OUR house concept is transformed. The pandemic has heightened the importance of every space in the home – inside and out. OUR comfort, safety and energy efficiency has moved to the top of priorities, boosting demand for home automation solutions over the past two years. But still they are only about 1%. smart houses in Portugal. There are several problems that home automation sector face in the country. And Idealista/news, together with professionals in their field, went to find out who they are.
Relatively home automationAccording to Alfredo Valente, CEO of iad Portugal, “almost nothing is being done” in Portugal. And Luis Pinto claims that today there are only 1-2% smart homes in Portugal. “And if we filtered out homes with minimal automation, we would be talking about less than 1%,” says the owner of IOLine, the maker of Mordomus home automation technology, which has been on the market for about 20 years.
Today there is a “need for people to do more efficient and comfortable homes, that is, to combine maximum comfort with minimum consumption and expense. And the whole range of opportunities that 5G brings us, I think, will raise the issue of automation, robotization and home automation on the table in the near future,” explains Alfredo Valente.
family interest in home automation solutions has been increasing in recent years. Because today home automation solutions the simplest ones can start below 2000 euros and bring a few benefits beginning with energy saving, as the market experts explain in this article. But more needs to be done. OUR home automation segment today faces a number of problems that prevent it from growing at a rapid pace.
“The integration of technology into the equipment we use on a daily basis is growing in line with interests, but at home it should also be like that. And it’s growing very slowly in that regard.” Luis Pinto of Mordomus
Current problems in the home automation sector in Portugal
Home automation did not know how to position itself when it entered the market
A ghost from the past still haunts the business of the present. And it boils down to this, in the words of Luis Pinto: “Home automation entered the market and didn’t know how to position itself.” “The first products that arrived in Portugal, Europe and the world were called home automationthese were products where everything was wrong and things could go wrong,” explains the owner of Mordomus:
They were too expensive: around 20, 30 or 40 thousand euros;
Wrong product philosophy: dependence on the supplier of the product;
- Cost-Effective Home Automation was not perceived.
And now the task is precisely to learn how to reposition yourself, a strategy that involves placing on the market from the very beginning. competitively priced home automation solutions and what families can afford. Currently, “home automation can’t be expensive or expensive,” warns Luis Pinto, revealing that home automation solution it should be within 1-2% of the price of the house, that is, a house worth 100 thousand euros should cost from 1000 to 2000 euros.
“One the simplest home automation solution can start at €1,800 and has no upper limit,” explains Hatto Fehst, CEO of Enancer Electrónica, the Braga-based company that created Only-Smart Buildings home automation technology in 2008.
In addition, positioning also depends on offers automated solutions which is now much more comprehensive and not just about enlightenment. “With home automation, I have to come home and rule everything: I have to own the TV, the irrigation, absolutely everything in the house,” confirms owner Mordomus from Gouveia.
Low demand for home automation from developers
Way home automation Initially positioning itself in the market, it still makes itself felt among several players in the real estate market. And there are still very few of them. developers who are looking to implement these solutions in the homes they are promoting, but there are already examples, such as these smart homes in the north of the country.
“The demand is there, but not so high. We have a much greater demand from the end consumer than from real estate agencies,” notes Filiguerio Pantaleao, Sales and Field Applications Engineer at Enancer Electrónica. Mordomus’ Luis Pinto also reports that “very few” promoters are looking into these solutions.
Both believe that the fact that these solutions add a layer to final price of the house is one of the main barriers to investment. The developer is trying house price as competitive as possible, so if we use technology, the price won’t go down, it will go up. Actually we put added value in the apartment, but it also depends on the segment: the middle and high segment is more open to such solutions,” explains Filiguerio Pantalean. But the fact is that developers still do not see smart houses as an additional value, the Only representative adds.
And another factor that Luis Pinto points out: developers I’m still considering having home automation at home This is “another problem”. This is because “they don’t need after sales service”, which according to the person in charge of Mordomus is “wrong”. emphasizes.
Lack of new construction: aging housing stock
On the other hand, home automation is also not reaching families because “there is a huge shortage New construction”, which, according to Alfredo Valente, may further delay the penetration of technological innovations into the market.
This is because inreal estate rehabilitation old very hard to learn robotics and home automation to the limit,” explains the CEO of IAD in an interview with Idealista/news. But it is possible. In an existing home, implementing home automation includes placing communication cables in existing pipes or installing wireless solutions.
Moreover, in an environment where house prices are rising and changing much faster than family incomethe price itself can also be a drag on families to implement these solutions in their homes. new houses. “I’m also a little worried that the price pressure will cause people to save something, and then it will be possible not to take into account even innovation and technology“concludes Alfredo Valente.
A brief evolution of the home business
“The house is not Business area “advanced” from a technological point of view, like the automotive sector, which stands out for its advanced technology, begins with an explanation by Luis Pinto. Why? “You house sellers have not developed. I think architects don’t know anything about houses. I think builders know next to nothing about houses. i think everything home industry he has no idea what a well-run business like cars is. There is absolutely no concern in this aspect. [tecnologia] from the point of view of houses,” says the person in charge of Mordomus.
This happens, in his opinion, because home construction, as is, for example, in the automotive segment. In the development of the dwelling, “we have a completely separate personality, dealing with electrical engineering, which is electrician; we have an individual concerned solely and exclusively with that aspect of things which is architect; we have another one worrying about whether the house will fall or not, which house builder (even if you do not strictly follow the instructions of the architect); we have a man who is going to drill holes in order to place a pipe that plumber (who cares about electric wires); that is, as long as there is a close-knit team in the automotive sector, home construction there are a few isolated teams that almost look like each other’s enemies – and often they are,” he explains.
To solve this problem, it would be ideal to have a figure responsible for bridging the gap between different specialties in home building or renovation. “And there is that construction manager and often this person is the head of an architect or a civil engineer, so he does not have a good view of the house. The fact is that the architect has already been poisoned by a disease called architecture, which is very necessary, but not complemented in the house, ”says Luis Pinto, noting that many times home ergonomics not taken into account and that it is important to have a functional home adapted to the needs of the family.
The benefits of home automation don’t reach families
Families do not miss what they do not know. “People do not think about updating technology and home control because they are accustomed to treating the house this way,” explains Hutto Fechst of Only, emphasizing that “switch technology is over 100 years old, and this is unacceptable.”
Regarding real estate mediation, Alfredo Valente suggests that he feels, “above all, people are looking for more comfort, but we don’t feel that people are still sufficiently informed about home automation potential“, – he says in an interview. “We are a poor country where people are still looking for simpler solutions with comfort. But it is very important that there democratization of decisions, first of all, what people can pay is the main concern. And I’m afraid it’s actually something that people in the near future may not be able to pay for what we need to give them at home,” explains the person in charge of IAD.
Government must lead by example
Thus, the future is through the awareness of home automation. And this should happen both within the family and during the training of the specialists themselves involved in the process.home construction, says Luis Pinto. And, moreover, on the example of the government itself.
“Until it gets more widespread, until we have automated housess are made by the state itself, which makes them “automatically” more effective – there will be no middle house where most of us live. We should always start looking from below,” explains the person in charge of Mordomus.