While some homebuilders are just starting to dip their toes in tech, others are going all in with smart home technology and reaping the benefits.
Candlelight Homes is currently the only homebuilder in Utah that offers a free smart home tech package with every home purchase. The luxury builder is using this tech strategy to market itself as innovative in a region where home technology isn’t yet the norm.
Candlelight has been offering these connected devices as standard for the past three years and sees this as an easy way to market to Millennials.
“Eighty-two percent of our buyers are between 25 and 40, and we want to be ahead of the game by offering the newest and the greatest,” says Joe Salisbury of Candlelight Homes. “It makes us stand out amongst our competitors. We are now known for our smart homes.”
Candlelight’s Control Packages
Candlelight offers five standard options that come in each new home and five add-on options to further expand automation if the homebuyer is interested.
The five standard technologies include motion sensors, a front porch camera, connected thermostat, security system and programmable lights.
When the homeowners move into their new home, the systems are connected and ready for use. The buyers are then given the option to expand their options anytime in the future.
Added pieces of connected tech that Candlelight offers are smart sprinklers, keyless entry, automatic blinds and a full home theater.
“We definitely see a wide variety of what people are liking, but mostly the alarm system, smart thermostat for temperature control and lighting control,” says Salisbury.
All of Candlelight’s connected tech is integrated with Control 4’s interface.
Lessons for Builders
Candlelight Homes’ decision to offer tech as standard was initially tough to make because of the wide range of connected products on the market.
“It was difficult to figure out how to integrate all the technologies on a production level, but now it is a simple process that has become our standard,” says Salisbury.
And it’s paid off. Candlelight markets its smart homes as being cost-effective and convenient, saying that you can save up to 30 percent on utility bills with the thermostat and lighting controls.
These smarter homes are selling, and that should get other builders talking. It proves that homebuyers are not just warming up to the idea of the smart home but are ready to dive in.
But Who Covers the Cost?
One question builders consistently ask is how much of the homebuilding budget should be devoted to tech, and Candlelight has a unique way of absorbing costs.
In this case, the upfront technology costs are absorbed by the homebuilder, which allows Candlelight to market a free initial tech package and encourages the homebuyer to scale up the level of connected tech.
If that option doesn’t work for you, a free welcome package of connected devices can help open the conversation with clients about home technology.
The biggest takeaway from Salisbury is that even with the initial confusion and costs associated with integration, the time is now to include home automation and tech packages. Well … if you want to sell your homes.