BlogSmart Home May 19, 2023

Smart Home Security: Enhancing Your Home’s Protection with Technology

In today’s fast-paced world, ensuring the safety of our homes is a top priority. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made smart home devices that can significantly enhance home security more approachable and affordable for the general population. From motion sensors to video doorbells, these innovative gadgets offer peace of mind and an extra layer of protection for homeowners.

Now that these devices have been available on the market for a while, purchasing your own smart home security measures is easier and more accessible than ever. Looking to get started? Here are a few of our recommendations to protect your family with smart home technology.

1. Smart Video Doorbells:
Imagine having the ability to see and communicate with visitors at your front door, even when you’re not home. Smart video doorbells allow you to do just that! Video doorbells have revolutionized home security by providing a live video feed to your smartphone or tablet. With motion detection capabilities, these devices can instantly alert you when someone approaches your door or even record interactions with visitors to your home. From door-to-door salespeople to package drop-offs, video doorbells provide you with an added layer of awareness and security around your home. Whether it’s a delivery person or an unexpected visitor, you can remotely view and interact with them, deterring potential intruders and ensuring your home’s safety.

2. Motion Sensors and Intrusion Detection:
Motion sensors play a vital role in protecting your home by detecting any suspicious movement in and around your property. By strategically placing these sensors in key areas such as entrances, hallways, and windows, you can set up alerts for any unexpected or suspicious activity. Smart motion sensors can send instant notifications to your smartphone, allowing you to take immediate action or alert the authorities if necessary. Even more effective, linking motion sensors with smart lighting systems can further enhance security by illuminating the area when motion is detected, discouraging potential intruders, and allowing you a better idea of what is happening around your home.

3. Smart Locks and Access Control:
Traditional keys are prone to being lost, stolen, or duplicated, and can compromise your home’s security. Smart locks offer a modern solution by allowing you to control access to your home digitally. Features like keyless entry, temporary access codes, and remote locking/unlocking, smart locks are convenient and provide your family with peace of mind that your home is secure You can grant access to family members, friends, or service providers remotely, and even monitor the status of your locks from anywhere in the world. Smart locks not only support the overall security of your home but also eliminate the need for physical keys, making getting into your home much simpler.

4. Surveillance Systems and Indoor Cameras:
Installing interior surveillance systems as well as indoor cameras can act as a powerful deterrent against burglars. These devices offer real-time video monitoring of the inside of your home, enabling you to keep a watchful eye on your property, pets, or loved ones. With high-definition video quality and advanced features like night vision and two-way audio, indoor cameras provide a comprehensive security solution. Moreover, many smart cameras have built-in motion detection, triggering alerts and capturing footage whenever movement is detected.

Equip Your Home with Smart Home Security

The advent of smart home technology has revolutionized home security, making it more accessible and efficient than ever before. With devices like smart video doorbells, motion sensors, smart locks, and indoor cameras, homeowners can now enhance their security and protect their loved ones with ease.

Whether deterring potential intruders, monitoring activities, or controlling access, smart home tech brings major value to home security and a smart home setup as a whole. Investing in these devices not only ensures the safety of your home but also simplifies and enhances your daily life. When you embrace the power of smart home technology, you’ll enjoy the confidence of a secure and connected home!

BlogSmart Home April 24, 2023

3 Smart Ways to Take Advantage of AI in Your Home

As the world continues to become more and more digitally connected, artificial intelligence (AI) has been a major factor in transforming the way that we live, work, and play. While AI has been driving innovation through high-tech corporate applications, there are plenty of ways that the average person can take advantage of artificial intelligence even in day-to-day mundane tasks. 


In today’s blog, we’ll explore several of the most unusual yet helpful ways that average families can make the most of time and energy with the help of AI tools. 


1. AI for Meal Planning


Yes, you read that correctly. Meal planning! One of the most significant challenges of managing a home, particularly for large families, is meal planning. With busy schedules and limited time, it can be difficult to plan nutritious and delicious meals that everyone in the family will enjoy. Did you know that you can use tools like ChatGPT or other AI language models to create a customized meal plan for you? After providing a detailed explanation of the meals that your family typically enjoys, dietary restrictions, budget constraints, and any preferences, you can have AI create a full meal plan and even a grocery shopping list for your weekly meals. 

This is where AI can make a difference. Using an AI-powered chatbot like ChatGPT, you can create a meal plan for the week based on your dietary preferences, budget, and schedule. This is an excellent way to not only streamline a hectic daily chore but also allow for more creativity in the meals that you create with only a few clicks. 

