According to a recent report (January 2020) from research firm Strategy Analytics, the majority of homes in the US - over 54% - are “smart homes” with at least one smart device. Said Jack Narcotta, senior analyst with the firm, “Where people find value and convenience in smart technologies they are prepared to invest, and vendors wanting to benefit from this fast-growing market need to focus on understanding and addressing those pain points”
Convenience is not only a primary driver for the purchase of smart home products. It is also, perhaps surprisingly, right up there with security as a top reason why people are specifically buying smart locks. A recent survey conducted by Parks Associates of U.S. broadband households that also own smart devices showed that 45 percent of those surveyed cited convenience as a primary purchase driver for smart locks, with security running a close second.
It makes sense. There was a time when people bought locks exclusively to improve their home security and protect their families. That’s still important, of course, but today people also want devices like smart locks to make their lives easier. What is it about smart locks in particular that helps people accomplish this mission to simplify life? Let us count the ways.
- Smart locks have remote possibilities. Smart connected locks (connected through a wireless protocol like Z-Wave and Zigbee) have many convenience-enhancing features that center around their remote locking capabilities. They can be locked and unlocked via a smartphone or tablet, even if the user is many miles from home: from work, from the road, or from a vacation resort. Or they can be locked at night from the comfort of a user’s bed, providing homeowners with peace of mind and a sounder sleep. They can also deliver information remotely, notifying the homeowner when someone locks or unlocks the door. The ability to readily access real-time information provides the perfect combination of convenience and security.
- Smart locks are a central hub’s best friend. People love having a dedicated remote device for their home automation technology when they’re home. A stack of separate controllers for a variety of devices is anything but simple or convenient. And most customers don’t want to be clicking on a variety of touchscreens, using multiple different apps, or scrolling to websites. Alternatively, they prefer a central hub as their go-to control station. That being said, the smart lock can offer many of the same capabilities and can even act as an extension of a central hub. Working in conjunction with the hub and a wireless protocol, smart locks can wirelessly communicate with and control the network of devices that comprise a home automation system. These can include everything from alarms to lighting to entertainment systems, and everything in between.
- Convenience right up front. Homeowners never have to go out of their way to get home automation control. In fact, this control can be located at the most convenient, most traveled location in the house – right at the front door. Many smart locks allow homeowners to set up their home with custom smart home scenarios, just before they step inside. A sample scenario: they can program the lock so that every time they unlock the door the foyer light turns on, shades go up, and temperatures rise to a comfortable level. Additionally, most security systems can be programmed to be disarmed automatically when the door lock code is entered. Without a smart lock, accomplishing these same smart home scenarios would require you to open an app on your smartphone.
- Freedom from keys is key. Smart lock owners can provide personal user codes to anyone who will enter the home. They can also assign a time-sensitive user code to whomever might need one and delete it when they see fit. In this way, they are not passing out copies of keys to friends, relatives, babysitters and contractors – keys that can be lost,stolen, or even duplicated many times over. They are in fact, in the safest way possible, establishing who has access to their home and when they have it. A dog walker is coming at noon? Give them a time-sensitive code. A home health care worker will be checking on an elderly parent at 2PM? They can have a scheduled code as well. This is a degree of convenience, security and peace of mind that you don’t get from many other home automation devices. And customers may never have to rely on one of those fake hideaway rocks again.
- Convenience beyond the front door. Smart locks can deliver their connected capabilities wherever a homeowner needs them, including a wide array of home additions and special rooms, both inside and outside the homes. For example, smart locks can provide exclusive adult access to a wine cellar, bar area or liquor storage room. Smart locks can limit access to certain parts of the house, like in-law suites and apartments. They can be used to keep kids out of a pool equipment storage shed that’s home to cleaning supplies and chemicals, or a gun closet, or a library that’s filled with valuable books. Plus, they can bring increased privacy and control to workspaces, studios and home offices. These “sensitive location” locks can also be programmed to provide notification to the homeowner when someone attempts to access this protected space, even if the wrong code is entered. This type of anti-tamper notification can deliver increased peace of mind.
- Affordability is a convenient feature. These devices not only add value, but they are increasingly being offered at lower prices. Convenience is no longer a luxury. Smart lock manufacturers are now offering a wide selection of connected locks, with a range of capabilities and price points. For example, electronic lock manufacturer Kwikset offers the SmartCode 888 electronic deadbolt with Home Connect™ Technology that works with home automation systems, enabling locking and unlocking from a smartphone, at an entry-level price point. And the Kwikset Convert™ is a conversion kit that affordably transforms mechanical locks already installed on the door into smart, electronic locks.
Want to hit a home run with your home automation sales? Then think smart locks, and remember the ways that smart locks bring much desired convenience to a home owner’s life. For your convenience, keep this article in your briefcase or save it on your favorite smart device. It really could come in handy.
As North American Sales Manager for Kwikset Residential Access Solutions, Nick English is responsible for management of all sales and distribution through Pro Security channels, including sales and performance management of Territory Sales Managers and Key Account Managers. English creates, develops, and manages division strategy for the Security / Home Automation channels, and the associated National Accounts, Direct Accounts, and Distribution partners and installing dealers within each channel.