Developers Need a Fast, Risk-free Route to Developing Smart Homes | Ashley Said-Kirton

Apr 25, 2022

Increasingly, homeowners expect properties to be able to deliver efficient and automated control of their environment as well as offer cutting-edge entertainment experiences. Ashley Said-Kirton, Managing Director of Avande Connect, examines how developers can address this trend.

A key consideration for any new build is how to make the dwelling as attractive as possible in an increasingly competitive market whilst keeping costs under control. How does a developer know what features will be the most popular to offer before the buying process begins? In the past, it was normal for developers not to provide some features that are expected today, like a fitted kitchen, for example. Our experience tells us that the smart home is nearing that level of expectation.

The best way to tackle these dilemmas is, of course, to find a specialist to partner with, but then how do you keep costs and expectations under control? In many other sectors such as yacht or high-end car manufacturers, buyers are offered the chance to pick what extras they want, with any additional costs to the supplier controlled and known up front. Is it possible to achieve something in the developer sector or even go further by creating an entirely risk-free model? After all we are building homes here, and much care is needed to create a process that is smooth, makes the buyer feel cared for and valued, but also controls up-front costs for the developer.   

Impact House by Impact Capital Group

The Smart Choice

There can be no doubt that the smart home phenomenon is on the rise. CEDIA is the global trade association for the smart home sector and recently issued one of its regular UK Integrated Home Market Analysis reports identifying the size, shape, trends and services of the sector. The report showed a market in a bullish mood, boosted by the impact of consumers spending more time in their homes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a general rise in the awareness of smart home and AV experiences. The report revealed that there are approximately 3,700 specialist smart home integrator companies in the UK, with 88% of those companies forecasting revenue growth in the next 12 months and one-third considering the need for extra staff in the next 12 months. So, these specialist companies are seeing increased business from somewhere, perhaps your competitors?   

The types of systems on offer vary significantly, but basically the sector aims to use a range of systems that allow homeowners to enhance their spaces in specific ways that suit their lifestyle.

Impact House by Impact Capital Group

Intelligent lighting is a key offering that delivers not just increased efficiency, switching on or off at specific times and when it detects no presence, but also the opportunity to make homes more attractive with special scenes and colours that match any mood.

The homeowner can also enjoy the benefits of automated window treatments and blinds, which can be combined with intelligent lighting to control the amount of ambient light required in a space at any point in the day or to suit any occasion.

We also now know that offering lighting and ambient light control that is truly human-centric and matches our circadian rhythms is a big boost to wellness. Families can wake up with the perfect amount (and the right colour) of artificial light, and gradually add ambient light as the sun climbs into the sky. Flip this to nighttime, and a full-on party experience can be enabled with colourful lights and dramatic scenes to add drama and excitement.

With fuel prices on the increase, owners can also have the option of creating precise and automated control of their environment. Smart home systems allow heating and cooling to be set to obey precise values for different areas of the home throughout the day, establishing the perfect scenario to match each occupier’s needs. These systems can also offer fast and easy control in real time to adjust an area to a given need immediately.

Impact House by Impact Capital Group

Every family wants to feel secure in their home, and so security systems that are bespoke to match the needs of every dwelling are also very popular. Enabling homeowners to build in extra peace of mind with additional security for given areas and also allowing them to remotely monitor activity when they are not at home are powerful drivers for homeowners.

People love to relax and have fun at home, and integrated entertainment systems allow them to do just that. Adding a multi-room music system that can come under their spell and create the right atmosphere for any time of the day or for any occasion is extremely popular. For those who want to enhance their AV enjoyment even further, home cinema systems are one of the biggest growth areas in the sector.

The Options

It is now undeniable that offering smart home and entertainment options will put developments on trend and give them an edge over competitor projects. However, how does a developer offer something they have no experience in, and how do companies protect themselves from the initial outlay?

Our Avande Select Portal allows developers to offer all of these options to their buyers with no risk to themselves, as the new owner deals directly with our expert team choosing the systems they want from a specially created online portal.

Each Avande Select Portal is designed specifically for a given development. By using a unique code, homeowners log-on and make choices to add products and services to their home that have been designed specifically for their property. Once those choices have been made, our team of expert engineers fits the products in a fuss-free installation process with no detrimental impact on the aesthetics of the property.

Impact House by Impact Capital Group

Our systems are specifically designed so that the homeowner can make these choices to be ready to go when they move in, or they can decide to upgrade at any point afterwards. Once the systems are installed, Avande Select engineers maintain and service them. To reiterate, there is no outlay or risk to the developer – just leave your smart home choices to the experts and reap the rewards of being able to offer 21st century functionality in all of your projects.

Our Partners

Impact House is a recent landmark project created by Impact Capital Group in the property hotspot of Chigwell. The Avande Select Portal is available to all the new owners of these fantastic and stylish dwellings. Sebastian Whitton, Operations Director at Impact Capital Group, comments, “During the early planning stages we decided that we wanted to make smart home functionality a key part of this development. Moving forward we want all our buildings to be like this, offering cutting-edge technology for a better lifestyle but also offering energy savings and increased efficiency.”

Impact House by Impact Capital Group

Klaudia Bacinska, Director of Brand and Marketing at Impact Capital Group, adds, “A key target market for us are millennials (born between 1981 and 1996). This consumer group increasingly expects this type of functionality, and we want to lead in offering these options to homeowners. Every development we take on is slightly different, and we will adapt what we offer for each project to suit the building, the surrounding area and the potential target market.”

Another recent project sees the Avande Select Portal available across all of the dwellings of a development known as Queens Park in a much sought-after area of North London, executed superbly by Luxgrove Homes. William McKenna, Co-Founder of Luxgrove Capital Partners, explains, “It is always a challenge knowing what additions and specifications to offer on a high-quality new build property. The Avande Select Portal is a strong option for us as it allows our buyers to select the options that suit their lifestyle and to deal directly with the experts that will be installing and supporting the systems.”