Hey Google – What’s New in Smart Home?

 

Google was everywhere at this year’s CES. From billboards over the strip to branded monorail cars to a large outdoor booth in Central Plaza, you couldn’t take more than a few steps without seeing or hearing “Hey Google.” Our Blue Crew got a private tour of the Google Booth at Central Hall. Check out the video below to learn what real estate professionals need to know about Google Home.


If you’re already affiliated with Coldwell Banker and want to learn more about our Smart Home initiative, visit CB Exchange and search “Smart Home.”

If you would like to know what Coldwell Banker agents have access to, head to coldwellbanker.com/join and explore the possibilities of moving your business to Coldwell Banker.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on January 19, 2018 at 8:43 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, Apps, Google, real estate | Tagged , , , , , ,

Best of CES: Smartest Home Improvements for 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show was one for the books. This was my fourth year going and my biggest takeaway was that smart home tech is evolving at break neck speeds. The smart home show floor was massive and each category from security to entertainment is getting saturated with truly amazing concepts and products. Here were some of our absolute favorites in case you missed them…

In addition to all of the awesome items mentioned above, here were even more of our favorite smart home improvements…

Improving Your Smart Home’s “Brain”

What is the biggest downfall of smart home tech? To me, it is often the lack of one streamlined operating flow. With a ton of different apps and operating systems sometimes smart home tech can actually feel a little dumb.

The good news? At this year’s show it seemed like almost every single product integrated with Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home product. So the first smart home improvement you should make is picking one of these systems and finding products that sync with them. Which one is better? According to Forbes, Amazon is winning the race.

Improving Your Garage (and mental health)

Did you shut it?

Did you?

I can’t remember.

I’m pretty sure you did.

I am turning around…I have to check.

Have you had this conversation with their significant other or perhaps even yourself about your garage door? We have it at a few times a month at my house. That is why the Roost Smart Garage Door Sensor made my list. With a combination of home protection and peace of mind, this WiFi connected door sensor sends you a notification telling you if your door in open or closed. The biggest drawback though? If you did leave it open there is nothing it can do for you. Still a great product for those who get open door anxiety like me! Roost also has some other cool smart home devices you can learn about here.

This will be available sometime in the spring and will be priced at $40.

Improving The Safety In An Elderly Person’s Home

I believe there is no price you can place on the safety of a loved one. Especially when it comes to the safety of an elderly parent. If you

Improving Your Home’s Cleanliness

Over the past few year’s robo vacuum cleaners have gained popularity with products like the Roomba. If you enjoy having one (or have one on your wishlist) I have a feeling you’re also going to love the Cop Rose Window Cleaning Robot. Window cleaning is a tedious task and if you have pets or small children, it can feel like a never ending chore with little hand and nose prints everywhere you turn. This smart window cleaner will keep windows, as well as other vertical surfaces, in tip top shape with a touch of a button from your smart phone. It can also be used floors and walls.

At $150, this product is a great way to avoid one of most dreaded household chores. More information here.

Improving Your Home Gym

Peloton has already built a cult like following around their bike product and and now they’re hoping to do the same around their new treadmill called the Peloton Tread. The fancy treadmill is equipped with a 32 inch touchscreen display that allows the runner to stream classes in a studio like setting from NYC’s best instructors.

The Peloton Tread comes with a hefty price tag at $4,000 PLUS an additional $39 monthly fee for live classes. It will start shipping this fall but you can reserve one now.

 

Bonus Product: Improving Your Kitchen Gadget Collection

While this isn’t technically a smart home improvement I couldn’t help but share one of my personal favorites from the show which was the Coravin Model 11.  Have you ever wanted to drink just one glass of wine but passed because you didn’t want to ruin the bottle? The model 11 allows you to enjoy a glass without ever removing the cork or damaging the wine itself. This “first ever” fully connected automatic wine preservation opener works by placing a super thing needle through the cork. Check it out:

Like the Peloton Treadmill, this item comes with a large price tag at $1,000 but if you are serious about your wine then this is totally worth it splurge.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on January 17, 2018 at 8:42 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, Google, real estate, Smart Homes | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Turn Them Blue

Many companies have already incorporated smart home tech into their daily business. Some have installed smart locks, lights or thermostats in the office. Many have encouraged agents to take the Coldwell Banker Smart Home course. The first-and-only course of its kind created for real estate agents. Companies have also encouraged agents to talk about the benefits of smart home tech in listing presentations.

