TecHome Builder Summits Wrap: Energy Efficiency, VR and Recognizing Brilliance

Hundreds of builders, developers, vendors and industry experts gathered in Fort Worth, TX for the third annual TecHome Builder Summits to collaborate and discuss the future of the connected home industry.

For the first time, the event was co-located, meaning each market segment of luxury, high volume and multifamily builders were all located under one roof and treated to tailored content that touched upon their unique set of challenges both separately and together.

This Executive Education Program ranged from introductory sessions such as “Lifestyle Packaging to Lure Clients with Tech,” to more advanced sessions such as “Investigating Interoperability and Protocols.”

“We can’t do anything about how these technologies perform, but we can do a much better job with setting expectations,” said Livewire president Henry Clifford in a session for the luxury builder segment, “Living LUX 2025.” This concept of setting expectations to appeal to homebuyers and limit long-term frustration was a consistent theme of the event.

Big Tech Trends and Future-Thinking Outlooks

Understanding emerging industry tech trends was another theme at the event and builders in each market had a chance to learn about and discuss the different types of technologies that could impact their businesses in the future.

These emerging tech trends included using virtual reality to appeal to Millennials, overcoming energy efficiency code challenges and the slow rise of the connected kitchen.

The joint education sessions brought luxury, high-volume and multifamily builders together.
Joint education sessions brought luxury, production and multifamily together.

Virtual Reality

Virtual and augmented reality were noted as easy and innovative ways to upsell a bigger tech package and help a client personalize a project to meet expectations. “People will buy what they can touch, see and feel,” says luxury custom homebuilder Barry Hensley.

Energy Efficiency Tech

Overcoming energy-efficiency challenges with modular construction was also discussed among multiple builder segments. This was explored by highlighting innovations such as geothermal and energy storage in sessions such as “Multiplying Money in Multifamily with Energy Efficient Tech.”

Lifestyle Packaging

An overarching theme in the Executive Program was ease-of-use and finding ways to sell tech as a lifestyle package. “We will see a shift from smart objects and devices to a completely smart lifestyle,” said futurist Miles Kemp of Variate Labs to a group of luxury builders. “Appeal to Distinct Demographics” and “Crafting a Community to Appeal to the Masses” educational sessions also tackled this topic.

Tiny Trend

Emerging tiny tech trends were also explored, like in the multifamily session “Big Tech Options for the Tiny Apartment Trend.” The stage was shared by Jeff Wilson (AKA Professor Dumpster), CEO of KASITA, and Hasier Larrea, CEO of Ori Systems. Both are establishing industry innovations in the world of micro-housing and are using tech to do so.

Guests listen in to a boardroom presentation.
Guests listen in to a boardroom presentation.

One-on-One Meetings and Boardrooms

This continuous theme of education was put to the test during scheduled one-on-one meetings and boardroom presentations with sponsoring home technology companies. During these meetings, builders could speak directly to vendors and learn about transformative products that could have a positive impact on their businesses.

And the Winner is…

Aside from education, the Summits also introduced the inaugural TecHome Brilliance Awards, where 18 companies, products, homes and communities were honored with trophies for their innovative contributions to this industry.

You can see the full list of winners HERE.

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