IN SOME OF ITS NEW COMMUNITIES IN THE southeast, D.R. Horton is gaining notoriety by offering a unique technology package that includes a 24/7 “tech concierge” who will take home buyers' calls and either troubleshoot a tech problem over the phone or send out a technician.
The service comes bundled with voice, data, video, and security services in an average monthly HOA fee of $135.
One big reason Horton can offer this service is that all the technology is installed and managed by Charlotte, N.C.–based technology provider Your Residential Technology Team (YRT2). When service calls come in, there's no bouncing from provider to provider.
YRT2 lays the fiber-optic cable, installs structured wiring in all the houses, meets with home buyers during the general selections process to explain the technology, offers a service call within the first week of move-in to help buyers set up their systems, and even sells and installs consumer electronic gear such as surround sound and plasma TVs.
“Some integrators will push a $10,000 order on a home buyer right away; that's not what this is about,” says Richard Schwartz, D.R. Horton's Charlotte division president. Some of the homes featuring the service start as low as $109,500.
“What YRT2 does is explain to our buyers that there's a technology plan waiting for them when they are ready to buy that computer or TV they dreamed of when they bought the house,” he says.
Schwartz says the HOAfee goes to YRT2, while Horton receives a percentage of the consumer electronics sales. At press time, the concierge was offered at four Horton communities in the southeast.