Defining the Smart Home at CES 2016

Coldwell Banker CMO Sean Blankenship talks with the experts about how smart home technology is changing the real estate industry.

With all the buzz regarding “smart home technology” over the past few years, it can still be somewhat difficult to put a true definition on what, exactly, it means. Coldwell Banker’s CMO Sean Blankenship put that question to a panel of experts at the “Selling Smarter – Real Estate & the Smart Home” panel at CES today.

Lindsey Turrentine, Editor in Chief of CNET said that a smart home has “products connected to you and anticipates what you need. Anything that makes your life easier is a smart home.”

Linus Lundberg, Head of Enterprise Partnerships at Nest, had somewhat of a different take. “People don’t wake up on a Saturday and say ‘I’m going to buy a smart home today!’”, he joked. Instead, he explained that usually people start by purchasing a “smart” item for their home, like a smoke detector. Then they buy a smart thermostat. Pretty soon, they have a smart home, even though they didn’t buy a smart home. Kathy Sanders, CMO of August chimed in that this technology is especially useful for those with multiple residences who have to manage their homes from afar.

What really struck me during this panel was how much the entire concept of a smart home has changed over the last few years. According to Danny Hertzberg, an agent with Coldwell Banker, the typical smart home consumer used to be young and affluent. Now, the technology is becoming so much more affordable and therefore accessible to people of all ages with various lifestyles and incomes.

As Michael Smith, VP of Sales at Lutron pointed out, even though the cost for smart home tech products are going down, the capabilities are going up. Not only is this helping more and more people get their hands on smart home technology, but the products are also becoming easier to use. Danny Hertzberg joked during the panel that everyone used to have a “guy” (or gal) to assist them with their smart home gadgets because they were so complex to use. Nowadays it isn’t necessary since the technology is becoming as simple as turning on your phone and opening an app.

It’s hard to accurately predict what smart home technology will look like in the next 5 years because this industry has moved faster than anyone could have expected. As Michael Smith from Lutron accurately stated, “The Jetson’s are here. They’re your next door neighbors now.”

Check out more of our live CES coverage at and follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #CESCB!

Christian is the Senior Manager of Brand Media for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. In this role, he oversees social media for the brand as well as media planning for all national advertising campaigns. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, building LEGO sets and binging TV's latest hits. He currently resides in Miami, FL.

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