When selling properties at the highest level, very few luxury homes will come without some home automation, home cinema and system control. But as an estate agent, your expertise is in selling the bricks and mortar and convincing the prospect that this is a home they could live in and enjoy. Keeping up with home technology and, more importantly how to use it, can be a daunting task, so showing the technology in a home at it’s best could be the difference between making a sale or not. Nobody wants to stand in front of a client and fumble around trying to turn the lights on or open the blinds. Follow these tips and you will avoid any obvious blunders.
1. Ask the home owner what works and what doesn’t work.
Whilst I would love to be able to put my hand on my heart and say that once a system has been installed nothing will ever go wrong, that just is not reality. Every home has it’s quirks and every home-owner has learned ways of getting round these idiosyncrasies. You need to know that to turn the TV on you have to put your big toe in your left ear and press “TV” with your nose. The most common problem with a remote not working is flat batteries.
2. Acquaint yourself with the system.
Get to know some common activity based commands. For example “lights off” or “watch Sky” so that you can show the system working with confidence. Have some pre-rehearsed scenarios that you can show the prospective buyer. You need to understand that some system response times are slower than other more modern systems. Be comfortable with how long an action takes to happen once a button is pressed. This is particularly relevant of lighting scenes where delays can be set so that something happens over a long period of time. Activating a movie lighting scene could take a minute before you realise the lights are dimming. Be prepared!
3. Keep internet and TV service activated.
Where ever possible, maintain an internet connection and a connection to a TV source whether that be Sky, Virgin or Freeview. Having some music streamed in the background and being able to turn on TV’s will all help to encourage the prospect to imagine themselves living there. Also, you may need to demonstrate the internet speeds. It’s a pre-requisite of home nowadays that internet speeds are adequate to meet the demands of video streaming and on-line gaming. Use www.speedtest.net to show the speeds if it’s up to standard.
4. Have movies and music ready to go.
If the home has a cinema room then have a movie cued up and ready to go. Make sure it is family friendly and don’t make them sit through all the previews. Find a scene and have it ready to go. A cinema room without a movie playing is just another room but this is a chance to really wow the client. Be aware that most projectors do not like repeatedly being turned on and off. Many have a fail-safe so that once you turn it off you cannot turn it back on again for a few minutes.
If you are going to play music in the background, be prepared. Use a streaming service like Spotify or Napster and choose a playlist that is not going to offend. If you can find out the client’s taste in music, all the better. Check volume levels. You don’t want to walk into a room and turn the music on only to be blasted back out the door with ear damage.
5. Test as much as you can.
See point 1, but then test everything for yourself. Check music is available everywhere you see speakers. The owner of the house may never go into that room and genuinely not be aware that his speakers are not working. Check blinds and lights. Buttons on an on-wall keypad may do different things depending on how you press them, so try a double tap or a press and hold. If the home can be controlled via and iPad, have an iPad ready to show this is the case.
Home technology is a fast moving industry and it may be that the installed system could do with being updated. If you think this could be the case, get in touch with Seven Integration and have us give you a budget guideline for bringing everything up to spec. It will make you look well prepared and could mean a new client for us!