In the midst of an increasingly competitive market, homebuilders have to find new ways to stand out and attract potential buyers to their properties. As demand begins to slow, profit margins will likely decrease as well—at least for homebuilders who cannot successfully build relationships with their potential customers. In that quest, homebuilder technology is playing an increasingly important role.
From engaging with current and prospective customers to offering better homes and even changing the construction process itself, homebuilder technology tools may be what builds your competitive advantage compared to other builders and existing properties.
Leveraging Homebuilder Technology as a Competitive Advantage
Make no mistake: technology is transforming the entire ecosystem of the construction industry, and homebuilding is no exception in that broader trend. In a field where many firms still prefer the status quo due in part to limited resources, builders who are able and willing to embrace these homebuilder technology trends can stand out in more ways than one:
- Technology enables better sourcing and construction planning, increasing profit margins.
- The right homebuilder technology software can enhance marketing and communications, meeting potential customers where they now spend their time.
- Technology can also help prospective buyers envision their future home, making a major financial decision more palatable.
The construction industry traditionally ranks at or near the bottom in technology adoption compared to other fields. Homebuilders able to integrate these 10 technologies into their operations and marketing can move ahead of the curve and establish themselves as leaders in their market.
1. AI Chatbots
When potential homebuilders reach out to you, how can you engage with them? And, just as importantly, how can you turn that engagement into a new contact in your database for future, more qualified outreach? AI chatbots have entered the scene, providing homebuilders with a comprehensive answer.
The chatbot will act as your digital assistant, living on your website and ready to answer questions at a moment’s notice. It learns over time, becoming increasingly relevant to audiences at various stages of the home buyer’s journey.
From initial questions about availability to providing ongoing service for your existing customers, it’s a constant and consistent companion that also captures interactions to generate new leads and better qualify existing leads. And, considering that customers expect businesses to be as available online as they are in person, the constant availability of chatbots is another massive benefit.
2. AI Texting Capabilities
Chatbots, of course, aren’t limited to your website. Once you’ve captured a lead, its core capabilities can also transfer into texting.
Most consumers respond to text messages faster than any other channel, even when it comes from a business. That instant delivery and engagement transfers into more effective communication once your audience knows about you, making this a core channel for the homebuilder of the future.
We know from our own research that 75% of consumers would rather talk over text than via phone. We also know that texting can be much more automated than individualized phone calls. Add AI capabilities, and this technology enables you to send relevant messages at relevant times to an engaged audience, all designed to convert more prospects into home buyers and first-time buyers into advocates.
3. 3D Printing
The technology has been around for a while, but 3D printing is just beginning to impact this industry. Apply it the right way, and it can benefit your business from construction all the way to marketing:
- 3D printing can be used to generate entire homes through modular approaches that save time, reduce waste, and replicate more easily in multi-home construction.
- On a smaller scale, this technology can also easily print models of both the interior and exterior of future homes, making it easier to promote your properties long before construction is complete.
The 3D printing construction market is in its infancy but is expected to grow nearly 90% each year through 2031. Familiarizing yourself with the technology while it is still a novelty can make you an early adopter of what may become the new standard in homebuilding just a few years down the road.
4. Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Especially custom homebuilders have always needed to set themselves apart by offering exceptional service to prospective buyers. Building information modeling can help, especially when it acts as both a planning and a home preview and customization tool.
In the construction industry as a whole, BIM has been a hot topic already. The most common uses include planning physical structures more comprehensively and reducing errors. But the benefits for homebuilders go beyond that, with the ability to create a home’s digital copy that helps builders and buyers alike plan their space and prepare for the purchase.
5. Virtual Reality
It’s more than just a fancy headset to play some games. Virtual reality is changing the fabric of the construction industry, and homebuilding is no exception:
- Architects and designers can put themselves into the environment they’re designing, making better and more informed decisions as a result.
- Digital building models can become immersive, helping both builders and their customers put themselves in the home long before it’s ready.
- Training for new members on site can become more engaging and realistic, making it easier to train your crew as they work on new home construction.
There’s a reason the virtual reality market continues to grow exponentially, even as it has moved outside of the consumer-focused mainstream for now. Commercial applications, like construction and homebuilding, continue to find new uses for this technology.
6. Augmented Reality
A variation of VR, augmented reality describes the process of adding virtual elements into a physical environment. It brings many of the same benefits mentioned above but comes with some nuances that are important to consider for homebuilders.
In the construction process, builders can find out additional technical specs and other information just by pointing their phones at the wall. Meanwhile, custom homebuyers can walk through half-finished spaces with potential designs laid over the space. And we’re only scratching the surface of possibilities, with continued rapid growth likely to last at least the next five years.
7. Smart Home Systems for Homebuilding Innovations
The concept of a smart home is not necessarily new. At the same time, new technologies are beginning to make the vision of a truly smart home a reality. More specifically, new technology protocols can enhance the ways in which devices from different brands interact, while AI enables them to become more independent in reacting to their outside environment.
Take smart glass as an example. The age-old building material has been revamped to react to its environment, changing tint depending on sun exposure and even communicating to the HVAC to optimize the heat and cooling flow throughout a building. As smart home tech enters the mainstream, builders who can integrate some of these advanced technologies into their properties can set themselves apart in the eyes of homebuyers.
8. Carbon Footprint Calculators
It’s no surprise that energy-friendliness is a core consideration for homebuyers. Eco-friendly homes are beginning to outsell their counterparts. Carbon footprint calculators can help your business leverage this trend in two important ways:
- Use calculators to estimate the carbon footprint of your building materials and construction process, a number you can feature (especially compared to other homes) in your promotions.
- Include a calculator for homeowners to use in your own materials, allowing them to better understand how the home they’re moving into will reduce their energy costs and footprint.
For the latter use, even a simple option like the EPA’s Carbon Footprint Calculator can help. But more advanced solutions are increasingly available for homebuilders as well, making this an increasingly realistic option to build into your processes.
9. Residential Construction Drones
The use of drones in commercial construction is well-documented at this point. Topographic mapping, remote monitoring, surveillance, and personnel safety are among their many benefits. Residential construction is beginning to enter the equation as well, thanks to the increasing affordability of hiring a professional to complete these services.
Drones are able to take detailed photography and video of the property on which you’re building, which can help with anything from surveying to resolving potential ownership disputes. And, of course, you can use the same footage to promote your homes as well, creating cinematic visuals that will attract and engage potential buyers.
10. AI-Enabled Bidding and Sourcing
It happens in the background for homebuyers, but every builder knows how complex the supply chain of materials can be. Sourcing materials and procuring multiple bids is essential to controlling costs, but can also take up significant planning time. Bidding and sourcing alone can account for massive paperwork and work hours in a new construction project.
Some AI solutions are starting to help. They can dynamically vet vendors, reducing the amount of manual sourcing required. Bidding can happen automatically as well, based on variables like current market price and homebuilder budget. It’s not sexy, but can make a major long-term difference in the way builders manage their supply chain.
Stay Informed on New Homebuilder Technology
New homebuilder technology trends are constantly emerging. Chances are that the trends next year are not just updated versions of 2023, but will also include entirely new technologies that further enhance the ways homebuilders can operate and promote their business.
That, in turn, makes staying in the loop on the newest homebuilding technology trends absolutely essential. The more you know about the opportunities this industry holds, the better you can prepare your own business. Ultimately, that results in a significant competitive advantage as you look to establish yourself or build out your market position.
We can help. As a platform for some of the most important home building technology trends in 2023, we’re keeping a close eye on the industry and will share our insights with you. Subscribe to this blog to stay up-to-date with the latest technology the industry has to offer.