What’s in a Name? Defining the Smart Home


As smart home technology enters the mainstream, both sales associates and consumers have asked themselves what truly constitutes a home that is smart. Coldwell Banker and CNET have joined forces to put the debate to rest and truly define the modern Smart Home.


What is a smart home? Ten years ago, the concept of a smart home conjured up images of the Jetsons. Even five years ago the smart home was only for the luxury homeowner. But today, with hundreds of connected home products on the shelves and new innovations hitting the market daily, it begs the question – what is a smart home, really?

That’s why Coldwell Banker and CNET, the world’s largest and most trusted online source of consumer technology news and reviews, collaborated to create the first-ever smart home definition to help real estate sales associates, as well as home buyers and sellers, accurately pinpoint and describe a smart home.

So is your home smart enough to be at the top of its class? Check out the full smart home definition below and see for yourself!

“Smart home: A home that is equipped with network-connected products (aka “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.”

In order to be categorized as a smart home, the property must have a smart security feature that either controls access or monitors the property or a smart temperature feature, as well as two  others from a varied list, in addition to a reliable Internet connection. The definition is outlined below:

Must Have

Category Examples
Internet Connection Cable, satellite or DSL


Must Have At Least Three

*One of the categories must be security or temperature

Category Examples
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
Security* Smart locks, networked security cameras
Temperature* Smart thermostats


We already know that over the past couple of years, demand has increased significantly for smart homes in the real estate market. This standardized definition gives us an opportunity to pinpoint exactly what constitutes a smart home for buyers and sellers, so that they can make informed decisions.

Coldwell Banker is following up with an education course for its agents, and an icon on www.coldwellbanker.com for property listings that meet the definition.

You can also browse smart homes currently on the market here.

Lindsay is the the Director of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and manages the brand’s media and social media department. She is also a licensed real estate professional. In 2017 & 2018, she was named a top 20 social influencer in the real estate industry in the annual Swanepoel 200 power rankings.

Lindsay lives in Livingston, NJ with her college sweetheart and now husband Joe and rwelcomed another Joe into her life as she became a mom in June 2016.

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  1. Lubos Hrasko
    May 11, 2016

    I think it’s great that we finally have a criteria that makes a home ‘smart’. Thanks for doing this!

  2. marion
    December 10, 2016

    I think it’s a good idea with the smart home it also is a lot safer for people expectually with large families


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