Whether a vacation residence or a full-time home, buyers appreciate security, temperature and lighting control while away.
In a state as large as California, a builder’s client base may cover a wide range of areas—from large cities to suburban neighborhoods, or perhaps one of the more remote regions with little in the way of civilization.
It’s those off-the-grid areas where the smart home is becoming more of an attraction.
Method Homes builds homes throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, including many in Silicon Valley. The builder has found that in such a tech-driven market, homeowners nearly always want complete and total smart homes.
But, the desire for building a TecHome is no longer limited to such areas. For those located closer to the mountains of Squaw Valley than the Silicon Valley headquarters of tech giants, smart home features are becoming more mainstream.
“Even in some of the remote areas, there still is a need and a desire for smart home technology,” says Brian Abramson, co-founder of Method Homes.
Feeling Like Home While Away from Home
Gone are the days of homeowners arriving to their home after an extended period away and not knowing what awaits them. They now have the ability to make it feel as if they’ve been staying there all along. Method Homes installs products like Lutron’s RadioRA 2 total home control systems in some of its projects.
“When you get into remote homes, people do want to be able to control them from far away, so they could turn their heat on before they go for the weekend,” says Abramson. “And they like the ability to monitor, both for security and also temperature sensors and such.
“So, in some of these cold climates, if a pipe freezes or something, they know about it. And sometimes they like even being able to watch on a camera remotely.”
These concepts hold true for both weekend retreats and full-time residences. Whether the homeowner is just at work for the day or planning to spend several weeks away, these tech options provide valuable peace of mind.
How Much Tech is Enough Tech?
With the TecHome world expanding to include everything from the most basic smart thermostats to fully integrated automation systems, it is important to know how much tech is right for each homeowner.
Method Homes includes some kind of automation in every project but leaves it up to the homeowner to decide how much tech to include.
“Everybody knows about [home automation] and has at least minimum wants, like a Nest thermostat,” says Abramson.
One aspect to consider is how much time homeowners will be spending in their home. If a home will not be occupied all the time, it may be important to find middle ground on how much tech to include, as a fully integrated system may not be necessary.
Educating the Client
Method Homes has developed a process for helping its clients wade through the waters of tech offerings. While most of the company’s customers are familiar with what is available to them, there is almost always a learning process involved.
“Our client base is pretty savvy, so typically they have an idea of what they want when we’re starting the discussion process,” says Abramson. “But I think people are surprised how accessible a lot of this stuff has become these days.”
To help the buyers decide what is in their best interests, Method Homes keeps someone on the team who is well-versed in home technology. The company is then able to guide the clients through the process and determine what makes sense within their budget and needs, while eliminating options that may be redundant.
“We do see clients that are a little intimidated by the vast array of things that are out there, so that’s where it’s our job to educate them and try to make it so that it’s not confusing or daunting,” says Abramson.
Keeping a home tech expert on hand is a valuable resource in steering clients in the right direction, especially when factoring in the area in which their home is located.
Looking Toward the Future
Regardless of how much tech Method Homes uses in each of its builds, Abramson says it’s important to remain informed about how home technology is advancing.
“We try to stay on the forefront and innovative,” he says. “And it’s nice that we’re able to offer all these technologies to our clientele, because it’s become so mainstream and widespread these days.”