The Home Automation Craze
Why Clients Want It And How Home Builders Can Be Ready
Technology is everywhere. There is an app for just about everything, and working smarter is becoming the standard. Smart home technology is becoming more and more accessible to consumers and is expected by clients when planning a new home build. Televisions, music, lighting, surveillance, media, temperature control, and the list can go on and on.
Having all this technology in a home is possible, but it goes to another level to have every piece work together through one streamlined system. This is where the term “home automation” comes into play. It allows all the technology to be managed and controlled by home owners from a mobile phone, tablet or other interface - and it is highly desirable for clients looking to build.
The relationship between home builder and buyer is very unique. It is one built on trust, and matches the expertise of the builder with the vision of the buyer. So, with home automation and clients’ tech expectations on the rise, what are home builders to do?
1. Never assume the client’s technology needs (or wants).
Guessing what a client does or doesn’t want to do for their home technology is a terrible assumption to make if building a spec home. A good approach is to prewire the house for flexibility, so regardless of the client’s desires, the wiring infrastructure will have the capacity to handle smart technology when needed.
2. Don’t get stuck in the misconception that the client can just utilize wireless.
Speakers, routers, televisions and other technology pieces will always need a wire to go to for the best and most reliable service. Home builders must take this into consideration. By properly prewiring a house, it is ready for the tech-minded client. If the house is not wired accurately, the homebuyer may require the sheet rock to come down in order to make adjustments - which only increases expenses. If the house isn’t ready for the clients lifestyle technology, they may pass on buying your home altogether.
3. Be prepared for the client who has custom technology and home automation needs.
The price of home automation has come down significantly over the years, making it more attainable and more common. When walking the client through the design of the home ask basic questions: How many TVs would they like to have, or if networking or having centralized control of systems like thermostats, media libraries, security cameras, or others is important to them. This will give you an idea of how important technology is to their lifestyle.
4. Partner with a professional integrator who knows how to plan for home automation.
An experienced integrator will know how to implement smart home technology and automation in the most strategic and cost “effective” way. This is a win-win for both builder and client. It makes sense to work with the people who will ultimately be hooking up the technology and cables throughout the home. They will know what type of cable to use and where to run them, and builders can completely avoid ripping into sheet rock later. An experienced integrator will have the best interest of the client in mind and work hard to create a home that compliments their lifestyle. The quality of the home automation system will reflect well on the home builder’s craft, and will enhance their reputation in the homebuilding community.
WHY IT MATTERS?
Home automation provides centralized control and connectivity of all the home’s indoor and outdoor technology, from one centralized hub. This can include:
- Smart thermostats to promote energy savings and comfort.
- Lighting control to change the mood of any area of the home.
- Motorized window treatments to increase comfort, save energy and protect interiors.
- Theater rooms with media servers and atmosphere controls.
- Surveillance, locks, and alarm system control from mobile devices and multiple areas of the home.
- Safe networking solutions that protect all of the home’s technology.
- Technology to enhance outdoor living areas, decks, pools and kitchens.
- Much more based on the unique technology needs of each client.
Why clients want it?
Home automation allows clients to control all of their home’s technology from a mobile phone, tablet or other touch panel interface. It centralizes all the technology into one centralized hub inside the home, all the while hiding messy wires and being easily operational from every room in the house. Home automation compliments their lifestyle by integrating their home with the technology they use every day. This simplifies their technology lives, and creates a home they love.
Don’t go at home automation alone! For advice on working with clients who need home automation and custom smart home technology, contact us today!
Orginally published in Jan./Feb. 2016 issue of 'Home Building News' of The Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa