If you love the idea of being able to unlock your front door using your smart phone or use an in-home camera to watch your kids while you’re still at work, you probably love the idea of having a “smart home.” However, when your “smart devices” fly off the handle, it can be downright scary, as many users of a certain smart-home network purchased by Google for billions in late 2014 can attest. Nest, which is widely considered to be one of the most potential-filled smart-home systems, has gotten some pretty negative publicity lately thanks to some truly disturbing YouTube footage of smart fire alarms “going berserk” and a number of highly-publicized camera and film outages that left parents unable to contact or supervise their offspring.
While Nest products, as you might expect, work really well a lot of the time, the times that they malfunction are far more entertaining and likely to go viral. Furthermore, Nest has a “nasty habit” of blaming its service providers brutally and sometimes without investigation for product malfunctions, and rumor has it that the upper management echelons are in turmoil at the moment as well. Add all this together, and things are not presently looking bright for Google’s latest way to invade your home.
Lesson to Learn: As more and more homeowners want smart-appliances in their homes, real estate investors are beginning to install them in rehabs and renovations as well as in new development. Investors must determine for themselves and their market whether negative publicity and high-profile service outages mean that smart items should be left to the homeowner to install, Nest specifically should be avoided, or the whole thing is not really that big a deal.
Point to Ponder:
In your opinion and experience, do home-buyers really make their decisions based on the presence or absence of smart appliances?
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