The ABCs of Smart Home Technology

Don’t know where to start with smart home technology and devices? We’ve compiled an A-to-Z dictionary to help guide you to pro status.

Is 2017 the year you make your home smart? It might seem like a large undertaking, but today’s smart home products are easier than ever to install and use. We’ve compiled an A-Z guide to smart home technology, buzzwords and trends below:

A is for Automation – Dreaming of a ‘Jetsons’ home? Today’s smart home technology can do everything from order your groceries to dim your lights, and the technology is only getting better by the day. Check out some of the newest products unveiled at this year’s CES.

B is for Buyers and Sellers – Smart home products are beneficial to both buyers and sellers. That’s right – you can leave pre-installed smart home products in the home you’re selling. A 2016 survey by Coldwell Banker found that 44% of Americans believe smart home technology should already be installed in homes for sale.

C is for Cost-Savings – You probably already know this, but smart home technology can save you money. Smart thermostats can reduce unnecessary cooling and heating expenses and smart lighting can help you curb your energy consumption and reduce your electric bills.

D is for Don’t Want to Get Up – We all have our lazy moments. Imagine you never had to get up to turn off the lights before bed. Imagine you didn’t have to leave the warmth of your blanket to turn up the heat. Smart home tech enhances life’s simple comforts.

E is for Entertainment – Smart TVs, sound systems, content streaming, gaming and more. Smart home technology expands the possibilities for how we lay back and relax at home. You’ll never binge watch your shows the same way after you see them in high definition clarity and connected to your smart sound system and streaming system.

F is for Fridge – How many times have you gotten to the supermarket and realized you left your grocery list at home? Imagine you could look inside your smart fridge from your phone to see what was missing? These are the possibilities available with today’s suite of smart refrigerators.

G is for Green – We’ve already covered the cost-saving benefits of smart home technology. Beyond saving you some green, it can help reduce your home’s environmental impact and help you go green!

H is for Hubs – You might have heard of things like Apple’s HomeKit, Samsung’s SmartThings and Google’s Thread. These three are examples of hubs, which help connect multiple smart home devices across many brands and capabilities under one platform, simplifying your smart home experience.

I is for Integration – You may have heard a lot of buzz around the word smart home integration, which goes hand-in-hand with hubs. Integration means multiple products are able to work along with one another. An example is an Amazon Echo working with your Nest thermostat.

J is for “Just for the Tech Savvy”This is actually a big smart home myth! Smart home technology is for everyone along all ends of the technology spectrum.

K is for Kit (the Smart Home Staging Kit, that is) – Did you know that Coldwell Banker curated the first-ever Smart Home Staging Kit? The kit includes a Nest Thermostat, Nest Protect, Nest Cam, August Smart Lock, August Connect and Lutron Caseta Wireless Lighting Products. The kit is available at, or you can speak to a Coldwell Banker agent to take advantage of exclusive promotional pricing.

L is for Lighting – One of the most popular smart home categories is smart lighting. Much of today’s technology can help you control your home’s lighting remotely via a smart phone app. Some products can help you transform a room using dimming features to create a more dynamic and versatile living space.

M is for Mainstream – Smart home is now in the mainstream, but it isn’t too late to hop on the bandwagon. Think about areas of your home that could use a convenience upgrade and take a leap. Bring your home into the 21st century!

N is for News – Coldwell Banker lived stream news about smart home technology straight from the floor during CES 2017 this year in Las Vegas. Now you can check out Blue Matter for everything you need to know about smart home in 2017.

O is for One At a Time – Introduce new smart home products one at a time so you can get acclimated and learn each device’s functionality. Our agents turned smart home gurus agree and suggest starting with one product you know will improve your day-to-day life if you are skeptical of adding smart home features. Dip your toes into the pool before you dive in!

P is for Presents – While the holidays have come and gone, smart home technology can make a great gift for a loved one or friend throughout the year. Check out our most recent smart home gift guide!

Q is for Q&A – Of course, it’s normal to have questions. The good news? Coldwell Banker launched a first of its kind smart home education program in consort with CEDIA. This makes our agents the foremost experts in all things smart home – and more than willing to answer your questions.

R is for Real Estate – Coldwell Banker has been attending and sponsoring CES for the past three years. Why is a real estate company investing in a tech show? Smart home technology is no longer a prediction for the future – it is in our present, and is a growing part of the real estate industry.

S is for Security – Smart security cameras, smoke alarms, door locks and more. There is a smart home product to protect every corner of your home whether you are near or far.

T is for Thermostats – Smart thermostats can control both your heating and cooling. Besides the cost-saving functionality we discussed earlier, these thermostats can also make your home a bit cozier before you arrive. You can control your A/C remotely to turn on a few minutes before you arrive home on a sweltering day. Same goes for your heat on a particularly frosty day.

V is for Voice Control – According to our 2017 Smart Home Marketplace survey, voice control is the next big thing in smart home technology. 72% of Americans who have smart home products – controlled remotely by a smartphone, tablet, computer or by a separate automatic system within the home itself – want voice control. Voice control technology has quickly evolved with the advent of platforms like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.

W is for Wi-Fi – At the root of all smart home technology is Wi-Fi. All of these products require an internet connection in order to function with the devices around them and your smart phone.

X is for XOXO – how you are going to want to thank your home after it’s decked out with smart home technology.

Y is for You – It’s up to you! Once you make the decision to introduce smart home elements to your home, installing smart home technology can be a fun DIY project.

Note: The letters U and Z were purposefully omitted.

Senior Manager, Public Relations & Giving for Coldwell Banker. Grew up in Sarasota and attended college at Western Carolina University. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. She has been with this awesome brand for more than 15 years and can be found generating buzz about CB in every way possible. Athena helps to grow the brand’s position as the most storied real estate company within the industry and has led many high-profile endeavors; she was at the forefront of the brand’s pioneering smart home campaign, raised $6 million in two years to build 130 Habitat for Humanity homes, and led the Homes for Dogs program in partnership with that resulted in tens-of-thousands of dogs finding their furever home. She currently leads the CB Supports St. Jude program, which encourages the Coldwell Banker network’s 96,000+ real estate agents to make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for every real estate transaction they represent. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or planning her next travel adventure. She's the proud mom of three cats Jolene, Ziggy and Lucy.

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  1. TheSmartCave
    January 24, 2017

    U is for Utilities – smart home devices can help reduce gas, electric and water bills
    Z is for Zigbee and Z-Wave!

    • Lindsay Listanski
      January 24, 2017

      Great suggestions!

    • Colleen Hammond
      January 25, 2017

      Fantastic, very timely blog post, Athena! I really like TheSmartCave’s additions for “U” & “Z”!


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