You May Have a Smart Home - But Are You a Smart Homeowner?
When it comes to conveniences in your home, digital assistance like voice commands are the new norm. From Ring doorbells to Nest thermostats and lights that just seem to know when you need them, smart homes have become a reality.
When you think of a smart home you’re typically thinking of devices within your home that gather data about your habits, in turn making life more convenient for you by automating everyday tasks. Your thermostat knows what temperature you like during the night, and it makes adjustments on its own, because it learns your habits.
But there are also many digital home management platforms which help you digitally store data about your home improvements. If you have any plans to sell your home, or just don’t like shuffling through paperwork to see when your last repair was, digital home management is the headache relief you’ve been looking for.
So what exactly is the difference between smart home technology and digital home management? Let’s start with the smart home.
The Rise of the Smart Home
In today’s digital world, phrases like “Alexa, play ‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac” are commonplace. From smart speakers to smart TVs, and even smart refrigerators, the Internet of Things encompasses more than the smartphone in your pocket. In fact, homeowners can virtually connect all of their smart devices (toothbrushes included) to work in concert with one another; giving them a genuinely modern-day smart home. While some may find the idea of their inanimate digital devices being directly connected to one another a bit invasive, there can be benefits to collecting this data.
What information is my smart home collecting?
With intelligent home automation forecasted to be a $50.45 billion dollar industry by year 20222, it’s not a stretch to say that the amount of information being collected about smart device usage, and the user, will become more accurate and ever present. As a matter of fact, popular automated vacuum, Roomba, has already started to map out homes, and smart televisions share exactly what you watch each day. In doing this, the information collected and shared could offer opportunities for big business (like Amazon) to fine-tune their products for consumers. Simply put, a smart home is all of the IoT devices within your home learning about your habits and making your life easier (hopefully).
What’s the difference between a smart home and digital home management?
Digital home management is the process of keeping digital records of everything relating to home inventory, maintenance, and repair. Unlike a smart home, it’s more about what you do TO your house than what you do IN your house. Digital home management allows homeowners to maintain a digital transcript of when and where a home improvement took place, as well as the cost of said improvement without having to worry about storing the paperwork.
It’s no secret that keeping track of the services you put towards home repair and improvement - like roof inspections, new paint jobs and window installations - can help homeowners sell their home in the future. After all, keeping a library of the time and money invested into a home is a great way to gauge property value - and the Internet of Things has made storing this information even more accessible.
Digital Home Management: There’s an App for That
When it comes to keeping track of items in your home or repairs made to your home, it probably comes as no surprise that “there’s an app for that”. In fact, some apps have made it so easy for you to maintain a record of your home’s inventory or track your home’s history, homeowners would be foolish to not take advantage of them.
Home History Apps
One example is an app known as HomeTrackR. Think of HomeTrackR as the CarFax of home buying. This app allows buyers to learn information about a home’s history - like permits pulled and which contractors did work on the home, to calamity damage and inspection history. In short, it provides potential buyers with a home history report, allowing buyers to make informed decisions when deciding whether to buy or keep searching.
Collecting Home Improvement Data in One Digital Place
Some companies and apps help you track details about your home DIY projects as a way to help them stand out from competitors. Behr, the paint company, offers its customers a tool that tracks the paint color in the rooms throughout your house. It also offers apps to help you visualize what your room will look like in a certain color. This makes it easier for homeowners to pick colors, touch-up old paint spots, share colors with friends and color match walls to other purchases they may make online.
Home Inventory Apps
Other apps to help homeowners in digital home management offer services to keep track of your home’s inventory. While we never want to think about what we will do in a disaster, keeping a digital library of belongings makes it much less stressful to file an insurance claim during those difficult times. With photo upload and information about your belongings like price, model and serial number, home inventory apps help you prepare for the worst. For a full list of useful home management apps, check out this article from Forbes.
Drone Inspections with Superstorm
In an effort to digitize our process, Superstorm Restoration has made advancements to our property inspections. Our free drone inspections do more than provide homeowners with a new view of their roof and more detailed reporting of the current state of their property. They allow us to store your information for years to come. This means that even if you don’t need your inspection information right away, we are able to provide homeowners with their property information months - or years - later so you always know the state of your property at the time of inspection.
Superstorm Restoration’s drone property inspection can show buyers or real estate agents precise information about the condition of a roof, maintenance that went into it and when/if improvements will need to be made in the future. Knowing information about the roof of a home is a big benefit for homebuyers who want to limit upcoming expenses. In short, having access to the digital information from drone inspections gives us a baseline of the condition of your property at any given time for years to come.
Advantages of Digital Home Management
The obvious advantage of utilizing apps and digital-forward services like drone property inspections is that it rids the need of a paper trail. Once your information is stored digitally, it can be accessed anywhere you have an Internet connection whenever you might need it. Whether you’re storing data with the hopes to sell or simply trying to organize your life and your home, digital home management is our pick over the old filing cabinet method.
The second greatest advantage of storing your home’s history and improvements digitally is to show insurance companies and/or future buyers the exact state of your home at the time of the renovation. Apps like HomeZada, provide homeowners with a centralized hub of all of their home’s financial data, allowing user to track information such as costs towards home improvements, market value and inventory management.
The same way you would research a car to make an informed decision, so too would a diligent buyer research a home before making decisions. By taking advantage of digital home management apps and other “smart” property inspections services, you are able to give future buyers a more well-rounded interpretation of the current state of your home allowing for effortless future sales.
Digitally Document Your Home Condition with Superstorm Restoration
If you haven’t yet started to digitally keep track of your home maintenance, value and more, now is the ideal time to start! If you’re interested in learning more about how digital advancements can help you understand your home and keep digital records of your home’s vital information, contact one of our professional home contractors to see how digital home management can work for you.