When it comes to designer kitchens, install a television rather than a second oven. At least, that’s the rule if you’re hoping to attract a younger generation of homebuyers (18 to 35 years of age) called “Millennials.” According to a recent Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey, not only do these young would-be homeowners want video capability in their kitchens and a fully-wired house; they are happy to sacrifice curb appeal in order to get it. The survey indicated that 59 percent would prefer the television to the oven, and 56 percent “value technology over curb appeal”[1]. This also appears to translate to energy efficiency, since nearly half (45 percent) also said that they would prefer an “essential home” that would help them save energy and be more unique to a “luxury home” that might be perceived as “cookie cutter.” 57 percent said that energy-efficient washers and dryers were important to them, and 44 percent cited smart thermostats as an essential item. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) would not consider a home that was not “tech friendly.”

Interestingly enough, these statistics are also affecting the hotel industry and the “tech-friendly” marketing trend is spreading. Recently, Marriott debuted a “tech-friendly hotel” chain called Moxy that is budget friendly, features built-in USB ports in each wall socket, and allows guests to check in via their phones if they do not wish to interact with a real person during their stay[2]. Calling their target audience “wildly self-sufficient,” the new chain’s brand vice president did observe that social interaction “in person or digitally” is still important to his consumers. As a result, said Ramesh Jackson, the hotels will also have two “plug and meet” meeting spaces with large televisions, writing walls, and complimentary computers.

by Carole VanSickle

What is more important to you: luxury or technology? Do you think the two could be compatible? Do your buyers think so?