At last year’s TecHome Builder Summit, Shea Homes leaders recognized the opportunity presented by Deako, and now they are offering its products as standard in a new community with the potential for even more.
For builders looking to entice buyers with smart home options, there is some financial risk by including high-priced tech products they ultimately may not want. At the 2017 TecHome Builder Summit, Deako showed builders a cost-effective smart home option that could impress their customers, present upgrade opportunities and allow for future-proofing. High-volume builder Shea Homes jumped at the opportunity.
Deako’s products help to simplify the process of creating a smart lighting system within a home. With homes that can have dozens of light switches throughout, creating whole-home smart lighting can cost thousands. Deako’s switches can be selectively and easily installed at a fraction of the price, creating flexibility for both the builder and homeowner.
“What we’ve done is we’ve said, for the price of other smart home devices, between $150 and $400, you can wire every single switch in your home for smart lighting, so they’re smart lighting ready, with a modular switch,” explains Deako COO Wes Nicol. “So, they put in our simple switch, which is inexpensive, and now they’ve got their whole home smart lighting ready. So, the homeowner can upgrade whenever they want. They can move them around. They can customize where their smart switches are when they’re ready to upgrade. And, from a builder’s perspective, we’re the only smart lighting company that will tell the builder not to buy smart lighting. Let the customer buy it if they want to buy it. Then, the builders aren’t on the hook for that cost.”
While explaining these benefits during a boardroom presentation, a member of the Shea Homes team took notice and began asking several questions. A bit later, several representatives of the company visited the Deako booth to get more information and learn about the system.
Following the event, Deako CEO Derek Richardson visited Arizona to meet with Shea executives. After a few more follow-up meetings and some back and forth, the two companies created a fully integrated partnership with Deako’s Simple Switches being included in all residences at Origin at Gateway Quarter in Queen Creek, Ariz.
To this point, the switches have been installed in two model homes with a full launch this month.
“So far people love them,” says Ken Peterson, VP of sales and marketing for Shea Homes in Arizona. “They love the modern, clean lines. They love that it future-proofs their home for lighting automation. And, the ease of installing and upgrading switches as your lifestyle changes without having to call an electrician is extremely appealing. Whether homebuyers purchase upgrades through Shea Homes or direct from Deako after moving in, it’s the forward-thinking, consumer-centricity and ease of the product that is so desirable.”
“The great thing about that is we’re starting in Arizona, but they said they have this great contact in Seattle that we should talk to,” adds Nicol. “So, we already have a relationship with the Shea company in Seattle that was initially seeded at the TecHome Builder Summit in Arizona, and it’s helping us get more penetration with that company in a different location.”
The Shea Homes relationship is the first of what Deako hopes will be many that will have come from the TecHome Builder Summit. Nicol says he still has a great list of leads and connections from the more than 50 builders with whom he and his team met. For a young company, getting exposure to those key decision-makers is what will allow his company to grow.
“We don’t come from 30 years in the homebuilding industry, so we don’t have these relationships,” explains Nicol. “The great thing about TecHome is we get to get in front of these people in a non-threatening environment. We get vetted as a supplier, and we get to talk to them about their needs and our products and see where the fit is. So, it gets that instant access to the people that are making the decisions. And, once we have that access, then we feel like we’ve got a great solution… Once we have that meeting, we can take it from there. But, the biggest challenge is getting those meetings. And, TecHome has done that for us fantastically.”