Be safety smart

As smart home security continues to accelerate towards becoming the ‘norm’, Will Butler of ERA Home Security encourages house builders to respond to consumer expectations by offering an ‘added value’ option to purchasers.

It’s not that long ago that having any kind of remote-controlled operating system in a new house was a fanciful idea, yet today, smart heating, lighting and entertainment systems are an everyday reality for many people.

Home security is also now undergoing a tech transformation which creates a great opportunity for house builders to get on trend and transform the homeowner experience.

Smart security, including alarms, intercoms, doorbell cameras and smart locks could just be the cutting-edge security technology that sways consumers into a purchase decision. After all, buying a new home is a big investment and what better way to encourage househunters to buy a new build than sell them a home with enhanced security built in?

By combining smart products with more traditional home security solutions, home owners can have a ‘belt and braces’ approach to protecting their home and belongings for extra peace of mind.

Smart, cloud-based security locks, alarms and cameras should be offered in addition to traditional security in just the same way as superior kitchen or bathroom fittings or top of the range tiling might be offered.

Smart home security is just as desirable for house hunters as aesthetic upgrades and adds resale value to a new home. Consumers are beginning to get used to improved home security, especially in family homes. It will not be long before previously unattainable levels of smart technology and convenience will be commonplace – sitting alongside homeowners’ voice-activated virtual assistant that controls their lights or blinds, and streams their favourite playlists to multiple speaker systems around the home.

The connected home is here to stay

The smartware market will be worth an estimated £300bn worldwide by 2020, so now is the ideal time for housebuilders to get on board with security in general and be fully prepared for the future demands of the consumer.

Smart security offers a range of benefits to homeowners. It gives them extra peace of mind, providing immediate, remote notification of intruders, as well as automatic locking and unlocking of premises via apps to keep people out or let them in. They can also see who’s at the front door without being at home.

Smart security is especially convenient for homeowners who are constantly on the move and rushing around. Whether they suddenly realise they’ve left the house unlocked or a family member has forgotten their key, the problem can be easily solved. Products are also available with accessibility technology which makes them suitable for everyone, and when the house builder takes on the fitting it removes the hassle of installation and set-up for the homeowner. They’ll also benefit from the added value to the property when the potentially want to sell it further down the line.

As well as the homeowner, installing smart security offers benefits to the house builder, too. By following trends and not competitors, developers will be providing a genuine point of difference to their customers. It ultimately offers a ‘wow factor’, as everyone wants to live in a home they can be proud of. House builders needn’t worry about the hassle of installing products – wireless technology allows for easy installation with no need to plan it into the original house design, meaning it could be offered as an optional extra. Plus, once fitted, all products will be covered by manufacturers’ guarantees.

Will Butler is group marketing and innovation director at ERA Home Security