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Is a smart home likely to sell or be able to be rented out more quickly?

The fact that there has been an increased interest or need for Smart Living was made clear in the COVID-19 pandemic. However, does this also mean that you will be able to sell or rent a smart home more quickly?

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Numbers don’t lie

Research carried out by CNET and Coldwell Banker claims that “81% of buyers say they are more likely to choose to buy a home if it already has smart home products installed.” Sarah K. Richardson from the Arizona School of Real Estate Business also wrote an article saying “80% of homebuyers want smart technology in their homes.

Furthermore, real estate agents are increasingly finding that there is a rising demand for Smart Living: 40% of them report that smart homes sell faster. It is therefore high time that project developers no longer follow the facts, but respond to the needs of buyers.

So can the same be said about rental properties?

According to Dennis de Cock, System Integrator, investing in Smart Living can be very profitable for rental properties. In return for the investment made in the extra facilities, you can put the house on the market for a higher rental price.

In addition, the Realty Times has said that having a home automation system in a rental property can be a major differentiator in the real estate market. It helps to make an apartment or house stand out, thereby giving the property a boost so that it rents out quicker.

As the owner, if you ultimately decide to sell the property, the advanced automation system will also mean there is a substantial increase in value.

What brokers think

Based on these studies, we could easily come to the conclusion that a smart home will sell or be able to be rented out more quickly than traditional homes. Yet we would be completely crazy to simply take this statement at face value and not double check out the facts with some estate agents. So that’s why we went to Habitat in Wevelgem to visit Fries Blancke – a self-proclaimed Real Estate Rockstar – and youngest winner of “Huizenjagers”.
 Although Fries has only been actively involved in the market for four years, he has already realised that there is a growing interest in smart homes. In his experience, smart homes sell faster than traditional homes today because of the wide spectrum of benefits they offer.

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We also went to visit Thomas Van Hecke, owner of real estate offices Prolan Projects and Top Estates. When we interviewed him, he told us how the Belgian real estate market still has a long way to go in terms of innovation.

His real estate company, Top Estates, sells Spanish holiday homes to Flemish people. According to Thomas, there are no new homes to be found on the Spanish market that don’t have smart features: Smart Living is a minimum requirement if you’re talking about a “modern home”. That is why he is strongly of the opinion that Belgium has no choice but to keep up in the short term. It will be unthinkable for new houses to be built in the next five to ten years that don’t have smart home automation.

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Smart Living as a selling point for project developers

Besides the fact that it would be impossible to imagine the real estate market in the near future without Smart Living, it is also a strong selling point. Many developers bandy around terms like “convenient“ and “sustainable“, without transparently setting out what they mean. After all, what is convenience or sustainability? What does it mean in terms of your projects?

By fundamentally integrating Smart Living in your projects, you can provide these terms with specific meaning, transforming them into true selling points. This is how (future) buyers will understand that convenience refers to ‘being able to control the functionalities in your home anywhere and anytime’. When you talk about sustainability, people know you mean ‘gaining insight into your usage’. It is this very insight that ensures residents are fully aware of how much they consume. And it is this awareness that is subsequently converted into actions that can save energy.

One thing is for sure – investing in Smart Living is always a good idea.