The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB
The popularity of the iPad and its thinner, lighter cousin, the iPad 2 — which sold out when it was first released, with a whopping 70% sold to new buyers, according to CNNMoney.com — bodes well for home builders, remodelers and electronic systems contactors (ESCs).
“The introduction of the iPad into everyday vernacular has caused a shift in our business practices,” said Marc Leidig, of the electronic systems contractor Ambiance Systems of Clifton Park, N.Y., one of the first ESCs in upstate New York.
“We no longer have to ‘sell’ customers on the value of a touchscreen remote to control their home systems,” he said. “We now just need to introduce a new ‘app’ on a product they already own and are comfortable using on a daily basis.”
“For our customers who walk through our models and begin discussions with our sales team with iPhones or iPads in hand, we have an obvious corollary to kick off talks about home technology,” said custom builder Peter Belmonte, of Belmonte Builders. “So many of our luxury clientele are familiar with smartphones and the technology associated with them that opening up discussions about additional lifestyle uses for their iPads to control home technology isn't a deal breaker.”
“Depending on their interest in the discussion, we call in Leidig’s team to design the systems around the devices,” he said.
ESCs have utilized touchscreen remotes in clients’ home technology projects for years, but the introduction of the iPad has preemptively taught potential home technology consumers how to control their homes — without the need for instruction.
“The back-end programming of the systems is exactly the same,” said Leidig. “It’s only the interface that has changed.”
Both agree that the iPad and the features it offers can be a conversation starter when discussing home technology systems with potential home buyers, especially since a lot of the groundwork has already been done.
“The iPad is an especially useful tool for builders in the business of building second or vacation homes for their clients,” said Belmonte. “Clients who only visit their property infrequently still want to know how secure it is. Incorporating security measures through a tool such as the iPad gives them the ability to control lights, HVAC and security remotely as well as to utilize cameras to keep an actual eye on their property from a distance.”
“Building a sound product is only half the battle when targeting buyers today,” he said. “Builders also have to offer unique technology options, such as this remote control option, to sway their purchase decisions as well.”
Information About Home Technology Available From HTA
The Home Technology Alliance (HTA) is a partnership between NAHB and CEDIA, the Custom Electronic Design Installation Association, that was formed to position the housing industry to effectively meet the growing home buyer demand for home technology and provide maximum return on investment in the new home building and remodeling process.
For more information, visit www.nahb.org/HTA.
CEDIA, the Custom Electronic Design Installation Association, is a founding sponsor in the Home Technology Alliance and an international trade association of companies that specialize in designing and installing electronic systems for the home.
CEDIA members are established and insured businesses with bona fide qualifications and experience in this field. CEDIA serves as a source for electronic systems contractors (ESCs).