Price, complexity and security breeches…. Learn how to dispute the myths about home automation and bring new customers.
Most of the public don’t know the benefits of home automation solutions in detail. Because of this, potential customers are prone to believe in the myths surrounding home automation.
Today, the market increasingly demands that home automation integrators are multitasking professionals. Technically, they must be able to efficiently provide and install networks and devices in the customer’s home. Additionally, they must also be good sales reps, promoting and providing third-party automation solutions.
Wow! So much work needed to convince, convert and keep potential customers. How do you do this successfully?
In this post, we will provide you with convincing arguments to counter customer resistance and increase your business. Many of these ideas add to the tools the integrator can use to have a positive approach to sales. First, lets address the five main myths.
1. Home automation is very expensive.
2. My security will be jeopardize by automation devices.
3. I need to own my home to install automation.
4. It is very difficult to use automation today.
5. Residential automation is just a trend.
HOME AUTOMATION IS VERY EXPENSIVE
This is the main myth about home automation, but the truth is that home automation doesn’t need to be expensive.
This is going to be the most common excuse customers will use for not converting their home into a smart-home. The cost of home automation is proportional to the complexity of the project-design. The type of solution chosen – wired or wireless – will be based on the customer needs and the dimensions of the residences.
The whole process of creating a robust and integrated project begins with the mapping of energy consumption and the end user knowledge. The preparation of this step will be the starting point for an estimate of the budget required for the installation.
However, large residences – over 4305 square foot – will need power distribution networks and boxes. Due to the limited range of wireless communication, the integrator can opt for a fully wired or mixed solution (a hybrid with wireless and cabled modules). Another important aspect that plays into the price is the need for refurbishment, and whether the existing networks can be used, or if they are in need of replacement.
A wired platform does require a higher initial investment, but in the long-term, the benefits can offset the higher value. It is estimated that up to 30% of the initial value invested can be recovered with energy efficiency and consumption optimization: sustainability should never be overlooked as a sales strategies!
Finally: home automation increases the total value of the property. In a retrofit, it is estimated that it can add up to 10% of its original price. With this information in hand, turning your potential clients into loyal customers will be easier than ever.
MY SECURITY WILL BE JEOPARDIZE BY AUTOMATION DEVICES
The vulnerability of automation devices depends primarily on the adherence to good user practices. Risk is inherent to any equipment connected to the worldwide network, which is why we often hear that new daily cyber-attacks are being planned to steal information and damage systems.
With a higher connectivity through the Internet of Things, the issue of privacy in smart-houses is more vital than ever. According to the Parks Associates’ trend report, 50% of US users are concerned about data theft by hackers. Many consumers are also wary of companies using sensitive data without permission.
These issues must be dealt with by constructing a secure network infrastructure for the integration of the customers’ system. In wireless solutions, the integrator must put especial care in router security. It is important to enable the firewall and, if possible, connect the automation devices to Virtual Private Networks (VPN). This restricts access and makes it difficult for hackers to identify devices, reducing the risk by a Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS).
Another important evaluation that needs to be made is what degree of connectivity the user wants. An important advantage of automated systems lies in the learning of the machine. Smart-devices make autonomous decisions according to the data captured by sensors. However, it is even more important the configuration of interfaces that make the human-machine interaction, such as scene configuration, equipment settings, and user identification.
Not everyone who automates their home will be heavy-users to the point of needing multiple gadgets synchronized to solutions such as smart watches and voice assistants. Remember, the more connectivity, the more data you will share and store in the cloud.
Consequently, when developing the project, it is necessary to explain the pros and cons of the adding functionalities to the clients.
IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO USE AUTOMATION TODAY
On the contrary! The best home automation solutions on the market today are characterized by usability and customization. All components of the system, be that sensors, actuators or interfaces are adapted to fit seamlessly to the space and daily life of the residents.
Also, applications developed by the manufacturer make the process of integrating electric charges that control appliances and lighting easier. New technology allows the user to simply recognize the automation device (micromodules) by reading the QR code, or registering infrared codes. It is so simple that it can be done without any help from the integrator!
In addition, residential projects can provide different levels of access to customers. This allows different users of the same system to adjust individual features through the App. The integrator can preset the configuration of interfaces and apps by using the smart-home’s software-solution.
The benefit of the practical setup is so great that it makes the automation product ideal for perfecting home accessibility.
A personalized automation makes the whole residential environment suitable to use by the elderly, children, and people with special needs. More importantly, the introduction of voice assistants promises to reduce dependence on mobile devices.
However, keep in mind that the more complex the features, the higher the cost of home automation. If the customer is interested in few resources or demonstrates an “immature” product profile, it is preferable to create a flexible design. By keeping the ability to incorporate new functionality in the long run, everyone wins.
I NEED TO OWN MY HOME TO INSTALL AUTOMATION
Many potential customers make the mistake of believing this myth, ignoring wireless home automation solutions. This is especially true of real estate agents who worry about changes in the physical structure of the house. Not only that, many of them are ignorant to the fact that these home automation platforms are much cheaper and easier to install!
Wireless-enabled systems have facilitated low-cost automation without losing the key features available in wired networks. On the same automation center, the user controls air conditioning, lighting, security of doors, curtains, and appliances; other subsystems can be integrated, such as fire alarms, warning sirens and CCTV cameras.
This is a great alternative for those who have old automation systems at home or who otherwise don’t want a retrofit. New systems are constantly improving, with the integration of new equipment and functionalities for their apps. In the short term, they hardly become obsolete, guaranteeing a return on investment in the project.
These are some examples of niche markets that can greatly benefit from this type of platform, as they share the same “pain”:
- Offices and closed working environments;
- Hotels and B&Bs;
- Buildings and public offices.
RESIDENTIAL AUTOMATION IS JUST A TREND
This is one of the easiest myths to debunk! This market is expected to grow 25% between 2015 and 2020, reaching the amount of total spending to $7 billion dollars.
In the future, home automation can become a staple in the sale of real estate, like the European market. Today, it is possible to see it as an investment. It is estimated that the systems installations increase the value of the property by up to 10%, and with the integration of wireless systems, its initial cost will fall even more.
Additionally, the smart home service is expanding into new business models. There are increasingly new ways to sell automation products and explore niche markets, such as compact apartments. In other words, residential automation is here to stay.
The current American residential automation market offers solutions for the elaboration of projects with different levels of complexity. However, the consumer still has resistance to these technologies, mainly in relation to the cost and difficulty of use. At this point, the integrator must work to change the mindset of this target audience, highlighting automation as a long-term investment.
Another way to penetrate the market is to improve its customer service and humanize its approach to the customer. Only then, will the integrator overcome these myths about home automation.