Today's home builders now seek to include some advanced technology in their homes, according to a new survey of 400 U.S. builders conducted by Parks Associates. Programmable thermostats, security systems, and zoned HVAC systems top the list of most frequently offered products, and over two-thirds of the builders surveyed offer computer networking, structured wiring and central vacuum systems with their homes.
"One-fourth of builders have employees actively evaluating new technologies for their potential both to boost sales and serve as differentiators," says Bill Ablondi, director of channel research for Parks Associates. The survey also probes why builders, offer — or don't offer — various products, as well as who they use to install the systems and if they partner with other firms (cable TV operators or utilities) to offer these systems. Name, reputation of company and product quality outweigh pricing as top reasons why builders select specific manufacturers' products to offer their buyers.