Original article by: BUILDER Online
Ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among high-volume builders by Eliant (Homeowners’ Choice Awards), The New Home Company has earned a reputation for building homes that put buyers first at every step in the process.
When it came time for this industry leader to explore how to respond to increasing demand for smart technology, it wanted to apply the same thoughtful, customer-centric, and forward-looking approach to every other aspect of their business.
“We’ve always embraced innovation when it comes to launching new programs. We push ourselves to be as advanced with smart design and smart technology as we can,” explains The New Home Company Corporate Vice President of Marketing Megan Eltringham.
To better understand how to provide the right smart-home experience for its buyers, The New Home Company formed a task force to meet with executives from Amazon, Google and Apple to assess the smart-home landscape.
Insights coming from these meetings convinced the builder to ultimately pursue an agnostic approach to smart tech while also attempting to provide the most user-friendly experience it could possibly offer.
“We want to give homeowners the opportunity for choice and personalization when it comes to technology in their homes,” said Eltringham. “With that in mind, we put the infrastructure in place so they can have anything they want in their homes, and easily control it all.”
Unlike many builders who offer a few standalone smart devices that require their own mobile apps or pre-select a voice assistant platform for their customers, The New Home Company put together a smart-home package powered by Brilliant, an affordable touchscreen-based, smart-home control system that installs like a standard light switch.
“Brilliant felt the same way we did about being agnostic and aspires to be the ‘Switzerland’ of the smart-home space,” says Eltringham. “They work with a wide variety of popular smart-home products and make it easy for our customers to control everything.”
The Brilliant Smart Home System is the cornerstone of The New Home Company’s smart-home offering called EVO Home Tech, which includes two Brilliant touchscreen wall panels, smart lighting, a Honeywell Home smart thermostat, Ring video doorbell, Kwikset smart lock, Genie garage opener and a Wi-Fi system. If a homeowner wants other technologies or systems to be included—a Sonos sound system or more security cameras, for example—they can easily be added at any time.
Homeowners can easily control and automate their homes in a variety of convenient ways: Brilliant touchscreen panels, the all-in-one Brilliant mobile app, built-in voice control, custom home automation scenes, or built-in motion detection for smart lighting. Brilliant also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
Wi-Fi also plays an integral role in the success of EVO. “We’re doing the hard work of partnering with low-voltage trades to identify wireless dead zones and strategically place access points to make sure the entire home has connectivity,” says Eltringham.
In addition to this standard smart-home package, every new homeowner receives a white glove in-home orientation with a professional integrator, which includes the setup of all smart-home devices and an in-person tutorial on how to use the system.
To uphold its mission of “helping people live better lives,” The New Home Company’s innovation task force meets regularly to discuss future smart-home initiatives, from air quality to water conservation. The company has also fostered a strategic relationship with Brilliant to help shape what that future will look like.
“We’ve created a smart-home package that’s user-friendly and not overly complicated, while still looking toward the future,” says Eltringham. “And we’re going to continue to gain insight from our buyers to see what’s next.”