If there’s one technology that resonates strongly among most consumers, it’s home security.
A recent consumer survey by Houzz indicates that products that help monitor and protect homes and families is the most popular smart home amenity. Add this statistic to the natural desire to feel safe and well protected at home and it’s no wonder smart locks are becoming an increasingly sought-after feature.
Home systems integrator Caleb Rydbeck from eStream Digital, of Carrolton, Texas, is capitalizing on these trends by bundling the Kwikset SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt and other automation devices into a smart home package that eStream Digital promotes and sells through custom home builders in the area.
It’s a package that has helped the company connect to dozens of new clients who are building or remodeling their homes. Rydbeck attributes the appeal of the smart home packages partly to the inclusion of the Kwikset lock.
“It’s easy to install, it’s affordable and it appeals to the many families interested in security and convenience,” he says. “And those three attributes measure up to a winning formula for builders.”
Certainly, there are plenty of other brands of smart locks that eStream Digital could include in its builder packages, but the Kwikset unit offers a few advantages that have made it eStream Digital’s go-to door lock.
It’s become a lock du jour, not only as a popular piece of a builder package, but also as an entrée into the company’s entire customer base, which is comprised largely of owners of luxury custom homes, both new construction and retrofit.
As a successful and long-standing Control4 dealer, eStream Digital naturally gravitates to products that speak the same ZigBee language as Control4’s line of automation systems. The ZigBee version of the Kwikset lineup fits easily into the Control4 ecosystem, minimizing configuration time for eStream Digital, and providing the opportunity to weave the lock into customized automation scenes.
“We’ve found after offering other locks that Kwikset’s products are the most tightly integrated, cost-effective options,” says Rydbeck. “To our Control4 customers the locks basically sell themselves. Once we tell them that the lights and other devices can activate automatically when the lock is unlocked, they’re sold.”
If they need even more convincing, eStream Digital is able to demonstrate the workings of the Kwikset SmartCode 916 at its show home or conference room.
Although Control4 and ZigBee are helping leverage sales of Kwikset locks for eStream Digital today, Rydbeck appreciates that Kwikset offers many other smart lock versions that support other platforms, such as Z-Wave, plus a full line of non-communicating keyless options, should eStream ever have a need for these alternative solutions.
Convenient Access Control
Seamless integration with a control system offers more than just configuration and installation benefits for eStream Digital. It allows its customers to actively monitor and manage their locks from a unified interface.
“Imagine trying to set a unique code into each of five different locks when you have to go to each lock individually to do so,” Rydbeck notes. “With a control system in place, our customers can go to any Control 4 interface to accomplish the same task in seconds.”
From the same user interface users can also change codes on any lock, set up restrictions, assign special temporary codes, and view a log of which locks have been used and when.
“Parents of latch-key kids, in particular, like having access to the locks remotely,” Rydbeck continues. “The kids have keyless entry into the house and if a code is compromised, it can be easily deleted and replaced.”
Cosmetics may not be the first attribute that dealers think about when selling smart locks, but for Rydbeck it’s helped open more than few doors.
“Kwikset seems to have the biggest variety of form factors and colors. We are able to match the locks to just about aby style of door hardware,” he notes. “No matter what style of home we happen to be working on, there’s a Kwikset lock to complement it.”
This even goes for doors of varying thicknesses.
“We ran into a situation recently where the thickness of the door prevented standard locking hardware from working properly,” Rydbeck recalls. “Kwikset came through with its thick door kit. It’s something you can’t find in stores, and being able to quickly find a solution really helped us look like heroes to our clients.”
Expanding into New Door Territory
Rydbeck finds that most clients consider only the main entry door a candidate for a smart lock, but he says recently his company has been promoting the use of smart locks on all exterior doors. It’s something he feels will catch on, thanks in part to the automotive industry.
“Just think about cars … with their keyless door locks, who uses keys anymore? Consumers in general are getting used to not carrying around keys.”
Thanks to Kwikset’s huge portfolio of products, and adherence to several communications protocols, he and his team at eStream Digital feel confident that they’ll be able to offer clients a locking solution for every possible door style and control situation.