Home Technologies Corp. lands builder tech contract

Friday, October 1, 2004

WEST CHESTER, Ohio - Home Technologies Corp. has been named the preferred vendor for Sentinel Estates, a custom home development in Kentucky.

The provider of home automation and security services was selected to provide services to the 10 high-end homes to be built by Ashley Development. Each homeowner will have a technology allowance with Ohio-based Home Technologies and will be able to choose which services to install.

According to Michael Dinn, president of Dinn Focused Marketing and the developer for Sentinel Estates, a basic package of security and networking is built into the allowance package. Homeowners can add other technologies and the amount of the allowance is desginated at that time.

For the company, the deal adds additional exposure in the growing high-end market of home automation.

“These partnerships add increased awareness,” said Tim Gleim, the director of marketing at Home Technologies. “These builder relationships are valuable.”

The business, which currently has 10 employees and serves the Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, and northern Kentucky areas, will design a model home first - allowing consumers to test equipment before selecting products to install.

“It is a place where they can push all the buttons and see how it all works.”

Gleim said the firm’s installations are spread out through the different areas - security, video surveillance, audio and video, wireless and home theater.

“It’s pretty equally distributed,” Gleim said. “There has been an increased interest in security and video surveillance.”

Gleim said the interest has stemmed from broader offerings in technology and the widely publicized cases of child abductions that have been captured by surveillance cameras. Surprisingly, 60 percent of the company’s workload stems from the retrofit market, while the rest comes from new construction.

But all around, Gleim said business has grown steadily since the company’s inception three and one-half years ago.

“It started slower than we expected,” he said. “Consumers didn’t have a full knowledge of what home automation was.”

But now he said the market is growing since homeowners understand the technology more.

“There is a greater market knowledge today,” Gleim said. “People realize that it is not just for those with deep pockets.”

Gleim said the home automation market offers more than standard life comforts. With video surveillance cameras, parents can watch children come home from school safely, as well as make sure doors are locked behind them.

“It is an added piece of mind,” Gleim said.