Builder Recognizes Need to Take the Lead on Tech

HiVol builder Greg Sewell says the TecHome Builder Summit makes him realize the potential for tech to separate him from others in his market.

In markets in which no builder has taken the lead on embracing a strong tech strategy, the opportunity exists for one to take charge and become a trendsetter. For those that don’t, they run the risk of falling behind and being forced to catch up to what their competitors do.

For Greg Sewell, sales manager for Westin Homes in Texas, that’s a situation he wants to avoid. So, he has attended the TecHome Builder Summit each of the last two years in an effort to be the one to establish the playing field in his market.

“What I’ve gotten out of this show the last two years has been a huge understanding of the automation, the security, the healthy homes, all different kinds of segments between starter homes, move-ups, retirement homes and now NextGen homes,” says Sewell. “We’ve got to be on the forefront, and things are getting competitive. So, having a competitive advantage on a new technology that’s coming out or something that we can add to our home, for us I think is crucial.”

Greg Sewell speaks during the HiVol “Home Tech Sales & Marketing Lessons Learned” session at the 2017 TecHome Builder Summit.

The challenge for him is to make that a reality. Westin executives recognize the industry is ever-changing, but they are cautious about how they invest in new technologies. They generally have chosen to see how something works for someone else before deciding to move forward with it on their own.

However, Sewell sees an opportunity with tech. Westin does partner with Summit sponsor HomePro to offer buyers a basic standard tech install with upgrade options, but he knows his company could be doing more. And, if that can happen before his competitors take a leap forward, he knows that will put Westin at a big advantage. That’s why he attends the Summit each year.

“We don’t claim to be experts in everything, but we’re good at putting it all together,” he says. “So, coming here and getting the education about all the different platforms, the different installers and all the different new products that are coming, it’s absolutely mind-blowing.

“All I need to do is bridge that gap to the purchasing manager. That way, we can become partners with more of these sponsoring companies and utilize their technologies, rather than just let it go by without being seen.”

So, the next step for him is to work with his management team and develop a tech plan. And, he believes the format of the Summit allows him to learn about the TecHome in a way that best prepares him to accomplish that.

“All the boardroom presentations were phenomenal,” he says. “The one-on-ones that you have a chance to do here, getting to sit down and actually work on a relationship and figure out how we are going to work together is great. What do we need to do? How can we benefit you as well as you benefit our company and our clients? So, it’s an absolute wealth of information, a wealth of knowledge and I definitely think it’s needed.”