You Can Benefit

Ten types of people who should look at smart lock options

Sales of home automation systems and connected or smart locks are growing every year. According to a Consumer Electronic Association (CEA) and Parks Associates survey, 13 percent of broadband households already own at least one smart home device, and 20 percent of households with broadband intend to acquire one or more smart devices. The survey also indicated that nearly two-thirds of consumers will purchase a smart device, like a smart door lock that can communicate with another smart device.

So, who are buying these systems with smart locks, and why are they buying them?

CONVENIENCE IS THE KEY

Across the board, one of the primary factors driving the sale of smart locks is convenience. Security is always going to be a factor, but the principal reasons for the increased sale of home automation systems in general and smart locks in particular are convenience and affordability. People love the idea that, with any one of numerous quality home automation systems, they can control their home and their locks through an app on their smart phone or tablet.

Users also appreciate the fact that the price for this level of convenience has come way down; smart locks are more affordable than ever before. Plus, home automation products are now available in hundreds of brickand- mortar stores as well as digital retail sites. Today these products are very easy to find, via websites like Amazon and at retail chains like Lowes, Home Depot, and Best Buy (though professional installation is still a highly desired service).

Another reason why the number of potential buyers for smart locks is on the rise is because people are becoming accustomed to not carrying keys. If you have a car that was made in the last 5-8 years, odds are pretty good you carry a key fob in your pocket. You can unlock your car from inside the house or halfway across the parking lot. You may even have a push-button start in your car, meaning you might never need a car key at all. So, what type of person is a potential smart lock customer? Here are 10.

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

Anyone with school-age children or older is an ideal candidate. If parents work and can’t be home when their children get home from school, the term “latchkey children” no longer need apply. With smart locks, school kids don’t need to carry a house key around with them, a key that they can easily misplace. They just need to punch in a code.

With the notifications that smart locks can provide, parents can enjoy the peace of mind of getting a text message when the door is unlocked. Plus, if the home automation system includes video cameras, parents can receive a video clip of their child entering the house safely.

These same benefits apply when younger kids become teens or even young adults, and their independence increases. Smart locks can time/date stamp a teenager or college-age child. In other words, parents can know exactly when their teen son or daughter arrives home.

PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE, AND HIRE THEM

You are probably not going to give the user code for your smart lock to every plumber or electrician, but if you have a long-standing relationship with a service provider or trust them enough to give them a code (that can be set to work a certain day or period of time) or let them into your home remotely, then you are a great candidate for a smart lock.

In the same way a smart lock lets you time/date stamp a child, a smart lock can also provide you with an information trail for a service provider. This is particularly valuable when you’re paying by the hour. You can also let a nanny or babysitter into the home, and take comfort in knowing that they’ll be there when your child arrives home from school.

PEOPLE ON THE RUN

Have you ever gone out for a run or brisk walk and struggled to find a place to put your house key? Most running shorts don’t have pockets, or they have one tiny pocket in the back. So you end up tying the key around your neck. With a smart lock, joggers and exercisers can leave the house unencumbered by a key.

TRAVELERS

People who leave their homes for extended periods of time want to enjoy a vacation (or a work trip) free of stress and worry. A smart lock can be a great stress-reliever. With a smart lock, you can provide a trusted neighbor with a code that gives them remote access to your home while you’re away. So instead of putting a hold on your mail or newspapers, or having the mail stack up in the mailbox, a neighbor can bring the mail into your house. While they have access to your home, they can water the plants, feed the fish, or turn on an outside light.

Of course, when your smart lock is tied into a home automation system, you can also turn on that light at night, adjust the thermostat, and keep an eye on your home through your video cameras.

VACATION PROPERTY OWNERS

A vacation property can be a great place to get away, but it can also be a source of stress when things go wrong and you can’t get there. With a home automation system, the owner of a vacation home can be made aware of and address all problems from a distance. They can use connected sensors, like a motion or flood sensor, to warn them of a potentially damaging problem like a broken pipe or window. They can look at the problem through a security camera, and they can let a repair person into the home to fix the problem.

Owners of rental properties can also use the smart lock to give renters and guests access to their home. You no longer need to provide keys that can get lost, copied or stolen. Instead, user codes can be given out and changed on a regular basis.

HOSTS

Sometimes, a person’s own home can be a getaway destination for friends and relatives. Just because you have a guest room (or couch) doesn’t mean you need to give a key to all your friends and family. They can each have her own user code—a code that can be deleted when he or she no longer needs it. Smart locks are, in fact, the safest and most convenient way possible to establish who has access to your home, and when they have it.

PEOPLE WITH SENIOR PARENTS

Adult children who care for their senior parents in their own home or their parents’ home can take on a lot of responsibility and stress. Today’s home automation is at the forefront of making “aging in place” a reality. There are sensors that can be placed at the bottom of stairwells, in bedrooms, and in medicine cabinets— devices[1] that alert adult children to potential health issues when motion is not detected for a long time.

Smart locks are a central feature in these “aging in place” home automation scenarios. With smart locks, unwanted guests are kept out, while access is granted to loved ones, caregivers, and even first responders in emergency situations. There’s no need to break through a door when access is granted through a smart phone.

HOMEOWNERS

There is always a tremendous opportunity to sell the latest technology to people who own a new home, or want to make their old home feel new again. When someone is updating their home, it’s the perfect time to talk about a new home theater, speakers on the ceiling, or a home automation system. People who are already investing in something like a new kitchen may be open to other relatively inexpensive upgrades, like an advanced thermostat, a device to control their lighting, or a smart lock.

TECHIES

There is a new breed of gadget lover out there: the (mostly) Gen-Yers or millennials who keep abreast of the weekly (or even daily) advances in home technology. They read the gadget blogs, subscribe to the technology pubs, and may already know as much about the latest smart lock advances as you do. These consumers are born into the digital age and are going to want the latest and greatest of everything the world has to offer, including a smart lock.

As the accessibility, functionality, security and even aesthetics of smart locks improve, the door is opening wider and wider in almost every home for smart-lock sales— especially with the prices going down. Smart locks enhance the value of every home automation sale, and can even enhance the value of every home.

So, practically anyone can be a potential smart lock user as the list of people who can benefit from a smart lock is growing longer every day.

This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Security Today.

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