Get Smart: 7 Easy Smart Home Gadgets to Build the Future into Your Brand

Your new listing will check every box. It’s in an up-and-coming neighborhood, minutes away from booming business districts and all sorts of dining and entertainment. The surrounding neighborhood boasts excellent schools, and the intervening streets are clean, safe, and lined with parks and green spaces. Its sturdy construction will even agree with a variety of interior decor trends.

It’s time to stage the listing and show it to potential buyers. The aforementioned boxes having been checked should get them in the door, but it’s that ever-elusive emotional connection to what they see inside that will be prerequisite for their choice to make this house their future home.

Color-changing smart lights can splash with hyper-modern character.

At Highform, we’re firm believers in the idea that people don’t buy stuff — people buy stories. We also believe that smart home tech, with its ability to generate colorful “ooh” and “ahh” moments, is emerging as an essential way to get potential buyers’ attention and, in turn, affection.

Generalized broadly as “home automation,” these gadgets fulfill MIT tech guru Kevin Aston’s 1999 prediction in which he coined the term “the Internet of Things,” prognosticating a world of physical objects connected to the internet, communicating with one another and carrying out automated tasks.

Today, it’s voice-activated thermostats; lights that turn on, off, or change colors depending on who walks into the room; and blinds that adjust themselves to allow in the perfect amount of light for a given time of year and the weather that day. Tomorrow, who knows? The implications surrounding the tech are far reaching and popularity, especially with millennials, is only surging.

Probably best to get on board now. After all, brands like Coldwell Banker are already offering smart home certificate courses for their agents and brokers, and other organizations like the Residential Real Estate Council are doing the same. Who was it that said, “Better to be riding the wave than to be waiting on the shore it ravages?” Did we make that up? Someone should’ve said that.

“Better to be riding the wave than to be waiting on the shore it ravages.”
– Someone, potentially

Either way, smart staging of your listing can immerse your potential buyer in a story. It’s a success story and they’re the star. They’re the Joneses with whom the neighbors struggle to keep up. They’ve leapt into the future. Their lives are easier. They’re safer. They’re smarter. They’re cooler. They’re future proof. They’re better. This house makes them better. This should be their home.

Your story is just as important. It helps them know their story is true.


What may surprise is that most smart home tech is not prohibitively expensive — especially when compared with the costs of things like wall knockouts or kitchen remodeling, and considering the chance of those things being overlooked or taken for granted by potential buyers. Here, we’re after items capable of making a splash in a showing. What follows are a few of our favorite smart home gadgets for doing just that.

Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub

$99

The starting point. Think of it as the smart home’s brain, wirelessly connecting any number of compatible lights, speakers, locks, thermostats, sensors, and more, allowing them all to work together.

Samsung SmartThings V2

Amazon Echo

$99

Now in its second iteration, Amazon’s full-size smart speaker allows voice control for all the compatible smart gadgets throughout the house. Its interchangeable casing can match the decor of virtually any room, and it comes in at around half the cost of competing smart speakers. Best of all, it’s powered and personified by Alexa, who is proven to be a better listener than Apple’s Siri, and benefits from a steady stream of updates. That means not only will your voice be heard, but results of your web searches will more relevant, and answers to your questions are less likely to be complete nonsense.

Amazon Echo 2nd Generation

Lifx Color 1000

$75

One of the more striking visuals an agent can provide a potential buyer, these color changing light bulbs boast a broad array of vivid colors and can be voice-controlled with an Amazon Echo.

Lifx Color 1000

Lutron Serena Remote Control Shades

$350

Imagine showing a home, walking into a gorgeous living room, and, with the tap of a finger, drawing back the shades to reveal a panoramic view of an expansive, sun-soaked backyard. These stylishly versatile window shades come in plenty of different colors and can be operated by iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch watch when used in conjunction Serena by Lutron Smart Bridge or Wink hub. The Lutron Smart Bridge is also designed to work with the Apple HomeKit, which adds voice functionality through Siri, handy for impressing potential buyers who maintain a fashionably all-Apple aesthetic. These shades can also be integrated with a variety of smart thermostats and smart lights.

Lutron Serena Remote Control Shades

Nest Protect

$119

The Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm protects homes from fire and gas leaks, even when the homeowners are away — great for showcasing a focus on the safety of a potential buyer’s family.

Nest Protect 2nd Generation

Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt

$190

Another comforting sight for families who may be interested an added sense of security, this lock grants eKey holders access with a single touch. It also carries the benefit of looking like a regular lock over competitors like the August Smart Lock.

Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt

Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug

$25 — $35

The cheapest and easiest way to add an air of smart home functionality to any listing, the Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug essentially makes anything you plug into it “smart.” The WeMo app also means everyday lamps, fans, and more can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. Voice control is also made possible by compatibility with Amazon Echo.

Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Interested in more ways to build the Future into your brand? Highform can help. Let’s chat.