2. AI as a Personal Assistant

Not everyone can swing hiring a dedicated personal assistant to help wrangle the chaos of everyday life, but with smart AI devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, you keep track of your to-do list, set reminders, and manage your schedule with ease. With voice-activated commands, you can ask your personal assistant to set a reminder for your next meeting, create an alarm for taking vitamins or exercising, or play your favorite music on a schedule. 


These AI-based personal assistants can also help you control any other smart devices in your home, such as lights, thermostats, and security cameras. With a simple voice command, you can turn off the lights, adjust the temperature, or check who is at the door. 


3. AI for Cleaning Your Home

No matter where you live – whether a rented room or an entire multi-level home – we all typically are responsible for some level of cleaning, organizing, and generally keeping our space tidy. While AI can’t exactly sort through piles of junk mail or dust your blinds for you, artificial intelligence offers several highly underrated ways to support your home cleaning routines. 


Using ChatGPT or similar software, you can have the AI create a detailed cleaning schedule based on your other commitments and your unique space. By providing ChatGPT with information about your home, your typical schedule, and the cleaning tasks that you’d like to get done, the AI can create an optimized schedule with time slots for completing each task. This way you only need to worry about knocking out each task – making the bed, vacuuming the floor, cleaning the microwave, etc. – rather than stressing about when you’ll fit them into your day.


If you want to take this one step further, AI can help you actually tackle the cleaning if you choose to invest in smart robot vacuums or mops. Some of the most advanced versions of these robotic cleaning tools can even map out your entire home and clean different areas of the house based on a schedule of your choosing. 


AI as the Ultimate Home Manager

Just about everyone could use some support in the running and managing of their home, and AI offers unparalleled potential for little to no cost to you! Whether through planning your homemaking activities or scheduling out responsibilities, don’t miss out on some of the most practical ways to bring this new technology closer to home!

BlogSmart Home April 3, 2023

Smart Home Trends for 2023: Transforming Your Virginia Home into a High-Tech Oasis

Smart homes are quickly becoming a reality, and many homeowners in Virginia are jumping on the trend. From voice-activated assistants to solar-powered gadgets, there’s a wide range of smart home technology that’s revolutionizing the way we live. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at three of the most significant smart home trends for 2023, explore their benefits, and provide tips on how you can implement them in your own home.


1. Voice-Activated Assistants

Voice-activated assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, have been around for a few years now, but they’re becoming increasingly popular in 2023. These assistants use natural language processing and artificial intelligence to understand and respond to spoken commands, making it easy to control your home’s smart devices without ever having to lift a finger.

The benefits of voice-activated assistants are numerous. Firstly, they provide a hands-free way to control your home’s smart devices, making it easy to adjust the temperature, turn on the lights, or even order groceries without having to touch a button. Additionally, voice assistants can learn your preferences and habits, allowing them to provide personalized suggestions and reminders that help you stay organized and productive.

Implementing voice-activated assistants in your home is extremely straightforward. You’ll need a compatible device, such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home, and smart devices that can be controlled with voice commands, such as smart thermostats, lighting systems, and smart locks. Most smart devices come with detailed instructions on how to set up voice control, and many can be controlled using a smartphone app, even when you’re away from home.


2. Solar-Powered Gadgets

As homeowners in Virginia become increasingly eco-conscious, solar-powered gadgets are quickly gaining popularity. From solar-powered outdoor lighting to solar-powered phone chargers, these gadgets use the power of the sun to provide energy, reducing your reliance on traditional electricity sources.

Solar-powered gadgets are more environmentally friendly than traditional gadgets, reducing your carbon footprint and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, solar-powered gadgets are typically cheaper to operate than their traditional counterparts, saving you money on your energy bill over time.

Implementing solar-powered gadgets in your home is relatively easy, but is entirely dependent on the extent that you plan to add them to your home. You’ll need to purchase solar-powered devices that meet your needs, such as outdoor lighting, phone chargers, or even solar-powered generators. Many solar-powered devices come with detailed instructions on how to set them up, and some can be connected to your home’s existing solar power system if you have one.

3. Smart Kitchens

In 2023, we can expect kitchen appliances to become even smarter, making cooking and baking easier, more convenient, and more precise. Voice-activated mixers that can read step-by-step instructions and weigh your ingredients to ensure accurate measurements will become more common, and smart ovens that monitor and adjust baking temperatures in real-time to avoid overcooking or undercooking food will be widely available.

