GREATER TORONTO – As the spring market sees the GTA’s average home price continuing to escalate, sellers are dealing with higher buyer interest than ever – and, in most cases, wondering how to make the most of an opportunity to fetch a great price for their residential properties.
While traditional staging techniques and tips certainly still apply, forward-thinking sellers are increasingly turning towards smart home devices – not just as conversation pieces, but as clever ways to cut down on stress and optimize a home’s desirability.
With the summer weather in full swing, we decided to take a glance at some of 2015’s buzziest home gadgets.
Flower Power by Parrot
Nothing can put a damper on real estate showings or photos quite like wilted plants and flowers – especially during the spring and summer. Luckily there’s Flower Power, the smart plant monitor developed by a tech company known for its line of robotic drones.
Here’s how it works: Flower Power’s physical product – a twig-shaped sensor device – is placed in your pot or planter, where it constantly measures air temperature, soil fertility, moisture and sunlight. Meanwhile, it relays that data to a complementary app on your smartphone. The app even lets you specify your plant (it offers a database of 7,000 to choose from) and will notify you, based on the species’ needs, whenever it is in need of fertilizer, water, or a new location.
Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the Flower Power offers an attractive and powerful plant care solution for homeowners with hectic schedules.
Electronic Sous Vide Cooker by Anova Culinary
If you’re trying to keep your kitchen as spotless as possible, the sous vide cooking method – which involves placing food into sealed bags, then dunking it into heated water for a prolonged period of time – is the way to go.
Long used almost exclusively by restaurant chefs, replicating the technique at home has been made a little easier with Anova’s electronic sous vide device, which clamps onto the side of your pot and uses programmed recipe instructions to heat the water inside.
Like Flower Power, Anova communicates with your smartphone and can be set remotely via a proprietary app – saving you time, as well as the need to scrub any pots or pans. These would make a great gift for any culinary enthusiast, but especially one who finds themselves rarely home or pressed for time.
Ubi, by Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation
Designed and developed right here in Toronto, Ubi bears the appearance of a portable speaker, but comes equipped with voice recognition capabilities that make it a little bit like iPhone’s “Siri.” Ubi, however, utilizes voice commands to control an array of smart home devices with which it is compatible – a list that includes Nest, Harmony Home Hub, Google Calendar, and more.
Already featured internationally in publications like Wired and Fast Company, Ubi offers one distinct difference from its biggest future competitor, Amazon’s Echo – it’s already on sale for the price of $399. (Echo hasn’t yet hit the market, although they are currently accepting requests for trial invitations.)
Generally speaking, smart home devices – even if they’re ones you are likely to take with you when you move – do a lot to add to the modern appearance of a home. In a competitive market where looking outdated is the last thing you want to do, it can never hurt to incorporate a few integrated gadgets into your interior!