4 Big Innovations in Homebuilding: Smart Homes, Automation Lead the Way

By: Alison Rice, Utopia Managing Editor

In Part 2 of Utopia’s exclusive research report, housing leaders share the innovations that have provided the foundation for the future.

Nothing Quite Accelerates Change Like a Crisis

As the country has coped with the coronavirus outbreak by closing down businesses and recommending social distancing, the housing industry has turned to technology to survive—and has been, in many cases, unexpectedly gratified by the results, according to the results of our recent survey of housing leaders.

“Builders have refused for a long time to invest in social media and video marketing. Now that everything has gone virtual, builders have shifted that budget from flyers and signs to social and digital marketing, and they have seen great success with online leads to appointments,” said one homebuilder who participated in the survey.

That respondent was just one of many who noted the leaps forward—and promise still to come—in the area of sales and marketing. Also on their minds: home automation, back office technology, and building materials and techniques.

We gathered this information from a joint effort between UTOPIA and ProBuilder magazine, where we surveyed more than 90 of ProBuilder’s past and current 40 Under 40 winners about the biggest challenges and opportunities in the industry today.

These young leaders and rising stars bring a fresh perspective and a tech-first mindset to the business of homebuilding. Represented in this 40 Under 40 group are production and custom builders, multifamily developers, designers, architects, and startup entrepreneurs.

This research report, Housing’s Leaders on the Future of Construction and Homebuilding, will be released in multiple parts during September and October.

This is Part 2 (download Part 1 here), where we asked this group to identify areas of innovation in homebuilding. Of the 90 professionals who participated in this survey, almost all had opinions on where the industry has grown and where it needs to improve. Their responses are grouped by topic to present the “4 Big Innovations in Homebuilding.”

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