Smart refrigerators will also become more prevalent, equipped with touchscreens that can display recipes, pictures, and control appliance settings. With the ability to control your appliances using your voice or a touchscreen, you can focus on other tasks while your food is cooking or baking.

If you’re interested in upgrading your kitchen to a smart kitchen, there are many options available to you. Consider researching the latest smart kitchen appliances and consulting with a smart home expert to find the solutions that work best for your needs and budget. With smart kitchen technology, you’ll be able to take your cooking and baking to the next level and enjoy a more functional and efficient home.

Smart Tech at Home

Smart home technology has come a long way in recent years, and the trends for 2023 are poised to take things to the next level. From voice-activated assistants to solar-powered gadgets and virtual assistants, there are plenty of ways to transform your Virginia home into a high-tech oasis. By implementing these trends, you’ll enjoy greater convenience, comfort, and energy efficiency, all while reducing your environmental impact and saving money on your energy bills.

Whether you’re just getting started with smart home technology or you’re looking to take your existing setup to the next level, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. From online tutorials and forums to local smart home experts, there are many ways to learn more about the latest trends and technologies and find the solutions that are right for your home. 

Blog March 8, 2023

10 Reasons Why Smart Home Gadgets are Worth the Investment

Smart home technology has been steadily gaining popularity over the years, and for good reason. These innovative gadgets offer a range of benefits to homeowners all around the home and property, from convenience and comfort to energy efficiency and security. 


As we have seen smart tech become more common, it has become more important than ever for homeowners to embrace these advancements for the purposes of increasing security, streamlining daily tasks, and preparing their homes to sell on the market for top dollar. 


We highly recommend investing in smart home gadgets for all of these reasons and more, but we often are asked the question of their value versus the cost. Here are 10 reasons we believe smart home gadgets are worth the investment:


1. Convenience:

Smart home gadgets make life easier by allowing you to control various aspects of your home with just a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. From turning on the lights to adjusting the thermostat, smart tech allows you and your family to manage your home’s functions from anywhere.


2. Energy Efficiency: 

One of the best features associated with newer smart home technology is the ability to conserve energy and therefore, money! A smart thermostat, for example, can automatically adjust your home’s temperature, turn off lights when not in use, and monitor your energy usage to ensure that your home is at the correct temperature for each time of day and that it is not in use unnecessarily. In another example, let’s say that you forgot to turn down your thermostat before leaving for vacation. With a smart thermostat, you are able to remotely adjust the temperature and save that money to run it while you’re gone! 

3. Security: 

Smart technology such as video doorbells, security cameras, and smart locks provide added security and peace of mind to your home. You can monitor your home from anywhere and receive alerts if any suspicious activity is detected. Smart security setups can be as minimal or extensive as you’d like them to be. Whether you’re in the market for a video doorbell or an entire camera system around your home or property, you can find a smart home security system that meets your needs and budget. 


4. Increased home value: 

By investing in smart home technology, you can increase the value of your home and appeal to tech-savvy buyers who are willing to pay a premium for a fully-automated home. The more common that smart home technology becomes, the more buyers will likely be looking for smart features in their future homes. Don’t miss out on those offers, and implement some smart home elements!

5. Enhanced entertainment: 

Smart home gadgets like smart TVs, streaming devices, and sound systems provide an enhanced entertainment experience by allowing you to easily stream your favorite movies and music. Even better, depending on the brand(s) you choose, these devices can often integrate with one another, providing you with a seamless entertainment experience. 


6. Health and wellness: 

Smart home appliances or tools like air purifiers and smart thermostats can help improve the air quality in your home and maintain a comfortable temperature, which can contribute to better overall health and well-being, backed by the convenience of technology that takes the thinking and planning of setting up, turning on and off, etc. off of your shoulders. 

7. Voice control: 

Many smart home gadgets offer voice control through popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, making it even easier to manage your home’s functions hands-free. Voice control is entirely customizable depending on the smart home technology you have in your house. From smart bulbs to smart plugs, to entire smart appliances, your voice control can be as extensive as you’d like it to be, or as minimal as you’re comfortable with. 


8. Customization: 

Smart home technology allows you to customize your home’s functions to your specific needs and preferences. You can set up personalized scenes and routines that automatically adjust your home’s settings based on your family’s daily routines and the systems that will help your life run more smoothly. The options are endless! 

9. Remote access:

With smart home gadgets, you can control your home from anywhere in the world. This is useful for traveling, those with multiple properties, and is particularly useful for vacation homes or rental properties where having access to smart home technology can streamline your experience as the property owner as well as that of the guests staying in the home. 


