Some service providers can support us without knowing us. Meanwhile, others need to be intimately familiar with our likes, dislikes, and personality. A personal trainer needs to be familiar with our motivations, how we see ourselves, and what our life goals are. Meanwhile, a home help needs to know personal things like how their client likes to spend their free time and how they keep their home. A Smart Home Manager is very similar to these service providers.
Meanwhile, many other services don’t require such personal or social familiarity. I see my local shopkeeper many times a week, but I couldn’t tell you a thing about them, nor they about me. Similarly, a consultant doctor can change their patient’s life with barely any personal knowledge or social exchange.
I mentioned a home help in the first paragraph. That's because a smart home is a lot like one of these professionals, as well as a personal assistant and a butler rolled into one. As such, a smart home manager is a lot like a personal service manager in charge of all these professionals. Like these people, your house’s systems need to know how you spend your personal time and how you keep your home. They also need an idea of your schedule, your likes, and the little quirks of your character that affect your personal choices.
These are all very personal, subjective, nuanced, and emotional things. A smart home’s systems are excellent at learning the data behind these things – If you always turn your lights to a warm orange at around sunset, there are systems that will learn this quirk of your preferences and do it for you. However, smart machines are still a long way from being able to interpret your character traits, make inductive decisions about your quirks, or engage with you to learn how you spend your time.
“One of the things that we’re good at is that we develop relationships with clients where they trust us and let us get on with what they need in their properties”
Andy Baker – Founder of Baker Stone
In other words - Your smart home, intelligent as it may be, can’t build a human relationship with you. For that, you need a good Smart Home Manager.
Despite what you might have heard about Open AI, Smart GPT, or anything else, it is a long time before smart homes will be able to take on this essential role. We here at Baker Stone are satisfied that we won’t be replaced by machines any time soon.
When choosing a smart home manager, most people go for someone who has experience and subject knowledge. These are both important characteristics to look out for (and ones in which Baker Stone excels). However, many professionals in our field can offer these things. There is another characteristic we believe will sort your ideal candidate from the rest: It’s important to go for someone you think you will be able to confide in and trust in a professional and personal way. Someone you feel you can work with and rely on easily and intuitively.
A smart home manager will keep their relationship with you professional. However, they can do their job best when you feel able to disclose personal information to them like the environment you like to sleep in or who you trust around your children.
We mentioned a butler in the third paragraph of this blog. This may seem like an archaic reference, but a smart home manager is like a butler in many ways:
The modern-day equivalent of a butler is probably a house manager, although this professional role is usually more pragmatic and less executive with less delegation. We Smart Home Managers tend to delegate to the smart home systems and tools, rather than the servants.
When you look for a smart home manager, look for some of the characteristics you might look for in a butler. Trustworthiness, empathy, intuition, and (not to be undervalued) someone you can get along well with.
First of all, an important part of the smart home manager’s job is to guide you and fit around you, so working with them should be easy. That said, there are some strategies that can help you get more out of them.
Essentially, you will meet with them and interact with them occasionally to outline your home life and that of your family. Their job is to audit your home environment and smart tech in terms of how well it meets your needs and to decide how this ability can be maintained at a high level and improved. The more they know about what your home environment does to make you happy, what you like about it, what you think could be improved, and what you would like to change, the better they can do their job.
Don’t be afraid to open up to them to assist with this. let them know your little niggles about your home and the quirks of your home life. In this way, they can figure out how to really help you.
One trouble clients often have is they may bump into a problem we could solve or a strong point we could take advantage of, notice it temporarily, and then go on with their day, thinking of more important things. By the time they get to the meeting, that thing is forgotten. To avoid this, make a point of remembering these things. Try taking regular voice notes and perhaps have a quick chat about the problems, needs, and sources of happiness your home environment presents you with. Kids are great at noticing and processing things our busy minds skim over, so be sure to ask their opinion.
You will benefit from having a smart home manager you can trust and build a close, professional relationship with. When you are looking to engage someone in this role, look for someone you can get along well with. Also, be on the lookout for empathy, trustworthiness, intuition, and depth of knowledge. From the point when you take them on, be open with them. Where possible, take note of the important issues from day to day to bring to their attention.
Are you wondering if you might get along with Andy Baker, George Stone or one of our other smart home management experts? Book a meeting to find out.