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Home builders: Smart home technology as standard offering

Home builders: Smart home technology as standard offering
There is a growing importance of smart home and voice control technology in new construction as home builders report that it is highly popular among consumers. Parks Associates’ recent study, MDUs, Home Builders, and Smart Home Technology, surveyed large and small home and MDU builders throughout the US that are actively involved in specifying, recommending, or installing smart home technology in their products.
There is a growing importance of smart home and voice control technology in new construction as home builders report that it is highly popular among consumers. Parks Associates’ recent study, MDUs, Home Builders, and Smart Home Technology, surveyed large and small home and MDU builders throughout the US that are actively involved in specifying, recommending, or installing smart home technology in their products.

The majority of large-scale single-family home builders surveyed offer smart home technology to increase the appeal of the house and not to add to the sales price. Smart lights, thermostats, door locks, and garage door openers are typically offered as standard, while smart appliances and smart water devices are usually offered as upgrades. 

The study found that 35 percent of the surveyed large-scale single-family builders (LSBs)  provide the networking infrastructure to deliver a “smart home-ready home” for their customers and that the most common technology strategy among (LSBs) is to install a whole-home Wi-Fi network. Fifty-seven percent of LSBs surveyed install Wi-Fi routers as a standard feature, while one-third install smart speakers with voice assistants as standard.  Additionally, 29 percent of LSBs install an interactive security system, which remains popular among builders.
 

Connected products are quickly replacing non-connected models as standard in the homes. New consumer experiences, such as the current impact of COVID-19 on working at home and the need to monitor loved ones, will increase the value proposition of smart home tech among consumers. While the coronavirus can’t be filtered by an HVAC system, people are thinking more about indoor air quality (IAQ) and how to create and maintain a healthy environment for their loved ones. 

Low price points for smart home technologies put Amazon and Google in a good position to expand further in the builder market as a control interface. The low price points of their smart speaker products give builders an economical means to integrate these smart technologies as standard in their homes to boost their value among home buyers. Leading builders, such as Lennar, KB Homes, and Shea Homes, have all selected smart speakers as the user interface of choice.

Other builders who perceive smart entertainment and security systems to be highly popular may choose DIY solutions such as SmartThings, integrator solutions such as Control4, or security-based offerings such as the Alarm.com builder solution. Access control devices, such as smart door locks and garage door openers, rank as more popular than smart thermostats and networked cameras. Similarly, smart appliances are ranked as highly popular by 65 percent of all builders.
 

This expansion of smart home adoption in the builder channel creates new opportunities for smart home manufacturers and service providers to dovetail solutions that can meet the unique needs of large-scale builders, small-to-medium scale builders, and multifamily builders. As consumers become more familiar and comfortable with smart home technology, it is critical for home builders to appease the growing demand for these devices and services in their dwellings. 

For more information on Parks Associates research, visit www.parskassociates.com.


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