10. Cost-effective: 

While the initial investment in smart home technology may seem high, it can actually save you money in the long run by improving energy efficiency and reducing maintenance costs all around your home and property. Smart home tech can be as budget-friendly or as extravagant as you’d like it to be. Depending on the appliances or tools that you choose, you are able to create the best fit for your home and your finances.


By investing in these innovative gadgets, you can enjoy a range of benefits, from convenience and comfort to energy efficiency and security. Whether you’re planning to move in the coming months or staying put for the foreseeable future, implementing smart technology is the future of “home!” 

Home ImprovementHomeownersSmart Home November 14, 2022

Level-Up Your Smart Home Experience with NFC

If you’re a fan of smart home devices, smart plugs, or setting routines using your Amazon Alexa or Google Home, you’re going to love NFC. 

BlogHoliday March 31, 2019

If These Walls Could Talk: Google’s New HoME Plug Lets Your Home Talk To You

By just plugging the HoME into a wall outlet, homeowners can have an inside look on not only what their home’s immediate maintenance needs are but also it’s preferences vis-a-vis paint colors, interior feng shui, and complementary landscaping.

BlogBuyersColdwell BankerFirst-Time Home BuyersMarket InformationSellersSmart Home August 25, 2016

Smart Home Staging Kit Launch


Coldwell Banker Launches Smart Home Staging Kit

Coldwell Banker’s launch of the Smart Home Staging Kit today is a huge benefit to our sellers and just another way Coldwell Banker continues to lead the industry with cutting-edge real estate marketing and services for our clients. Not only will homes that have our Smart Home Staging Kit installed be more appealing to millennials, eco-conscious buyers and buyers looking for energy-efficiency as a cost-saving measure, they will also be searchable on as an actual “Smart Home,” according to the CNET definition. These smart home listings will also appear on the CNET website, which means even more online exposure for your home.

Homebuyers are increasingly looking for Smart Home technology because it gives them the opportunity to take a more proactive role in the maintenance and security of their most expensive investment. As more buyers demand smart home features, these basic products will become de rigeur for new listings. The ability to purchase the Smart Home Staging Kit is going to be immensely helpful for our busy Coldwell Banker Elite sellers because most sellers don’t have the time to research which smart home tech will actually provide the most bang for their buck. Our sellers will receive a carefully curated collection of the most popular smart home tech for a discounted price of $999—about a $135 savings! All of these products can be installed by any DIY-friendly homeowner but if you’d rather leave it to a professional, we’ve partnered with to install the kit for $550.

What Makes a Home Smart?

The Staging Kit includes the Nest Learning Thermostat, one of the breakout stars of the smart home tech world, which learns the temperature you like and adapts to your schedule. As it learns your preferences, the Nest Thermostat saves customers an average of 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on their cooling bills, which means it usually pays for itself in under 2 years. One of the best features about the Nest Thermostat is that it can be controlled remotely from an app on your phone, so you never need to worry if you left the heat blasting before you went on vacation!

Nest Thermostat

The Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm integrates with the same app and keeps you informed about the air quality in your home (and lets you hush false smoke alarms from your phone during any cooking disasters). The Nest Cam indoor security camera can be mounted almost anywhere and lets you keep an eye on everything going on at home while you’re away. Whether you’re checking in on Fido or making sure your school-age kids got home safely, it’s always nice to be able to keep an eye on things!

August Smart Lock

The kit also includes two products from August, the Smart Lock and the Connect, which make getting locked out or loaning a key to a handyman a thing of the past. The August Smart Lock can lock and unlock your deadbolt, create virtual keys for guests and keep track of who comes and goes, all from your phone. The last component of the Smart Home Kit is the Lutron Caseta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit which controls your lights, shades and temperature from an app. The Caseta Wireless Kit works with most lightbulbs so you can use the ones you already have, and create personalized lighting “scenes” like turning on the lights as you pull in your driveway or dimming specific lights for when you’re watching TV.

Caseta Wireless Kit

Most sellers already understand the value of incorporating smart home technology, and purchasing the Smart Home Staging Kit makes sure that they aren’t wasting their money on products that will not actually allow their home to be marketed as a “Smart Home.” The Smart Home Staging Kit gives Coldwell Banker Elite sellers a powerful tool to distinguish their property and dollar for dollar, there aren’t many improvements you can DIY for under $1000 that will drastically increase your home’s value and marketability like upgrading to a Smart Home.

Order your own Staging Kit now!