If you can sit through the typical 90- or 120-minute movie, you’ve spent less time than the average U.S. adult spends on their smartphone. That’s 195 minutes, or 3 hours and 15 minutes, according to RescueTime’s 2019 Screen Time Stats Report.
Technology is intertwined with every facet of our lives, helping us to be more efficient, more connected and to save money. And people often want tech in the palm of their hand. That’s certainly true when it comes to smart home devices such as video doorbells, thermostats that learn your ideal room temperature and more. In fact, 69% of U.S. homes own at least one smart home device, according to a 2019 study by the Consumer Technology Association. And most of the time, they’re controlling it from their mobile device.
As smart water technology joins the ranks of must-have home protection devices, plumbers can take advantage of this growing desire for tech-enhanced homes. Plus, offering smart water tech not only carries benefits for homeowners but also creates some key perks for plumbing business owners to share with customers to help them make the move to smart plumbing.
Leak Detection Benefits
for Your Customers
In an article titled “What Type of Plumbing Pipe Do I Have?” Angie’s List reported that copper became widely used in 1960s homes. These pipes last 20-50 years, according to the article “How to Prevent Pinhole Leaks in Copper Pipes” by Red Cap Plumbing. So as homes age, there’s a higher chance of pinhole leaks and catastrophic pipe failures. But leak detection devices can help customers protect their property and have peace of mind. Through access via mobile app, they can have 24/7 knowledge of what’s happening behind their walls.
The global Water Pipeline Leak Detection Systems market is expected to increase in value by 30% from 2018 to 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.06%, according to a recent 2020 analysis of Reports and Data. Additionally, consumer interest is on the rise. In 2018, GlobalData’s Insurance Consumer Survey found that almost a quarter of people surveyed used a leak detector or were thinking of adding one to their home, up 11 percentage points from the previous year.
For homeowners still considering a smart leak detection device, here are a few features of existing smart water apps they can consider.
Real-time updates are crucial to staying connected and stopping a potential problem in its tracks, so relying on monthly, bi-monthly or even quarterly water bills for insight or data isn’t the best course of action. By the time a homeowner gets their bill, it could be too late to identify an issue. Instead, through a leak detection app, customers can see what their usage is at any time and adjust.
Plus, some smart water devices learn what a household’s normal consumption is and can send notifications if it detects abnormal usage that may indicate a leak. If the device has a shut-off valve, homeowners can also turn off the water from their app until a plumber can investigate the problem. They may also receive other notifications, such as freeze alerts and pressure alerts, in real time.
When customers get water bills, they still may not know if the water consumption is normal or too high. Because some utilities use centum cubic feet to measure usage, it’s difficult to conceptualize. Water leak detector apps are more likely to provide easy-to-understand units and graphs, giving homeowners insights they didn’t have before. When they know how much water on average a home their size should use, they’re more likely to conserve, which is beneficial for both their budget and the environment.
Compatibility with the Rest of the Smart Home
For further connectivity, some smart leak detectors can integrate with operating systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so homeowners can receive water data and take actions just by using their voice.
How Smart Water Tech
Offering smart water technology to your customers also presents opportunities to integrate with the services plumbing professionals already provide.
It’s Easy to Add Value on the Job
When performing service and repairs, you can offer a product your customers actually need. Since the homeowner is already burdened with the hassle of a plumbing issue, recommending a leak detection system is a natural opportunity to add value. This is especially beneficial since, after experiencing one leak, homeowners are at least 2 times as likely to have another one, according to the article “Myths and misconceptions about residential water damage” by AIG.
Recommending a device during a water heater replacement is another appropriate solution. Water heaters often cause leaks when they fail, so in addition to replacing it, you can offer a preventative device to potentially more than double your sales ticket.
And if you work with a device that’s designed to install quickly, it won’t take more time from the current job, maximizing your investment.
It Can Help Improve Business
Suggesting a solution to prevent water damage — which is 7 times more likely than fire damage in the home, according to a chart in the report “Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and Renters Insurance” by Insurance Information Institute — could help with reputation management as well. Customer service that goes above and beyond can increase customer confidence and loyalty. In fact, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service, according to HubSpot’s article “40 Customer Service Stats to Know in 2020.” For plumbing companies, that could mean a customer considers you their go-to for any plumbing services in the future.
Taking the Step Toward Smart Water Tech
Your customers need protection against water leaks, and you can be the one to educate them and provide the solution. The StreamLabs Control, a smart leak detector, offers all the homeowner advantages above and more, allowing customers to track whole-home water usage and shut off water in the case of a leak — all through a mobile app. Discover how your plumbing business can benefit from offering leak detection services by exploring the StreamLabs PRO Installer Program today.