Tradespeople need to do more to keep up with smart home technology

84 per cent of tradespeople said they had never undertaken any training in smart home technology, according to a recent poll carried out by IronmongeryDirect.

Conducted in the lead up to Smart Home Week (21- 27 May) the poll revealed that despite the rise in popularity of smart home products, many tradespeople are still unprepared for the increasing customer demand.

Nearly 30 per cent of UK homeowners now own at least one smart home product. This increase is reaffirmed by IronmongeryDirect expecting sales of smart technology to more than double this year. This is in addition to previous national research carried out by the ironmongery supplier, which showed that almost 90 per cent of tradespeople are not confident when advising customers on smart products.

Only one in ten tradespeople said they felt “very confident” when it comes to offering guidance on smart products, including products such as smart cameras, smart alarms and locks which can be connected to smartphones.

Now in its second year, Smart Home Week aims to raise the profile of smart home technology and to inform, educate and reassure consumers about the benefits and opportunities of living in a smart, connected way.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director of IronmongeryDirect, said:

“Smart products are redefining the way that a property functions, and there is a clear need for tradespeople to keep abreast of the developments involving smart technology. With basic burglar alarms now enhanced to monitor, control and interact with a home or business premises from a smartphone or tablet, we are just at the beginning of this smart tech revolution.

“The smart technology industry is growing and there is a significant number of products already on the market.”

Offering advice how keeping up with the change in customers’ demands, Wayne added:

“Although a tradesperson is not expected to know how to install every available system, it is important that they identify a particular product to want to specialise in, or to commit to an area which encompasses multiple aspects of a smart home. Becoming familiar with the manufacturers and products that fit their expertise is essential, and it is worth noting that many brands also offer support and training for installers.

“There is still a demand for traditional products, but these new smart alternatives should not be ignored. There are some fantastic products on the market, whether you want to specialise in security, lighting, heating or household appliances.”

Training organisations around the UK offer courses in smart technology, including the AWE Smart Home Academy in Surrey, which equips tradespeople with the skills and confidence they need to advise customers on the technology. For instance, its Foundation Workshop is aimed at the less experienced residential smart technology installer and focuses on the fundamentals of custom installation.