North Oklahoma Citybuilder Jeff Click’s most recent show home has all of the technological turbines, such as media servers and AV power amps, placed subtly, hidden in technology closets and connected to media ports such as the home theater and automation system. Five LG plasma televisions throughout the home are black box–free, with cable boxes and other hardware out of sight. Speakers are flush-mounted.
The house has complete home automation, lighting and climate control, a six-camera security system tied into the network and available on every video screen in the house, and an automated irrigation system also on the home’s grid. What the home doesn’t have is a custom price tag: It’s priced at $250,000 including the technology, not far above the city’s average home price of $173,585, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and well below what such a technology complement would have cost a few years ago.
Click doesn’t have the typical builder background; his degree is in telecommunications and he’s a self-described geek. But he’s an evangelist for integrating this generation of affordable home technology into new construction as a matter of course. “It’s inexpensive, does a lot, and once it’s programmed, it doesn’t need any maintenance to operate,” he says of the HAI Omni Pro system he used recently. Click is now using the Apple TV box to host all the media in the home and make pictures of his other properties available for visitors to see. Taking Apple as a marketing tool one step further, he recently launched an iPhone version of his Web site that not only shows images of the homes but also links to Google Maps to guide prospective buyers there.
Click gets more than his share of tech-savvy prospects; it’s a way of staking out and mining a specific market niche. “Technology’s a great differentiator,” he says.