When TecHome Builder launched in 2001, its dual mission was to help builders make strong progress on incorporating technology into their homes and applying technology to their business processes and operations. The latter we call the Solutions side of our business. TecHome Builder went on hiatus 2008-2013, but when we relaunched it in 2014 our focus was exclusively on the home tech market. Not until 2019 did we re-embrace Solutions, focusing first on marketing and sales solutions with a plan to expand to design and production in 2021.
One of the interesting things about that dual mission has been uncovering synergies between the two spheres. Here are a couple of ideas that spring from that intersection:
Leveraging options selection and presentation technologies for home tech products. The technology industry tends to come at builders in pieces and parts, when they need fully merchandised applications and solution sets to offer homebuyers. Complementary manufacturers could team to pre-load fully articulated packages on options selection tools like MiTek’s Builder MT Options Online or InSearch Design’s Interactive Sales & Options Selection Software and make it simple for builders to market tech. Most of these toolsets allow for video and other rich info to tell the story of hard to explain tech features. Sell-through of tech options would lift and there’s the potential for downstream efficiencies like automating purchasing and scheduling of jobsite labor. While they have more play now, low voltage electronics like home automation, security, AV, and networking gear have historically been orphaned or given back of the design center type status. There is the potential that builders might get started with a digital options platform focused on just the electronics assortments, using tech to sell tech. If successful with the electronics category could lead to broader deployment of the options tech across the full range in finishes.
- Options tech suppliers: you can help home tech players get their act together and come to market through the builder in a powerful sales-winning way.
- Home tech suppliers: you can help options tech suppliers preview the features and benefits of their platforms leading to more comprehensive adoption by builders entrenched legacy systems for handling finish options.
A strong marriage of home tech like automation, AV and speech recognition and builder sales and marketing tech in the sales center and model home. Speech recognition and AV, in particular, are being used to provide unassisted tours of properties. Systems like Utour enable self-guided tours that can present community info, present and promote all kinds of home features and simultaneously demonstrate home tech capabilities.
Home maintenance management. Further down the road, we can visualize a future where home networks and IoT connected devices send real-time information on the status of all kinds of systems and products in the home and prompt timely maintenance repair through monitored management and maintenance platforms like Dun Today.
All-in-one tech solutions for builders. Many home technology integrators also provide AV and networking solutions to commercial clientele. I’m still waiting to see an integrator big or small that can position itself as a turnkey solution provider to builders – reselling sales and marketing software solutions, the AV, and networking technology they need to ride on AND tech for the homes the builder builds.
Builders, integrators, manufacturers, solution suppliers who are making synergies like these happen, let me know, and we’ll share some of your stories to speed the rate of synergistic progress.
– John Galante (Jgalante@ae-ventures.com)