Have you considered how you can use the brand’s leadership in the Smart Home space as a way to set your company apart and attract new agents to your office?  

Even for agents who haven’t yet had a transaction that included smart home tech in one way or another, chances are good that they will in 2018. Most aren’t going to be prepared. And many may not even know where to go to find information on how smart home can or should fit into their business.

January is Smart Home Month here at Coldwell Banker. We are kicking the month off with our sponsorship of the Smart Home Marketplace at CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas! We will have agents from around the country creating content specifically to help other agents understand how to use Smart Home in their own business. This is a great opportunity for you to reach out to the agents in your market, offer them information and demonstrate the value you can add to their business. Here are a few questions to start with:

  • Have you considered how to talk about smart home tech during a listing presentation?
  • Do you know what you would say if a client asked you about the value of smart home tech during a purchase or sale?
  • Have you thought about using smart home as a reason to get in front of your sphere and network in the new year?

Every day in January we will be adding new tips, tricks and best practices for incorporating smart home tech into a real estate business, along with new product spotlights. All of this content can be found at ces.coldwellbanker.com. That means every day there is a new reason to talk to your list of prospects.

Showing agents the power and importance of this technology in the sale of a home, is yet another way you can bring value to agents in your office and attract those not yet affiliated. Leverage the leadership of Coldwell Banker in this area to deliver a clear edge for agents by sharing insights into state-of-the-art smart home technologies and how to leverage them to dominate the marketplace.

From content to conferences, Coldwell Banker is collecting and delivering leading edge insights during Smart Home Month to help you understand how the smart home boom impacts real estate:

  • CES: Catch Coldwell Banker on the floor of CES, Jan. 9-12 as the exclusive sponsor of the Smart Home Marketplace, which has grown every year since we began our sponsorship in 2016. It’s now over 114,000 square feet.
  • Consumer Survey: Find out how consumers view smart home tech, what they expect agents to know about it and how they react to VR. Spoiler alert – they love it!
  • Inman Connect New York: Coldwell Banker sponsors ICNY, Jan. 22-26, and hosts an exclusive lunch and learn on Jan. 23 where participants get the inside track on how to use smart home to market themselves and their listings.
  • Daily Content: Get an agent’s perspective on how smart home tech can benefit your real estate business with video and blog posts straight from the CES show floor.
  • Case Studies: Two case studies – one from T3 Sixty and one from Samsung – will explore how agents can be the early adopters of smart home in their market and how VR can truly set a listing apart.

If you’re already affiliated with Coldwell Banker and want to learn more about our Smart Home initiative, visit CB Exchange and search “Smart Home.”

If you would like to know what Coldwell Banker agents have access to, head to coldwellbanker.com/join and explore the possibilities of moving your business to Coldwell Banker.

Posted on January 8, 2018 at 9:20 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, gadgets, real estate, Smart Homes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Smart Home Month is Here

If you’re like most agents, you’re finalizing your plan for how to make the most of 2018. And if you’re like most agents, you probably haven’t considered how you are going to use smart home tech to get a leg up on the competition this year.

If you haven’t already had a transaction that included smart home tech in one way or another, chances are good that it you will in 2018. Are you prepared?

  • Have you considered how to talk about smart home tech during a listing presentation?
  • Do you know what you would say if a client asked you about the value of smart home tech during a purchase or sale?
  • Have you thought about using smart home as a reason to get in front of your sphere and network in the new year?

