Recently, CE Pro sat down with Dan Bridleman, senior vice president of sustainability, technology and strategic sourcing, KB Home, to discuss what types of technology KB Home offers, standard technology vs. options, and more.
Can you tell us a bit about KB Home?
KB Home is a homebuilder that constructed nearly 12,000 homes across the U.S. Because we offer options in floorplans, homesites and features, square footage and prices ranges can vary between customers and communities.
For many years, builders shied away from deploying various technology in new homes. What’s changed?
Homebuilders have realized that while technology requires continual improvement to build healthier, smarter homes. KB Home is a leader in this because we’ve been evolving and recalibrating these technologies since the early 2000s.
We no longer question whether technology will add value to a home’s sale price or whether it is profitable, but how these technologies can evolve to meet the needs of homebuyers. We see many homebuilders refining the fundamentals of smart home technology to make it more accessible to homebuyers and a standard for all homes.
What types of technology is KB Home offering?
One of the features we offer in a few of our communities is the KB Smart Home System, which includes a Google mesh network, Google Assistant, a Nest Hello video doorbell and white glove installation services through our partner DISH.
Our appliances such as the Whirlpool Smart Oven and Smart-Washer are also popular options for our customers as well as products like the U by Moen, which allows customers to control the shower via voice control and smartphone application. We also provide additional smart home products at select KB Home Design Studios, such as light controls, motorized window shades and door locks.
How do you determine which technologies are standards vs. options?
We believe in giving all our customers the ability to personalize their new home and providing them with the options to choose which design features they want to include. If we determine that a technology is important enough to be integral to the home, we move that feature from an option to standard.
What home technologies are popular with buyers these days?
Smart appliances are popular among potential buyers. We also saw a 44% increase in smart home appliance adoption from our customers in 2019. Smart doorbells are also very popular right now and we saw more than a quarter of KB homebuyers choose to install connected security devices.
We also unveiled the Delos DARWIN home wellness network in our Genoa community in Orange County last year. So far, it’s been very popular among KB homebuyers there
What do you look for in an integration company?
We work with two kinds of integration companies: a company that installs technologies before move-in and a white-glove service company after move-in, which activates the technology system in the new home. We build relationships with companies that value the same customer-obsessed service as we do. We also look for a balance of customer obsession, a deep understanding of technology, and standardized training.
What do you see the “home of the future” looking like?
The home of the future will emphasize personalization and allow homeowners choice in interfaces. Voice command is one comfortable interface that we will continue to see, but ultimately, it’s a matter of personal choice. In terms of infrastructure, we expect to see more sensors and artificial intelligence. More sensors will move a smart home into a thinking home; where they can actively collect data in the house and artificial intelligence will process that data, learn the habits of homeowner, and work in anticipation of their habits.