The master thesis “Smart Home Ecosystems in Real Estate Markets: Use Cases and Actors” examines the role of smart home technologies and their value propositions for real estate markets. Here is the abstract:
Devices such as voice assistants and networked appliances are gaining a foothold in more households every year. These smart home technologies open up new possibilities for firms to tackle challenges in real estate markets with innovative solutions. To fulfil such complex value propositions, businesses are frequently adopting an ecosystem approach towards firm-level interactions. However, little is known about the specific use cases and value propositions that such an ecosystem approach towards smart homes enables for real estate markets and how the participating actors are structured. This study aims to fill this gap. Three different ecosystems could be identified, namely smart locks for physical access management, communication platforms creating a digitally connected and integrated neighborhood, and finally smart sensors and water controllers preventing water leakages and limiting damages. These smart home technologies deliver value propositions that are evolving around the main themes of control, communication and cost reduction. In order to realize these value propositions, the embedded ecosystems adopt a three-level structure. A central keystone firm orchestrates other ecosystems actors and defines universal standards. Next, core partners are necessary to onboard a large consumer base and implement as well as manage the technology on a local level. Finally, the third level consists of many complementors, which add value to the ecosystems by providing modularized services. Eventually, several implications for academia, management and society are highlighted and discussed. All in all, the results of this thesis can serve as a basis for further research and as practical guidance to identify use cases and implement such ecosystem structures.