Lucky for you, January happens to be Smart Home Month here at Coldwell Banker. Every day in January you’ll be able to find tips, tricks and best practices for incorporating smart home tech into your real estate business. Bookmark ces.coldwellbanker.com and check back daily to find all this, plus new product spotlights and posts that you can share with your sphere and even a few exclusive product giveaways (for the Coldwell Banker network)!

Understanding the power and importance of this technology in the sale or purchase of a home, is yet another way you can bring value to your clients. From content to conferences, Coldwell Banker is collecting and delivering leading insights during Smart Home Month to help give you an edge and build your understanding of how the smart home boom impacts real estate:

  • CES (Consumer Electronic Show): Catch Coldwell Banker on the floor of CES, Jan. 9-12 as the exclusive sponsor of the Smart Home Marketplace. Which has grown every year since we began our sponsorship in 2016. It’s now over 114,000 square feet.
  • Consumer Survey: Find out how consumers view smart home tech, what they expect agents to know about it and how they react to VR. Spoiler alert – they love it!
  • Inman Connect New York: Coldwell Banker sponsors ICNY, Jan. 22-26, and hosts an exclusive lunch and learn on Jan. 23 where participants get the inside track on how to use smart home to market themselves and their listings.
  • Daily Content: Get an agent’s perspective on how smart home tech can benefit your real estate business with video and blog posts straight from the CES show floor.
  • Case Studies: Two case studies – one from T3 Sixty and one from Samsung – will explore how agents can still be the early adopter of smart home in their market and how VR can truly set your listing apart.

The leadership of Coldwell Banker in this area delivers a clear edge to agents and brokers who embrace the smart home trend. By leveraging these insights into state-of-the-art smart home technology you can further dominate your market.

If you’re already affiliated with Coldwell Banker and want to learn more about our Smart Home initiative, visit CB Exchange and search “Smart Home.”

If you would like to know what Coldwell Banker agents have access to, head to coldwellbanker.com/join and explore the possibilities of moving your business to Coldwell Banker.

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on January 5, 2018 at 3:43 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, Smart Homes | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Special Delivery! How Video Cameras Can Help You Keep Track of Packages

As convenient as online shopping is for consumers, it’s even more convenient for package thieves.

 

Families are shopping online more than ever before, and for a good reason—the web allows every store to compete for your business with instant comparison shopping, and to deliver your hand-picked items straight to your doorstep with a few quick clicks. Who wants to fight through lines in a crowded department store when it’s so easy to shop from the couch?

As convenient as online shopping is for consumers, it’s even more convenient for package thieves. It’s not unheard of for homes that used to receive packages once in a blue moon to now receive deliveries on almost a daily basis (especially during the holiday season). This makes entryways and driveways prime targets for criminals who can slip on and away from your porch without a trace.

According to findings from a new Wakefield Research poll for Comcast, 3 in 10 Americans who live in houses or townhomes have been victims of package theft.  And 53% of Americans know someone who has had a package stolen from outside their home.

Thankfully, today’s smart security cameras can help you stay on top of every delivery and get those holiday packages safe and sound.

Outdoor Cameras

Battery-powered outdoor cameras from companies like Nest and Canary are a great way to stay on top of activity in your driveway. Manage them with a mobile app, and integrate all your connected devices through a smart home hub from your internet service provider, and you can receive instant alerts the moment a delivery truck rolls up. Most cameras offer motion-based recording that can help catch suspicious characters, and many offer powerful night vision sensors that can detect even the sneakiest thief when they think they’re imperceptible.

Indoor Cameras and Doorbells

When it comes to protecting your porch, indoor security cameras facing a window are a great option, as are products like the Ring video doorbell. Video doorbells offer live video and two-way talk, allowing you to verbally accept deliveries when you’re not at home, direct delivery people to leave boxes in a more conspicuous spot, or ward off “porch pirates” before they even have a chance to touch your packages.

For a comprehensive solution, you can integrate your cameras, doorbell and lights into a full-home security system with professional monitoring, protecting your home, inside and out, 24/7.

