To understand the mind of today’s new homebuyer, start with a car question: “Would you buy a new vehicle without a backup camera?”

The expected “NO” should be a teaching moment for new home builders. Today every late-model car is a pinging, blinking master class in the digital lifestyle. Throw in a smart phone and it’s easy to see why a new home buyer has to think, “Why not a smart home too?”

Tony Callahan agrees.

Callahan is the vice president of national purchasing for national home builder Shea Homes. The California-based builder reported 3,537 closings in 2018, which puts them #21 on the 2019 BUILDER 100. Callahan helps lead the company’s well-evolved smart home transformation.

“You hear a lot about how tech-savvy millennials are. I think most people would be surprised by how sophisticated older home buyers are,” Callahan observes. “They may spend winters in one location, summers in another. Questions like ‘Who is at my front door?’ or ‘Did I leave my garage door open?’ are important to the move-up home buyers we serve.”

Callahan and his team go to great lengths to get the smart home details right. “We talk with home owners, manufacturers, distributors, the trades, and our employees. We really do a 360 on the question,” he says.

What this 360-degree turn reveals is an assortment of smart home insights, including:

  1. Which Wireless Protocol? One of several wireless protocols powers the Internet of Things (IoT). Callahan believes there’s a place in the home for the four leading protocols – Wi-Fi, Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, and Bluetooth. Does he favor one? “From a home buyer’s perspective, we hear a lot more about Wi-Fi. It seems like that’s where things are going,” he reports.
  2. Demonstrate Benefit. “We demonstrate smart home technology in the model home. From our experience, when a customer interacts with a device, it sells,” Callahan says.
  3. Team Up with Resourceful Partners. “We’re a very customer-centric company. We only work with companies that think the same way. Kwikset, our smart door lock partner, is a great example,” says Callahan. Kwikset fits the Shea smart home strategy well because of its proven smart home expertise. For example, Kwikset offers products across all wireless protocols, hubs and voice assistants, including Samsung Smart Things, Wink, Echo Plus, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. The Kwikset cloud and app will soon run all the company’s smart home locks from a single convenient interface.
  4. Function with Style. A smart home device has to be a natural fit in a Shea Homes décor. Again, Callahan singles-out Kwikset. “The Kwikset lock comes in a lot of styles and finishes. They don’t look out of place. Their products fit our home design,” he explains.

The smart home has morphed from impressive trend to a must-have requirement. Differentiate your brand by making the most of your smart home opportunities. To learn more about the capabilities and styles of smart door locks, visit