Those of us who were in the real estate industry back in 1989 (or who were looking around for a new home) may recall when giant homebuilder Lennar Homes launched a new concept. The point was to counter other homebuilders who — at the time — offered countless add-on “options,” often making things like granite countertops and high volume ceilings pipedreams to many homebuyers.
Lennar’s answer was called “Everything’s Included” which incorporated the latest products into new builds to be included in the price of their subdivision brochure price sheets. Amenities ranged from energy-efficient appliances to high-end finishes considered pricey design center upgrades with other builders. And as technology advanced, the program expanded to focus on smart home connectivity and automated products as well. While the homebuilder’s price points may exceed (or have exceeded) their competitors’ for the same square footage and bedroom/bath count in many areas, including these new amenities seems to have paid off in the long run. It seems that when it’s all included in one’s monthly mortgage payment, it may be easier to swallow.
Ever since then, the homebuilder’s goal was to stay one step ahead of the game, able to address the changing lifestyle needs of homebuyers. To do that, they began looking at the way people lived, determining how many newer, cutting-edge products fit into their daily lives.
Today Lennar’s new homes include smart products from manufacturers such as Ring, Honeywell, Kwikset, Lutron, and Samsung, and are powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice service and Samsung’s SmartThings line. The products are also compatible with other smart home systems such as Google Home and Apple’s HomeKit, or they can be controlled through manual switches and remotes. The builder’s latest additions include Wi-Fi Certified homes that integrate pre-installed wireless technology into the infrastructure of the homes--instead of a traditional boxed router--to provide coverage in every room.
The key to all this was to create smart home packages employing different brands working seamlessly together — not always the simplest of agendas with companies all vying for the same space in your homebuilding future. Leveraging relationships with product manufacturers, Lennar executives challenged product development teams to come to the table with their best ideas and figure out how to make their products work together as part of a single automated system within the home. The goal was to have the products all work well on their own without forcing the consumer to flip through different apps to control individual products — as if the customer were dealing with only one entity.
Since Lennar’s concept took off, many other homebuilders have incorporated similar upgrades in their new home builds and price points. Lennar admits, however, that at the end of the day, consumers don’t care about how a smart home works. They only care that it does and that it makes their lives more convenient.Source: Builderonline.com, TBWS
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