Whether a fan, critic, or all around abstainer of Robert Zemeckis’s “Back to the Future” film trilogy, one thing remains true, the future is now! The second film in the series, “Back to the Future II,” aimed to depict American life on October 21, 2015 from a 1989 perspective. That date actually occurring this past year has drawn much attention and speculation on how the film measured up to reality. Although the film didn’t perfectly match our dayto- day uses of technology, the message is clear: technological advancements are possible, attainable, and necessary! I am not here to give the movie a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” but rather invite homeowners and buyers to appreciate this ever-evolving world of technology, as it can be life enhancing and profitable.

Today, the Smart Phone has become as American as Apple (no pun intended) Pie. Next came Smart Tablets, and Smart Watches to sync to our Smart Phones, with of course Smart Cars soon to follow. This technology was designed to give people something to make their lives easier to a degree that evokes willingness to invest in it, and do so continually and on a regular basis. The genesis of the smart device was one to help people specifically while on “the go.” That being said, you may be surprised that the next offspring of the Smart Family, and one of the most cost effective, will be the Smart Homes.

One of the top devices I would recommend to homeowners and sellers is the Smart Thermostat. A Smart Thermostat connects to the Internet, allowing you to control it from anywhere you have Internet access; most commonly, it will be monitored by a user’s Smart Phone application. An extremely practical usage of the Smart Thermostat for day-to-day use is programming it to heat or cool your abode so it is the perfect temperature when you get home from work. This is far more cost-effective and energy conscience than just “letting it run,” and extremely timesaving versus the old-fashioned “Beep. Beep. Beep.” while you “toggle… toggle… toggle…” through the digits to set the timer.

A Smart Thermostat is a busy person’s new best friend, the guilt and shame of leaving the AC on 65 degrees when you’re out of town for two weeks is a thing of the past. Another Smart Thermostat bonus is it keeps you abreast of your home’s climate even when you aren’t there! For example, the long-trusted Honeywell brand’s Smart Thermostat’s application will display indoor/outdoor temperature, relative humidity, and also alert you to extreme temperature changes and when you should change the filter of your furnace for optimal efficiency. An investment in a Smart Thermostat will easily pay off with this customizable usage strategy. A homeowner is sure to be pleased with the overall convenience factor, and should they decide to sell their home, an attractive touchscreen Smart Thermostat has major curb appeal to a buyer.

The appeal of the Thermostat is just a tipping point when it comes to the aggregate of Smart Technology available for the home. Security systems are now high-tech without being bulky, and their capabilities have reached far beyond sounding alarms and setting off motion lights. With Smart Security, users have the option to invest in multi-camera systems installed (or placed, rather) in and around their home. The result is the availability of full-featured footage of the property at the user’s fingertips via a Smart Phone (or any internet enabled device). Perhaps you don’t need a complete security control room monitoring every inch of your home, but it’s still wise to have some protection as well as peace of mind.

A single unit Smart Security system will afford you many advantages when you are away from home. This system will send alerts to your phone about motion detection and can even sync with a smoke alarm. If you get a notification, you can tap into the live feed and see what’s going on no matter what time of day as these Smart Security systems are equipped with Night Vision. Piggy-backed on the video feed idea is the Smart Doorbell, such as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, which works with an existing hardwired doorbell. This slimly designed doorbell records 1080p HD video, has advanced motion detection, night vision, and even recorded video with cloud storage. The Ring Doorbell is also just as useful when you are at home as when you are away. When the doorbell rings, and you’re not expecting anyone, you can tap into the application to see who’s there, and make your own decision if you want to open the door.

The innovation of technology to Smarten Up our home is pretty miraculous. It should be said that all of these Smart products begin to learn your behavior patterns, as do other products like the Smart Refrigerator that can order you more milk or eggs, for example, when you are running low, or the Amazon Echo who can call you an Über or stream your favorite playlist on your home stereo system, amongst other things. These are the kinds of features that make even the biggest techies sit back and say “Wow.” You, as the end user, and your guests, will likely feel the same.

Home buyers are certainly wising up to what’s out there and you can most certainly impress them and leave them in awe with these ultra modern and highly convenient systems. Having this technology at the time of showing reads deeper than “Meet George Jetson” (i.e. the homeowner just buys every existing craze because it’s out). It shows how you, as a real estate professional, care for your client and want them to be protected and at the same time, aid in the value of their home. Unless the buyer plans to tear down the home and rebuild, there is no way the Smart features of the home will go unnoticed, and can even speed up a sale, in which case, everybody wins.