d be somewhat costly to install full home automation, our sellers are now able to add convenient “cool factor” features to their listings without going full Jetsons. Want dimmable mood lighting? Invest in a starter package of connected HUE LED bulbs by Philips. How about a smart thermostat that can not only sense when you’re home or away, but can also adjust heating and cooling based upon each individual room? A Nest or Ecobee thermostat will enable that level of control.

There are so many connected home features that can sync with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. Here are just a few:

  • Garage doors that can be open and shut via Alexa or your smartphone from anywhere in the world with GarageIO
  • Smart locks
  • Control GE appliances, such as ovens with the Geneva skill
  • Locate lost phones with TrackR
  • Order a pizza from any room in your house with Alexa (my favorite)

Take the time to look around at present-day options for home automation. Understanding these options will give you a “techie” edge over the competition, which will in turn help you win more listings and better advise your buyers when encountering these devices on showings.  How impressed would a seller be if you could show her ways to have more security and control during showings, such as a smart garage door opener coupled with a smart lock on the front door? How intrigued would your next buyer be if you could demonstrate ways for him to save money on utility bills by installing a smart thermostat combined with individual room sensors? Or how about showing a home theater buff how to use Amazon Alexa to control atmospheric lighting for that man cave? Knowing the latest trends in smart homes will score you major brownie points with your more technologically savvy clients.

Written by Shawn Muller
Assistant Managing Broker
ReeceNichols Real Estate, Overland Park