The Internet of Things is seeping its way into many different industries as more and more connected devices are popping up in everyday items. The real estate industry is no exception as it too is seeing an IoT boom.

Internet of Things refers to an infrastructure of technology where devices, such as lighting systems, thermostats, electrical outlets, and plumbing are connected via the Internet and coordinate to perform “smart” functions. There’s no doubt that IoT is improving consumers’ lives, but it’s also having a profound impact on the real estate industry.

From predictive maintenance and informed analytics and from increased energy efficiency to convenient property showings, IoT applications are changing the real estate landscape, making it easier to buy, own, and sell properties. Here are some key ways IoT is making waves in the real estate market.

IoT is increasing energy efficiency.

IoT-enabled sensors and monitoring make it possible to create smarter, more energy-efficient spaces based on the homeowner’s schedule. Smart devices give residents more significant control of household energy use when it comes to utilities such as lighting, water, electric, and heating and air.

For example, homeowners can take advantage of smart lighting to adjust lighting based on certain conditions. Lights can automatically turn on or off when a person enters or exits a room or dim based on the amount of natural light present. These changes save energy by keeping lights off when, not in use or adjusting the amount of light used.

Owning a smart home device such as a WiFi-enabled water heater allows homeowners to control when and how long the water heater runs throughout the day. The device works by optimizing water temperatures and providing hot water when it’s needed most.

If a homeowner doesn’t want to purchase an expensive smart water heater, products like Aquanta use sensors that attach to plumbing areas to measure temperature changes and monitor user patterns. The device also works with Nest to track when residents are away from home to reduce water heating costs and energy consumption further.

These smart devices make it easier for homeowners to use energy more efficiently and significantly reduce energy use and related costs.

IoT enables predictive maintenance.

As homes age, maintenance issues are inevitable. What if homeowners had the foresight to address problems ahead of time? Thanks to IoT predictive analytics, homeowners can now identify and resolve system failures before they occur.

IoT-enabled sensors and real-time energy monitoring not only increase energy efficiency, but they also automate and resolve building maintenance issues. This convenience creates a selling advantage for property owners and agents.

Applied Energy Partners’ SiteWatch platform uses sensors and energy monitoring to keep track of any irregularities that occur on equipment and send alerts when it’s time for maintenance. It can also predict a maintenance schedule based on energy consumption.

Although it’s difficult to notice infrastructure issues in a newly built home, sensors can track any inconsistencies and send alerts to homeowners. Buyers can feel more confident knowing their home is equipped with technology to identify and resolve infrastructure flaws readily.

Faster, informed decision-making.

IoT devices provide valuable property insights that real estate agents can leverage to improve sales. An in-depth, predictive analysis of the home serves as a “report card” of the property’s value. Agents can provide this information to prospective buyers to boost their confidence.

Rather than viewing the property multiple times to consider its condition, buyers can use accessible, informed analytics to make quick, educated decisions.

HouseCanary is reinventing property valuation. Its platform provides lenders and investors with an in-depth analysis of homes they are interested in before they make a purchase. Prospective buyers then have all the information they need to understand home evaluations. As a result, they are better equipped to make informed decisions about their property.

IoT improves the house hunting experience.

Beacon technology is another use of IoT in the real estate market. Beacons are Bluetooth devices that can be placed anywhere to transmit information via the Internet. From square footage and price to photos and 360-degree virtual tours, beacons deliver all the essential details of a home to prospective buyers’ phones.

For example, BeaconSAGE enables prospective clients to begin viewing a property before the agent arrives. When a potential buyer comes within the radius of a beacon, their phone picks up the beacon’s signal and the beacon provides the client with the link to begin viewing the property.

Agents can also use beacon technology to provide clients with a personalized buying experience, showing them only the information they want to see.

IoT applications will continue infiltrating and shaping the real estate industry in numerous ways. Predictive technology not only increases homeowners’ awareness of household functionalities but it also increases home market values. When selling a home, agents should consider whether or not the home has IoT capabilities for the value proposition. It will also be essential for agents to examine how IoT technology can help them increase their own job efficiency and generate leads.

Adrian Fisher

Adrian Fisher

CEO and Founder

Adrian Fisher is the CEO and founder of PropertySimple, a real estate technology software that allows agents to build their personal brand online.