Whichever devices you choose, mount them so that they’re visible to deter nefarious activity. Angle the cameras so that they’re sure to capture the image of any faces. That way, if the worst does happen, you’ll have a high-quality recording to hand over to law enforcement officers.

Don’t let your online shopping habit turn into a magnet for crime this holiday season. Keep an electronic eye on your front door, and ensure that your holiday packages arrive safely.

Eric Murrell is a software developer and technology contributor to XFINITY Home. He enjoys sharing tips on how people can benefit from incorporating smart home automation and security in their homes on his blog At Home in the Future.  

Source: CB Blue Matter Blog

Posted on December 21, 2017 at 10:50 am
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, Apps, real estate, video | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Privacy-Minded Home Security Options for the Camera Averse

As a homeowner, security and privacy can be an important priority. Learn about how to secure your home without always keeping a watchful eye.

Guest post by Eric Murrell 

It’s never been easier to secure your home, thanks to an abundance of new gadgets on the market. Setups that once required professional installation and thousands of dollars in highly technical equipment are now easy to put together with off-the-shelf products and a few inexpensive apps. It’s a great time to be a consumer, and frankly, a bad time to be a criminal.

All of these new gadgets and services are great, but what if you’re worried about your privacy? Hacks and security breaches in the news—or simply the fear of loss of privacy between family members—have made some people uncomfortable with a camera-based security system inside their home. Thankfully, you can still make high-tech upgrades to your home to keep you safe without always keeping a watchful eye.

The first option to consider is a modern twist on a classic home security setup: motion sensors. Whether it’s a motion-sensitive light on your front porch or a few sensors placed around the home, motion-activated lights and alarms can be a surprisingly effective deterrent to the average thief.

Using today’s smart home technology, it’s easier than ever to add battery-operated sensors to strategic spots around your home. Both inexpensive and easy-to-install, these new sensors can trip lights and alarms like the old ones, but can also pair with a smart home hub to send instant alerts to your smartphone the moment an intruder is detected. Take a close look at your new thermostat or other smart devices; many include motion sensors that are already built-in.

To add an additional layer of security, purchase smart door and window sensors that serve as a first line of defense from the outside world. Like the motion sensors, inexpensive models are available that integrate with most smart home platforms. It’s simple to configure open and closed alerts, but you might find it even more helpful as a passive form of home security. Worried that you forgot to close the garage door after letting the dog out? By taking a quick glance at an app while you work, you can know for sure.

Even if you rule out in-home smart cameras, do consider having smart cameras outside your home so you can see if packages are delivered and if there are any trespassers in your yard. The most well-regarded systems now include location-based privacy features that use your smartphone to automatically adjust their settings, offering an unprecedented combination of privacy and security. Using the GPS signal from your phone, it’s easy to activate your full security network when you leave the house, and have the cameras automatically turn a blind eye the second you pull in the garage.

Security is personal for every family. Explore your device options, and even ask your internet service provider if they offer a home security solution, as bundling services often results in additional savings. Likewise, your ISP may offer the ability to control all of your existing home security gadgets from a centralized app. Whether you install array of sneaky sensors or smart locks, there are a wealth of connected home devices that can help keep your family safe without betraying their privacy. A good night’s sleep is only an app away.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog

Posted on September 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, Apps, burglary, crime, gadgets, insurance, real estate, safety, security | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Alexa: Open Gen Blue News”

Thanks to Amazon, “Alexa” has become a household name. Now, Coldwell Banker is turning up the volume with a Skill for agents and brokers to get real estate news on-the-fly. We’re calling it Coldwell Banker Gen Blue News. Want to learn more? Let us break it down for you.

What’s a Skill? An Amazon Alexa Skill is an app for the voice-controlled Amazon Echo speakers.

How does it work? Once you enable the skill, just prompt Alexa with, “Alexa, open Gen Blue News.” In less than 90 seconds, Gen Blue News delivers best practices, industry insights and quick challenges to help you grow your business.

