Lennar is Building Amazon Alexa Enabled Homes in Florida and Texas
The Palm Beach Post reported that Lennar’s new 385-home BellaSera community will have homes with Amazon Alexa pre-installed. Homes will also be Wi-Fi certified to ensure the wireless connectivity is reliable with no deadspots. But, it is the Alexa angle that the developer sought to highlight in an interview with the paper. Lennar’s Dan Grosswald commented:
The target buyer here … is a person that is more in tune with technology and energy efficiency. We want to anticipate those needs and meet those needs. We can see a marked difference where that is part of the home, there is more of an interest in buying.
He also commented that Lennar’s partnership with Amazon is the first-of-its-kind among home builders. The homes will have Alexa access for music and information services such as weather, but will also include smart home features such as voice-controlled heat, lighting and security. That latter points suggests an Echo Show or Spot will be part of the package given that they are the only Amazon devices with screens to display security camera footage.
Alexa-Powered Homes Coming to Austin Texas Too
This isn’t just a Florida thing. Lennar announced earlier in February that it was also bringing new homes to market in Austin, Texas with Amazon Echo devices pre-installed. The local NBC affiliate said the new homes in Enclave at Estancia will include Alexa smart home voice control for a variety of smart home capabilities.
It features locks, thermostat, lights and a range of other devices.
Lennar is Pushing Smart Home Features as Differentiation
Amazon’s website includes a page highlighting Lennar and the home builders’ smart home amenities. Some featured products include Baldwin and Kivo locks, Ring Smart Video Doorbells and the Alexa-compatible Sonos One smart speaker. During its announcements last year about a new home technology focus, Lennar stressed the Wi-Fi capabilities, but recent news coverage shows more emphasis on smart home devices and Alexa voice control. Builders will stress what motivates home buyers and the tangible nature of smart home features must be gaining traction.
Not the First Builder on the Alexa Bandwagon
Given the rapid growth in smart speaker and smart home adoption, it is not surprising that home builders such as Lennar would be looking at adding these amenities to entice buyers. However, Lennar isn’t the first to recognize this opportunity. Brookfield Residential began offering residential buyers smart home packages back in December 2016. They even debuted a model home with Alexa controlled capabilities in April 2017 in Bristow, Virginia. Brookfield’s Gregg Hughes said at the time:
Locking doors, turning off lights, lowering blinds, turning on appliances, of course all the audio/visual type of interaction. Potential homeowners have really seen the value of how we will live moving forward.
New homes reflect the tastes of consumers at any given time. What we are seeing today is that consumer tastes are trending toward smart homes and voice-activated controls. Builders are responding to those tastes and bringing Alexa-powered homes to market to meet that demand.