Four of the most prominent companies in the home-technology business have banded together under the General Electric brand name to partner with large national home builders via exclusive marketing agreements.

The three vendors joining GE in the venture are H-P Products, Klipsch, and Sony. Their technology package typically includes GE structured wiring and security, H-P Dirt Devil vacuums, Klipsch speakers, and Sony audio/video gear. The four companies will go to market together via a network of about 100 authorized dealers under the GE Home Technologies name.

The dealers are all members of the Authorized Integrators Network (AIN) Group, an organization founded about three years ago to help streamline home-technology product offerings to home builders. The AIN Group has had success selling mostly to small builders and some regional branches of large builders, but GE Home Technologies represents the group's first attempt to target the large nationals in an organized manner. The GE name was licensed to the AIN Group for 10 years to market the national brands program in the residential construction business.

“Our goal is to give the products a similar look and feel, much like the way a big builder would use Andersen or Pella for windows across all their projects nationwide,” says Stan Matysiak, president of both the AIN Group and GE Home Technologies.

“The way to reach national builders is through pre-existing relationships that have been there for years,” says Matysiak. “No company has relationships with the builders the way GE does through its electrical, appliance, modular space, and finance businesses.”

At press time, the group was in talks with Beazer Homes, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, and Kolter Communities to do a pilot program in Florida.