Smart Marketing for Smart Homes


At Inman Connect New York this week, we heard from Matthew Rathbun and Angel Piontek of Coldwell Banker Elite about how agents can establish themselves as a smart home resource.



We know by definition that a smart home is a home equipped with network-connected products for controlling functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety and entertainment, either remotely or with a separate system within the home itself. Now we want to know, what’s the best way to market yourself as a smart home resource?

At Inman Connect New York this week, Matthew Rathbun and Angel Piontek of Coldwell Banker Elite walked us through their best tips below to maximize an agent’s smart home marketing potential.

Start with Product Knowledge

See what the latest smart home products are and figure out which ones are right for you by visiting the smart home aisle in your local electronic store, following internet of things (IoT) podcasts and blogs, and integrating smart home products into personal usage. Agents must be adapting to these tech trends, otherwise they run the risk of being left behind.

Stand Out from the Competition

Use your smart home knowledge to differentiate yourself from competing agents. When you convey to the client the lifestyle benefits of specific smart home products beyond just the basic functions, it adds a unique value to your offering. Take, for example, smart thermostats – the most-desired smart product to have pre-installed, according to our 2018 Smart Home Marketplace Survey. By explaining how the product offers convenience to easily change the room temperature and energy savings, it helps the client picture themselves benefitting from its use. Your digital brand is another key component that will impact your position as an industry expert. Everything you do online becomes part of your digital footprint that serves as a gateway to expand your network and show your followers how you’re staying on top of the latest trends.

Develop a Communication Plan

Building on your digital brand, you need a communication plan to effectively market yourself. Understand your client persona so you can specifically target your message based on their needs. Going back to the lifestyle benefits, consider how you can show the buyer or seller these smart home products are enhancing the quality of life. When online, follow industry influencers and engage with their posts to build your own base of followers. Link each of your social media accounts back to your website so it becomes a hub where your followers will want to return to for new smart home information.

Integrate Video and Virtual Reality

We know from our latest smart home survey that home buyers are embracing video and virtual reality house tours, and video walkthroughs are a convenient way for agents to connect with home buyers both from the local neighborhood and outside regions. Cameras such as Immoviewer can be used to create engaging virtual reality tours enhanced with callout boxes that allow buyers to learn more about specific smart home products featured in the listing. Videos can also be used as an opportunity to show product installation how-to guides or general smart home advice that then live on your blog or social media channels as an ongoing resource for consumers.

As mentioned, personal usage is a top way to build product knowledge. So, at the end of the session, one lucky agent won a brand-new Honeywell Smart Home Security product integrated with Amazon Alexa, facial recognition and more.

Senior Manager, Public Relations for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Grew up in south Florida as an avid Seminole fan and attended college in the mountains of North Carolina. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. Athena has worked for Coldwell Banker for 15 years where she can be found generating buzz about this awesome brand in every way possible. On any given day, she can be found crunching numbers to searching for amazing Coldwell Banker properties to serve up to the media for features. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or scouring Etsy for that next amazing handcrafted gem. She resides with the Bukowski of our generation (AKA her husband) and her cat (Jolene) in Atlanta, Ga.

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