Real estate developers in the era of connected homes

The French* imagine the homes of tomorrow as being environmentally friendly, adaptable, secure, and connected within a smart building, with an aim for comfortable living and managed energy efficiency. Many have already ventured into the connected home arena (including energy suppliers, hardware and equipment manufacturers, startups, and of course, digital giants like Google, Apple, and Amazon). Among developers that have made the most concrete advances, 80%** consider smart homes to be a driver of innovation and commercial performance.

Smart homes: a credible market at last

In a market now taking off after a few hesitant years, expectations are growing stronger in terms of convenience and energy savings, going from a simple yearning for gadgets to a real expressed need to improve how we live in our homes. It is now up to real estate developers to position themselves within this booming market to offer residents connected homes with equipment that is easy to use, technologically advanced, and fully secure, along with—and more importantly—a full range of related services. 

To address this need, the Pichet Group, the largest single-family real estate company in France, set out to find a partner that could help with its connected home offering. Impressed by the technological expertise of Overkiz, the interoperability and variety of objects and protocols supported by its IoT platform, and the depth of functionality offered by its home automation solutions, Pichet chose Overkiz to design a solution for managing connected objects and controlling devices at home or remotely on a smartphone, through a dedicated mobile app.

Overkiz is a partner that combines the agility of a small company, tuned into its market, with the security and longevity of a large company.

Nicolas Oyarbide, Marketing Manager – Pichet Group

Convenience, security, and savings

Controlling your lights and shutters using a smartphone from the comfort of your sofa? Managing your energy use while protecting both the environment and your spending? Securing your home and enjoying peace of mind while on vacation? All of this is now possible in homes offered by Pichet.  

To accomplish this, the real estate company built upon the Overkiz IoT platform, consisting of smart home automation boxes installed directly onto a new building’s electrical panel and a cloud allowing for the rollout and management of an intuitive solution.

Occupants can now enjoy a new dimension of comfort, at no additional cost over the price of the property, featuring:

  • Connected roller shutters that can be opened and closed remotely, a valuable asset for keeping their home secure when they are away
  • Control of interior lights
  • Remote control of ambient temperature, for maximum comfort and energy efficiency.

Connected equipment communicates wirelessly, as well as with Wifi or Bluetooth® connectivity, for ensured scalability. For the IoT cloud and the technological ecosystem, embedded software enables wireless communication, secure end-to-end management, and over-the-air (OTA) updates. The user smartphone app was developed using Overkiz APIs to remotely control devices.

Overkiz understood that competition among protocols was bad for everyone. They know how to position themselves above the fray and, like us, encourage the market to support interoperability.

Cyrille Dubrulle, Information System Manager – Pichet Group

With this reliable, long-lasting technological solution, the Pichet Group was able to go to market quickly with a versatile smart building solution, allowing its customers to enter a world of connected services to make everyday life easier. Six programs are already on the market, and a first residence, containing 42 homes, will open this year.

For 30 years, the Pichet Group has expanded its skills across all corners of real estate, including design, planning, engineering, construction, marketing, and management. A key player in French real estate, the company operates in Paris, Lille, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Pau, Nantes, Besançon, La Rochelle, Lyon, Marseilles, Toulouse, and other markets. Thanks to its expertise, the company, a preferred partner of local and regional communities, is active in many urban development projects that promote housing diversity, as well as societal and environmental responsibility.

* Source: CSA/FEPEM 2016 study, “le domicile, un enjeu citoyen” [Home, a civic matter]
** Source: SmartHab 2019 survey, “Les promoteurs & le logement connecté et intelligent” [Developers and smart, connected homes]

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