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Is There Growing Builder Backlash to ‘Smart Homes’?

Homebuilders are dangerously being advised they are ‘dumb’ for not constructing ‘smart homes,' and providing Wi-Fi is their only requirement.

Is There Growing Builder Backlash to ‘Smart Homes’?
A recent editorial in a leading homebuilder publication advised builders not to get caught up in the hype of smart homes.

Jason Knott · April 25, 2019

Can someone please get me the phone number for Sigmund Freud!

Apparently, integrators now don’t just need to be trade partners with some of their homebuilders, but they will need to be psychoanalysts for them.

I am talking about a growing resistance to “smart home” technology bubbling up in the builder community that is rooted more in emotion than logic.

According to the article, the only onus on homebuilders related to smart home technology is to “enable a robust and scalable Wi-Fi signal within and around the house.”

The spawn of the resistance is rooted in the word “smart.” By using the term “smart home” when speaking to builders, the insinuation is that if they don’t install technology in the home they are “not smart” or, to say it more plainly… they are being “dumb.”

Of course, that is certainly not the case, but unfortunately that is apparently the way some builders are starting the feel.

Indeed, a recent editorial in one of the leading homebuilder publications played into those emotions.

The article advised builders to not get caught up in the hype of smart homes, and said that those in our industry think they are "smarter than you." In essence, it was saying to builders that integrators think they are dumb if they don’t install home tech.

The article goes on to say that mainstream Americans really do not want smart homes at all… and even if they do want technology in their homes, they are going to buy those devices as aftermarket purchases, not during the home construction cycle.

So according to the article, the only onus on homebuilders related to smart home technology is to “enable a robust and scalable Wi-Fi signal within and around the house.”

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The whole home tech conversation is quickly coming off the rails if builders solely believe they just need to provide a wireless signal for a new home.

Based on this, integrators will need to tread very lightly with builders on the “smart home” subject, making sure that their builder partners are not feeling demeaned by not adopting certain technologies for their newly constructed homes.  

It’s important to remember that while integrators are all immersed in smart home technology, homebuilders are not. But you might want to carry a blue blankie in your truck just in case.  

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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

Blogs · Builders · Homebuilders · Smart Home · All Topics
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