Home automation: The next wave of change in the real estate industry

The real estate industry has been through several transformations, over the past few decades. We look at how home automation could well usher in the next transformation and how it will impact home buyers and developers

A few decades ago, a home seeker would have been content with any home that was available within his/her budget. It is also likely that this home seeker would have worked for years, to accumulate the funds for the house. Home buying then, was a luxury that very few could afford. The availability of home loans and defined EMIs, in the 1980s, augmented the growth of real estate in the country, especially in the metropolitan and tier-1 cities, as it brought home ownership within the reach of most tax-payers.

With increasing consumer demand and growth in the real estate sector, developers began experimenting, by offering value-added lifestyle amenities like swimming pools, club houses, gymnasiums, imported fittings, Italian marble floorings, video door phones and concierge services, to create stronger demand for their products. With time, such amenities soon became a standard part of their offerings and consumers expected these, as a part of their lifestyle quotient.

Adoption of home automation in Indian real estate

Meanwhile, home automation, a four-decade-old segment, never became a standard part of developers’ offerings to home buyers. One can attribute the slow growth of this segment to various factors like the necessity of wiring for the installation of appliances, unaffordable products, servicing issues and limited functionality. However, the growth of technology has changed all this.

See also: Impact of artificial intelligence on home automation

The evolution of smartphones, has completely redefined our lives. It has changed the way we work, shop, bank and connect with people. It has also redefined the home automation segment. Modern developers have started designing products that provide enhanced functionality and are offering services that can easily integrate with existing home automation products. Most of the new age home automation solutions comprise of Wi-Fi enabled wireless products that are based on the ‘plug and play’ model and offer consumers the option to manage the same through their smartphones.

Most of these home automation products provide:

  • Ease of management and the ability to control the devices from remote locations.
  • 24×7 surveillance facility through motion sensor devices and live feeds.
  • Energy savings leading to monetary savings, through planned use of connected appliances.
  • Nearly 25 per cent savings in electrical usage over time.

Home automation: What do buyers seek and what are developers offering?

Young home buyers and millennial buyers, nowadays look at investing in projects that are designed to accommodate home automation services. The concept of smart homes, is now far more lucrative, especially among the young home buyers, who want complete control of their homes.

New age home automation products can be configured to provide nearly all conveniences – from controlling the garage door, home entry, playing of music and switching on devices like air-conditioners and water heaters, to ordering food, all chores can be pre-configured or commanded to the liking of the user’s. These automation features can play a very important role, especially in senior citizens’ homes. For example, the system can be voice configured, to call for medical assistance in case of emergencies. Moreover, most of the home automation products can be easily configured with voice-enabled devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

With value offerings that go beyond basic functionalities, many real estate developers are already working towards adding home automation products to their list of standard offerings across projects. With growing technology, soon, one’s home may be able to take care of itself, as well as our daily needs and likings.

(The writer is founder, Picostone Technologies)

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