Even for companies already featuring tech, TecHomeX creates opportunity for important knowledge and connections.
TecHomeX is not just about introducing the players in the California homebuilding ecosystem to technology options for the first time. It is also about educating everyone on how to continue to make the most of the fast-growing market.
And, for many of the guests who are already well-versed in incorporating tech into their projects, TecHomeX served as a way to keep them moving forward with the latest options they can leverage to improve their business.
The dust had not even settled on TecHomeX before connections made at the event started paying dividends.
Mike Malinowski, founder and principal of Applied Architecture in Sacramento, uses tech in various aspects of his work, and he already has been able to expand that due to TecHomeX. He says his one-on-one meeting with Navien has already led to a deal with the company and its instant hot water heater with WiFi connectivity.
“We’re planning on incorporating that into a multifamily project with the idea that the tenants could monitor their usage, and at the same time, management could get notice of any fault or problem with the unit,” says Malinowski. “That’s pretty compelling. And, the cost was just a nominal change from the normal cost without that connectivity, so that was an easy sell to a developer.”
Malinowski says he had no idea that type of technology was available now, and it wasn’t something that was even on his radar leading up to the event.
Spec’ing New Tech
Navien also left favorable impressions with other TecHomeX guests. Michael Johnson, the pre-con manager for Brink Custom Homes, has been using tech in his homes for years. He says Navien’s tankless systems are among the things that are still sticking with him.
He says, even though he is not new to using tech, TecHomeX provided him the opportunity to better look toward the future.
“If there is innovation and new technology out there that we’re not incorporating yet, then I have to be the one to drive that,” Johnson says. “I don’t want to get stuck spec’ing the same thing over and over again. It’s really easy to do. ‘Oh, that worked great in the last project, let’s do it again.’ Things are moving too fast for that sort of thing these days.”
In addition to Navien’s products, Johnson says he was also impressed by Legrand’s switching options, as well as fan technology from companies like Aprilaire, Delta Products and S&P USA Ventilation Systems.
Importance of Education
Legrand’s products stood out to many attendees, including some of the interior designers. Carly Blalock, who owns her own interior design firm, says she has used many of the company’s devices before. She says she is always trying to educate herself about the latest and greatest tech options, and she was able to do that at TecHomeX.
“I had seen those [Legrand products] before,” Blalock says. “But, to sit down and really learn the technology behind them and then all of their capability, and it’s only an hour, but now I’m fully educated and I feel better about using the product and how I can use it more strongly.”
Blalock was also struck by Devialet’s Phantom speaker, featuring it in a live video on her Facebook page.
“That was awesome,” she says. “That, I thought was amazing.”
She says what she saw and learned at TecHomeX will allow her to incorporate more tech into her homes, which is a necessity because her clients have a high demand for it.
Experiencing the Products
Another interior designer found significant value with the companies represented at TecHomeX.
Tonie Pimienta focuses largely on remodeling projects in homes that are nearly a century old. Her challenge is to bring the homes up-to-date despite many not having the infrastructure to support new technology. She says companies at the event were able to offer her solutions to common problems she sees in many of her projects.
Additionally, she learned how she can much more easily learn from her clients what tech products they would like her to feature in their homes.
“I already have some contacts. Like, with Sub-Zero, I didn’t know they have this showroom that I can actually bring clients and show all the products,” Pimienta says. “And, also, Lutron. You know, Lutron actually also invited me to come to their main showroom and bring some clients to really explain some of the things that before it was hard to show them just in the brochure or on the computer.”
Even for companies that have been using tech in their homes for years, TecHomeX provided them contracts, connections and contacts to continue to offer California homeowners the best in smart home devices.