High-Tech Home Design From CES 2019

Jan 10, 2019 by

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

As more homes get teched out, how do you make a home smart but stylish too? CES 2019—Las Vegas’ annual mega tech show—is showing off thousands of high-tech products, including a growing number to outfit a smart home.

From smart mirrors to rollable TV screens, CES 2019 vendors are evolving the look and function of many everyday household items. Particularly interesting is a gradual movement to the attention of detail in how these high-tech products are being integrated into a home’s design. It’s becoming less about having a massive monitor on display or smart speaker on your coffee table, and more about integrating and blending the tech into the home subtly.

The Rollable TV

Photo Credit: LG

The bulky, rectangular television set has long been a centerpiece of many family rooms. But LG Signature’s OLED TV R is disguising it. This rollable 65-inch television disappears into a box below a modern, silver credenza when not in use. When you do need it, it unrolls to its full height in seconds. You can also put the TV in “line view,” so that only about a quarter of the screen is showing. In this wide, rectangular view, the TV can be set to just display a clock, weather, personal photos, or other designs.

LG debuted a prototype of the wallpaper TV back at CES 2018, but it will be available to the public starting in the second half of 2019. Pricing has yet to be determined.

Not Just Any Wood

Photo Credit: Mui

That two-by-four piece of wood on the wall looks like a stylish accent that blends into the room, but it’s actually a smart home assistant. Voice-assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, are getting stylish makeovers and embedded into more products. The Mui smart block can be controlled via voice. Homeowners can take control over music, lighting, thermostats, and more through this discreet Google Assistant. When it’s not being used, the LCD display turns off and it looks like just any other piece of wood again. When activated, words appear on the screen and you can talk to it. It’ll be available in early 2019 for $ 999.

Picture Frame and Wireless Charger

Tech chargers aren’t exactly the prettiest accessory to leave lying around. Enter Twelve South’s PowerPic. It’s a picture frame that doubles as a wireless charger for your devices. It appears as a typical wooden 5×7 picture frame, but it contains a hidden wireless charger behind that favorite photo being displayed. You can place an iPhone or other compatible device inside of it to start charging. (This retails for $ 80.)


A Smart Mirror

This isn’t your ordinary mirror. It’s a touchscreen mirror with Google Assistant-embedded inside. This smart mirror from Capstone Connected Home allows you to ask it anything you typically would of a standard voice assistant. You can even compose email and messages from it and type directly into the mirror. The mirror is available in various sizes, starting at 19-inch by 22-inch. It’ll be available in early 2019. Pricing has yet to be determined.


Mood lighting

Photo Credit: Philips Hue

Pick a mood and let your lights match it. Philips Hue offers a range of smart bulbs that allow you to take control over the lighting to fit the setting. Adjust your dining room lighting to create an ambient atmosphere for a dinner party, or turn a living room into a home theater with dimmed lights. Many of the bulbs can also now be controlled via voice, allowing you to change lighting without ever having to flip a switch.

Styled, Staged & Sold

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It’s Okay to Borrow Influence From Others

Aug 6, 2018 by

The most successful real estate agents in the future will be the ones who provide the most benefit to their clients. The ones who are experts in all things real estate. The ones who can answer, with confidence, just about any question a client might ask and become a trusted advisor and valuable resource in the process.

Here’s the problem, though: For most of us, it’s impossible to know everything and to have answers ready for every single question that might be asked. This is where your personal connections and your vendor list come into play.

If you want to become a real “influencer” in your market, buyers and sellers must consider you the local expert. Even if you don’t have the ability to give all the right answers or to provide the appropriate guidance yourself, you need to be able to find the answer—or provide another resource that can.

Here are five things you must do to become your market’s most influential agent:

1. Tell people you’re a market expert. Tell everyone you know that you want to be a resource for them, and offer your services whenever possible. This extends beyond simply helping them buy or sell a house. You should offer to help with property tax questions, mortgage information, home inspection questions, estate or probate questions, and more.

2. Happily find the answers. It’s easier to tell everyone that you’re a market expert than to actually be one. It takes time to do the research or to find a vendor or other resource to answer every single question someone asks. You’ll very likely want to quit searching before finding answers, but don’t ever stop, because once you find the answer to a question the first time, you’ll be able to answer the same question with confidence every time in the future.

3. Follow up. Make sure you follow up with the person who asked the question and provide a clear and concise answer. Additionally, follow up a few weeks later to see if the information you provided was helpful, and to see if they need anything else.

4. Create a vendor/resource list. Keep accurate and up-to-date records of the vendors and other resources you rely on to help you answer questions. This will allow you to easily reach out again when the need arises next. Make a habit of adding to your list every time you meet someone who can help you in the future.

5. Read, listen and watch. Keeping up with current trends in real estate requires an investment of time. Read all trade publications, listen to informative podcasts and watch instructional videos. And really pay attention. Think about how you can use whatever information you’re learning to help your clients and position yourself as an even more valuable resource in your market.

I’m happy to share a sample of the spreadsheet we use to keep up with vendors and other people we rely on as resources. Email me at if you’d like a copy.

Once you have a copy of the spreadsheet, you’ll have to commit to updating it regularly (at least once a month). Stick with this plan for a year or so, and you’ll become the most influential agent in your market, and everyone will rely on you for answers to their most important real estate questions. As more people rely on you as their go-to resource, they’ll also turn to you whenever it’s time to buy or sell a home, so you better prepare to close more sales.

Cleve Gaddis is a master coach with Workman Success Systems and a team leader in Atlanta. He learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and now puts those skills to use in helping his team close $ 60 million annually. He loves to share his systems and strategies to help others succeed. He hosts the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show heard weekly on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO. Contact him at For more information, please visit

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