What is a Smart Home?

In this segment of NBC Open House, Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET.com establish a definition for the “smart home” that is simple while allowing still for choices.

We may not remember the advent of the refrigerator or washer & dryer. But we might recall when toaster ovens hit. Or the TV remote control, cordless phones and microwave oven. These were huge. They changed our homes and our lives. But their arrival seemingly came one at a time, once a generation.

We are in different times and I can’t imagine a period where the intersection of home and tech was more prevalent. It is the Smart Home era!

Our homes are major emotional and lifestyle investments. And now, with the development of Smart Home products, our homes want to play an even greater role as they know our habits, simplify our lives and save us time and money.

And those who are buying and selling homes are taking note. Homes – both new and existing – that go on the market with Smart Home products installed are gaining traction.

Coldwellbanker.com even tracks those which come on the market, starting with Diane Polland’s magnificent $100 million listing on Long Island Sound and followed by nearly 1,400 properties featuring Smart Home technology.

And while the revolution is well underway, we noticed that no one had defined for consumers what a Smart Home really is. So we sat down with the editors at CNET.com, the preeminent technology reviewer, to set the standard that was simple while allowing for choices:

Smart Home: A home that is equipped with network-connected products (i.e., “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself. It must have a cable, satellite or DSL internet connection and equipped with at least three Smart Home features including security and/or temperature.

Category Examples
Security* Smart locks, networked security cameras
Temperature* Smart thermostats
Appliances Smart refrigerators, smart washer / dryers
Entertainment Smart TVs, TV streaming service
Heating / Cooling Smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents
Lighting Smart light bulbs, lighting systems
Outdoors Smart plant sensors, smart watering systems
Safety Smart fire / carbon monoxide detectors, nightlights

* Must have at least one

The hope – as CBS Marketwatch pointed out – is this definition will set the stage for home buyers and sellers to have a greater understanding of the benefits of their future homes.

Header Image & Property featured in NBC Open House segment: 75 Linden Lane, Chatham Township, NJ listed at $1,899,000 by Debra Woerner with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

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 Adopt-a-Pet.com 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. John & Cindy Farrell
    July 11, 2016

    This will be very helpful to have a working definition. So many people are asking.

  2. Rachel
    August 30, 2016

    When people talk about ‘smart homes’, it’s definitely hard to place what they’re talking about exactly. This could mean a multitude of smart devices, or just a couple. Setting the standard for a smart home is important, so thanks for sharing this.


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