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Smart Home

Home Builders and Smart Home Tech: Enabling New Services

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. Security, energy, and entertainment use cases have led the way with single-family builders; however, new use cases are gaining interest, specifically those smart products with health benefits, such as indoor air quality and water purity. Home builders broadly report smart home technology is highly popular with consumers and Parks Assocaites research shows that one-fifth of large-scale builders report that smart home technology is the most important value-added feature.

However, builders are risk averse and cost focused. Adding products is challenging without confidence of increased sales. Smart home technology is now at that level. Some measure of investment in smart home technology is increasingly considered table stakes for home builders. As more consumers experience smart home technology in their existing households, expectations for these devices to be included without having to pay extra increases.

Homebuilders acknowledge the importance of the user experience when considering technology for consumers. The value of a simplified user experience is found in delighting the customer as well as reducing warranty calls after the home sale. Maintaining data privacy and security is also a very important feature for three-quarters of all homebuilders. The combined interest in networking hardware solutions and data security solutions provides an opportunity for network security solutions that can be embedded in the router and/or offered by an ISP. To date, no builder has included “the secure home” in its value proposition, but families might find such an offer compelling.

Decision-makers along the value chain, from smart home product procurement to support, become more varied. Home builders and their representatives are most likely to decide which products and brands are chosen but often these decisions are delegated to architects, contractors, or integrators.

  • Smart products are most likely purchased through contractor distribution channels or retail.
  • Builder representatives are the primary buyers, though architects and engineers play a surprisingly strong purchasing role.
  • Contractors and system integrators lead in installation while builders lead in support.


As technological capabilities continue to be more abundant across the entire family unit from children to older adults, the desire for the ability of the whole family unit to benefit from smart home technology is increasing. Builders are increasingly focusing in on the infrastructure and network of the home.

Despite the advent of various forms of smart home control systems independent of security, interactive security systems remain popular among builders. 13% of the builders are installing a security system along with additional smart home devices, often smart door locks, smart thermostats, and smart lighting.

The group who primarily install endpoint solutions may be using smart speakers for control. Also, builders choosing to offer endpoint solutions with a home control hub independent of security may be leveraging smart speakers or more traditional home control system hardware hubs. 

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