Top Plays from the THB Summit, Think SportsCenter

We’re giving you the highlights from our TecHome Builder Summit in a simple, easy-to-follow package … kind of like how you guys should be selling smart home tech to homebuyers. It shouldn’t be too tough because some of these people are desperate.

“I’m so ashamed I have a stupid house,” said Arnie Wolfson, “I cannot have a Millennial guest because I’m too embarrassed.”

In all seriousness though, with all the tech available out there, there’s never been a better time to convince clients to buy new. And for many builders, the TecHome Builder Summit is the first step.

“I’m excited! Let’s get this done,” said Tim Boyd of Save Electronics at the start of the summit. “Let’s make some money, network, make new friends.”

More than 100 decision-makers in the high-volume space came together in Austin, Texas for the THB Summit.
More than 100 decision-makers in the high-volume builder space came together in Austin, Texas for the THB Summit.

Tim is one of the integrators who joined more than a hundred decision-makers in the high-volume builder space, this March, for the Techome Builder Summit. The event, in Austin, Texas, is now in its second year. It brings manufacturers and builders together, giving them the chance to talk intelligently with and learn from each other. We’re talking about one-on-one meetings, boardroom presentations and sessions led by industry leaders.

Here’s the cliff notes version of some of the tech tid-bits your peers came away with …

Expanding the TecHome Palette

sponsored by Field Controls

The theme was that the tech home is no longer stuck between the confines of a house’s walls. Consumers can bring their “homes” with them using handheld devices. Also taking center stage, was the idea that connected devices go far beyond electronics to HVAC, indoor air quality, irrigation systems and more. Plus, who’s making the decision when it comes to tech? There are 75 million mothers in the U.S. and they’re driving 85 percent of their household purchases. That’s $2.1 trillion a year.

Using Tech to Win the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Millennials and Boomers

sponsored by HDBaseT

President of BDX Tim Costello

“We are selling 50 percent fewer homes than we should have sold,” said president of BDX Tim Costello, “We should be selling 900 thousand single family detached homes this last year.”

He pointed to three reasons new homes aren’t selling. One, prices are at a record high. Two, builders are lousy at marketing against used homes because they’re too busy going up against each other. And three, they need to better understand the three key demographics of foreign buyers, baby boomers and Millennials.

“We have to build a different home,” said Costello, “Thirty-eight percent of Millennials have tattoos. They love personalization. They want to feel like they’re unique. Their view of the new home industry is that we build ticky tacky boxes that all look the same.”

And a lot of these Millennials are interested in the Internet of Things.

The IoT and the Monitored and Managed Home

sponsored by Z-Wave Alliance

Homebuyers are ranking technology over curb appeal.
Homebuyers are ranking technology over curb appeal.

“If you look at what they say when we talked to them,” said Matthew Pine of Carrier, “fifty-six percent of them ranked home technology over curb appeal, that’s a pretty stark contrast from your traditional consumers.”

“The more popular systems are actually professionally installed systems,” said Arrayent’s Bob Dahlberg. “And that’s where the action is in terms of connected systems today.”

“There’s has to be somebody who’s going to answer the phone when there’s a problem,” said Patrick Egan of Security Partners. “And my suggestion is that you partner up with a third party monitoring company and share part of that future revenue.”

So far, we’ve touched on the new idea of the tech home, how you can use it to appeal to different demographics and the future of connecting that tech to the internet of things. All of this can be pretty overwhelming for you builders.

Related: Lennar’s Emily Frager Redefines Builder’s Role in Implementing Tech

Bringing the Connected Home to the Mid-Market

sponsored by Lutron

“We’re trying to make sense of what do we do with all this technology for the masses,” Emily Frager of Lennar. “And it’s impressive all of the activity and energy and effort, but it’s a lot of stuff.”

Frager offered a builder’s perspective at the summit some are calling earth shattering. She said retail is not the answer.

Emily Frager of Lennar offered a builder’s perspective at the summit some are calling earth shattering.
Emily Frager of Lennar offered a builder’s perspective at the summit some are calling earth shattering.

“What we’ve learning is it’s really going to rely on the builder to deliver the service and be the service provider,” said Frager. “And ultimately the buck is going to stop with the builder who put these products in the home, and we have to be prepared to service that.”

Lennar’s focus now is sifting through all the products and services out there and putting them together in a simple package it can market to the homebuyer. The goal is to find a solution you, as the builder, feels confident being on the hook for.

For more information on these sessions, including PowerPoint slides from the presentations and complete video recordings click here.

About The Author

Andrea Medeiros is editor-in-chief, multimedia director and content developer at TecHome Builder. She is a former TV news reporter turned home technology guru and is using her broadcast journalism skills to help our team deliver complicated, tech-focused content in a conversational way. She has a decade of experience in the editorial realm—interviewing, writing and editing stories as well as shooting, editing and producing video content. She is most interested in covering interoperability among smart devices.

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