Home Automation Trends for NYC Real Estate Developers

by Vlad Sapozhnikov9. January 2014 22:11

With a growing number of smart home products coming to the market, New York City real estate developers have the ability to leverage this new technology by offering them in their real estate developments and projects in Manhattan and the surrounding five boroughs. Smart home systems have already been around for a few years at the ultra high-end but the concept is seeing wider adoption in the mid-range market as well. We even see smart home products being offered at Home Depot stores throughout New York City. These hi-tech gadgets and products used to be considered more science fiction than reality but now NYC real estate developers can leverage these smart home products to entice new homeowners and differentiate their projects from competitors. What exactly is Home Automation? It is a comprehensive, fully integrated way to connect the technologies that run your home so that you can manage the entire system remotely through your Smartphone or tablet.

3 Home Automation Components For Real Estate Developers:

1 - Entrance Management. Remote Video Security System and Virtual Doormen. A video Security system typically includes a camera to monitor the person at the door, ability to speak to the person, and buttons to unlock/lock the door. Additionally, Virtual Doorman systems include a videophone to the cell phone so that you can monitor and control entries and accept packages remotely. One of our favorites is Doorbot.

2 – Home Security System. A security system involves theft and burglary protection and detecting fire, flood or gas leaks. Sensors are used to detect these problems and then, relay that information to local security personnel, fire or police departments. For added protection, several layers of redundant systems are set in place. For example, more than one person or department may be sent a message in various delivery methods, such as, wireless messages, email and text messages.

3 – Connected Systems. This enables you to control multiple functions with a single setting from a remote location. For instance, the NYC homeowner will use his/her touch screen panel and instantly talk to a monitoring station in seconds in the event of an emergency. Additionally, connected via the cloud, a homeowner will be able to control lights, air conditioning, kitchen appliances, window blinds, and overall home security from anywhere! For instance, AdoraTouch Switches can be used to control light bulbs, fans and other electrical equipment. The dimmers are available in the form of a wheel and a slider to control the dimming of a bulb or the speed of a fan. Users can control multiple switches and dimmers with a single touch and can create and recall different scenarios.

Home Automation Package Example:

  • Touch screen panel
  • Video camera
  • Electronic door lock
  • Smart thermostat
  • Small appliance control
  • Energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Door/window sensors
  • Motion detectors
  • Video surveillance
  • Remote temperature control
  • Wireless communication
  • Climate Control Systems

And check out this video of Cloud9 Smart Home Systems in New York City here.

Energy Efficiency

Another added benefit to home automation is the growing focus on energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings in New York City. NYC real estate developers may be able to get a return on your investment, just as NYC homeowners may be able to save on utility bills. “The convergence of corporate and commercial real estate, information technology that is based in the Cloud, and energy efficiency leads the list of new green building mega-trends for 2014,” says Jerry Yudelson, a green building and sustainability consultant. New York City homeowners will also be able to take advantage of home energy monitoring. Simply, a landlord or homeowner can track energy usage with a service such as PowerWise Systems or with a new system from company BaseN that offers both energy management and automation functions in one package. BaseN tracks energy usage and can control lights, heating, air conditioning and appliances. Remember, home energy monitors can also help diagnose problems within appliances and ultimately help NYC homeowners alter their behavior to save energy. “Monitors help people understand their usage costs and environmental impact,” says Christian Gilbert, business development manager for PowerWise. She continues, “It helps people understand that the second refrigerator in the garage costs them $20 a month and can monitor vampire power loads to see if a game system or cell phone charger is costing a lot of money.”

Hidden Costs and Precautions

It’s important for New York City real estate developers to understand that a home and building lasts much longer than most technology. Electronics will more than likely become obsolete and out of date within a few years. As a NYC real estate developer, make sure to ask how the vendor plans to upgrade the system or individual tech gadget. Also, find out how disruptive this upgrade or replacement will likely be and the time frame. You also must ensure that the systems and gadgets are customizable, so that NYC homeowners can tailor the system to their liking. Lastly, you must check and double-check the smart home’s safeguards against break-ins and burglaries. For example, a hacker may be able to break into the system or upload Malware and viruses; and make sure to find out what the protocol is when a cell phone is stolen or a password is lost or forgotten.

Being able to offer NYC homeowners the ability to use a smart phone app to turn off their plasma TV, stove, lights, and lock the front door is very valuable. To take control of their lives and budgets is quite a powerful value proposition for New York City real estate developers to offer and solve.

What’s Next?

The next phase in home automation is making smarter more connected appliances. General Electric and other big box brands are designing appliances with fully integrated sensors; touch screens, and wireless communications. In the near future, your refrigerator will be able to text you to remind you to pick up some Skim Milk or bananas from the local grocery store on your way home from work. We also need to note that NYC homeowners will have the capability of getting fresh groceries delivered by drone (Amazon just unveiled its drones a few weeks ago)! As for the most popular choices for communication protocols for smart appliances, there is Zigbee, Z-Wave and Insteon. Unfortunately, the platforms are not compatible with each other much like Apple, Android and Blackberry RIM systems. But with real estate technology on the rise, home automation features will be a wonderful value proposition for New York City real estate developers for years to come!