Just like car companies update their models every year with new standard features that were once an upgrade option, builders are being forced to do the same to engage prospective buyers beyond just offering them a beautiful home.
In Opelika, Ala., Stone Martin Builders is staying ahead of the curve by making the competition’s upgrades standard features. Its most recent addition is a new home security and automation system, the Interlogix ZeroWire. While other home builders are offering security systems at a cost, Stone Martin partnered with Interlogix to make these cutting-edge products standard in every home it builds from here on out.
Interlogix is part of the UTC Building and Industrial Systems, but Stone Martin is one of the first builders to introduce its ZeroWire product in a residential setting. ZeroWire is the first wireless security system with a built-in web server that will work regardless of a separate internet connection, which Manasco adds is an immense benefit when home buyers are still waiting on service providers to run connections to new home developments.
“If you have cell service and power, the service can do anything from door locks, smoke detectors, cameras, lighting control, and appliance control,” says John Manasco, director of purchasing and estimating at Stone Martin Builders.
The product has multiple local and remote programming options, including its on-board web server, on a computer and via UltraSync, a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. The app allows users to arm and disarm the system, manage user accounts, view streaming video and clips from security cameras, view sensor status, control the lights, thermostats and locks, and create and manage schedules and ‘scenes’.
The control panel can sync up with various ‘accessories’ such as key fobs, door sensors, motion detectors, glass-break sensors, video cameras, smoke detectors, locks, thermostats, lights and more.
Another feature Manasco touts about the ZeroWire system is the fact that there’s no hard wiring in the homes involved.
“Most builders have hardwired digital programs, but the benefit to ZeroWire is it allows mobility and people to adapt it to their own lifestyle,” says Manasco.
Stone Martin Builders, which built 184 homes with revenue of $50.3 million in 2014, is looking to raise the stakes in its market and grow quickly into new markets. They first made it to Builder’s Next 100 at No. 122 in 2012--then up to No. 114 in 2013--but fell to No. 139 in 2014. In the coming year, Manasco says, Stone Martin is looking to blow that out of the park.