Personal touch is essential in business, and one company is teaming with builders to capitalize on a unique blend of technology and marketing that could translate to even more sales.
Maryland-based Energy Squad has embarked on an endeavor involving its builder partners, model homes and the increasingly-popular Amazon Alexa voice control platform. The concept ultimately boils down to using the Alexa platform as a sales tool to heighten clients’ interest in technology and close more deals.
“We’re including Amazon Alexa in our model homes and we have her telling customers about the home features, while also having her control smart home functionality in the home. We’re selling packages based on that, and we’re getting some traction with that,” says Jon Stovall, founder of Energy Squad.
Custom Skills and Customer Care
By employing an Echo or Dot device as a sales agent within its model homes, all Energy Squad needed to do was install custom skills into the existing Alexa platform. Alexa is an intuitive learning platform that allows developers to create custom skill application program interfaces (API).
The API utilized by Energy Squad allows potential clients to ask Alexa specific questions regarding the home, like “Tell me about the builder” or “How is this home controlled?” Alexa not only answers these questions specifically and personally, but also demonstrates the many smart home capabilities of the home in real time.
This approach allows clients to understand the features of the home itself while also experiencing the capabilities of an Amazon Alexa platform. It’s a unique way to educate them and enrich their experience of touring a model home.
Consulting Builders on Tech Options and Opportunities
While the Alexa sales method is an enjoyable one for the consumer, it has presented an even more valuable experience for both Energy Squad and the builder partners the company has worked with.
“The builder group is really, really good for us,” says Stovall.
Energy Squad works with builders, such as Brookfield Residential, as both an integration resource and a consultant. Stovall has found that many builders value this level of consultation because of the abundance of tech options on the market today.
“There’s a lot of confusion out there about what to do. The more I talk to people, the more I understand how overwhelmed they are about what’s going on with all of these different systems,” says Stovall.
Stovall specifies that while Amazon Alexa is, at its core, a DIY solution, builders still appreciate an expert that is able to detail the specifics of the platform.
“When they see a very popular control platform, like Amazon Alexa, and they see her working with things without hubs, that is very appealing to a lot of these larger builders who may not want to spend the money on a fully integrated system,” says Stovall.
And Stovall is on to something.
Despite the DIY nature of certain smart home products, including Amazon Alexa, certain combinations of these devices could be standardized or sold as an add-on option, thus allowing production builders and multifamily developers alike to explore less-expensive options for controlling the TecHome.