Why develop the Skill? Coldwell Banker surveyed its brokers and agents and found that 79 percent of respondents would be interested in a smart home speaker, like an Amazon Echo or Dot, that was equipped with real estate news and industry insights. Your wish is our command!

What can I expect from the Gen Blue News Skill? Episodes will feature quick tips and useful info to stay ahead in the market, challenges to act on immediately to drive business and agent success stories that offer an important dose of inspiration.

Who can I expect to hear from in the Gen Blue News Skill? You’ll hear the voices of brand leadership, industry insiders and the brokers and agents who make up the Coldwell Banker network. The first episode of the Skill features Brad Inman, founder and owner of Inman News, the leading source for real estate industry news. This episode is all about how agents can suit up for change with the innovative technology available in the real estate business.

How can I try this out for myself? You can search for the Coldwell Banker Gen Blue News Skill in the Amazon Alexa smartphone app, or using your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, you can ask Alexa, “Enable Coldwell Banker Gen Blue News.”

Don’t have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot? Don’t worry, the Echo Dot is available as part of the Smart Home Staging Kit alongside products from Nest, August and Lutron. Or you can buy on the Amazon Marketplace. If you’re with Coldwell Banker please log-in to Coldwell Banker Exchange to get your exclusive discount code.

Learn more about the Coldwell Banker “Home of the Week Skill” here!

*Article from Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog

Posted on August 3, 2017 at 2:46 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, appliances, Apps, Buyers, buying, community, Entertainment, financing, gadgets, real estate, Smart Homes, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Gets Vocal – Announcing Our First Amazon Alexa Skill

Smart Home Ready!  Meet Alexa and Coldwell Bankers first Alexa skill!

Coldwell Banker teamed up with Amazon’s Alexa to create its first Alexa skill, an extension of the popular Home of the Week series.

We’ve all heard that real estate is local, but Coldwell Banker has put its own spin on the adage, declaring all real estate is Vocal by announcing its first Amazon Alexa Skill, which will be available by the end of June.

What’s a Skill? An Amazon Alexa Skill is essentially an app for Amazon’s voice controlled Echo speakers.

How does it work? By prompting Amazon’s voice assistant with Alexa, Ask Coldwell Banker for the Home of the Week,users will hear a one-minute description of a featured Coldwell Banker listing and can be connected to their local Coldwell Banker office. The Skill is an extension of the Home of the Week video series which profiles the hottest Coldwell Banker listings each week.

Why develop the Skill? Consumer demand spurred development of the skill after a January Coldwell Banker survey found that 72% of consumers with smart home tech wanted voice control products. Coldwell Banker also surveyed nearly 1,000 Coldwell Banker real estate professionals and found that 79% of respondents report that home buyers are interested in smart home technology, underscoring growing demand for voice controlled assistants and other smart home devices.

Not only will this fulfill consumer demand, it will also provide agents with the ability to market their listings in a new and exciting way. Alexa users will be connected with their local Coldwell Banker office through the Alexa smartphone app.

How can I try this out for myself? If you have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, you can search for the Coldwell Banker Home of the Week Skill in the Amazon Alexa smartphone app, or simply ask Alexa to Enable Coldwell Banker Home of the Week later this month.

If you don’t already own an Echo or Echo Dot you’re in luck! Coldwell Banker is thrilled to announce that the Echo Dot will be joining its existing Smart Home Staging Kit alongside products from Nest, August and Lutron. Now homeowners and agents showing smart homes can control the house’s core functions through simple voice commands.

Interested in buying your own kit? Be sure to visit SmartHomeStaging.com and speak to your Coldwell Banker agent to take advantage of the exclusive promotional pricing!

So what’s next? Coldwell Banker looks forward to expanding its voice control capabilities for agents, buyers and sellers in the near future. Stay tuned!

Source: CB Blue Matter

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm
Kappel Gateway Realty | Category: Alexa, real estate, Smart Homes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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