TiO is excited to partner with another builder, Essex Homes. As a company with a reputation for innovation, Essex will be building houses not only with cutting-edge designs, but also the best in smart home technology. TiO is plug and play, so installation is a breeze and it’s so simple for homeowners to use.
Essex will first implement TiO systems into the Villas at Covington in Indian Land, SC. So far, Essex has sold nearly 30 homes in the last month and a half. TiO and Maria Bansal, Sales Manager of Essex Homes Charlotte Market, sat down to discuss the benefits of the partnership.
1) Tell us a little bit about Essex Homes.
Essex Homes is a privately-owned regional builder operating in the Carolinas. We currently operate in Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Aiken SC, and I am here in Charlotte, NC. And we most recently opened our coastal division in Brunswick County, NC. We will close about 1,000 homes this year.
Karl Haslinger, owner and CEO of Essex Homes, started his custom home building business in 1993. He created Essex Homes in 2000. Karl gained a reputation of innovative design, superior quality, and personal service. Those are all traits that carry throughout product lines today. Service, design, and quality are daily topics we talk about in our company. Those are focuses that we have, and that’s how we set ourselves apart from our competition.
2) How did Essex Homes get into partnership with TiO?
Colleagues in our costing department had visited TiO’s booth at the International Builder Show. However, I actually saw TiO on a LinkedIn post I read the article about TiO and sent it over to my division president and he replied that he already had a conference call set up!
We all saw it about the same time and had been talking a lot about incorporating some sort of technology into our homes we just hadn’t had the right fit because everything was so complicated, TIO looked so easy.
3) What did you think of the TiO demonstration?
It was wonderful. I would suggest the demo to anyone who is thinking about the product because being able to see it in action is so different that just talking about it. It is so simple and so versatile. The TiO Experiences are what did it for me. I love the preset experiences that the system comes with, and I love that they are customizable for the buyer. The fact that our buyers can instantly move in and have these Experiences set up in their home really adds something to the house that I don’t think other people in our market are offering.
4) What stood out to you most during the demo?
In addition to the “Experiences”, the versatility of TiO and the fact that it can function with your voice, the app, or the touchpads on the wall made it stand out among the other options. We sell to a variety of buyers from first time, move-up, and empty nesters so the versatility of how they can control the technology is important. Everyone likes to control their home differently and we love that you can control it through any of those means.
5) What are you looking forward to most with implementing TiO into your homes?
TiO aligns with our company goals to provide innovative design and products to the market and being able to bring a simple and cutting-edge technology to our buyers the day they move in is important to us. TiO is also extremely adaptable to changing technologies and does not lock our home owners into on specific system or application. We envision this bringing enjoyment and comfort to our buyers immediately and for years to come.
6) Would you say there are barriers to implementing home automation for builders? How can TiO help overcome that?
There’s so much out there, and there’s so much to sort through. As a builder, it’s important to bring versatility to the home so the buyer can decide how they want to use the technology.
In terms of barriers to entry, I think the hardware that TiO is partnering with is important. Sanjay, President and CEO of TiO, is continuously working on partnering with all these different components for home automation so that buyers can continue to build upon the system.
7) From a builder perspective, how much technical knowledge is needed to install and work with TiO?
Very little. The team at TiO walks you through the options that are available in the market and why TiO is easier and better. They were very knowledgeable and made it very simple and easy to understand, which was appealing to us. And I think that’s true for buyers, too. Anytime you make something difficult for them, in their minds they are going to think no. When you make things easy, it’s natural to say yes to something. We really like that about TiO.
8) What would you say to a builder who is skeptical about taking that next step?
Let them demo or outfit one of your specs and try the product for themselves and they’ll see how easy it can be.