Buyers Need to Move Beyond Sustainable

Meeting your buyers’ needs and utilizing their increased knowledge

by Linda Mamet

TRI Pointe Group is a family of premium homebuilders with a long legacy of providing sustainable features that create healthier, higher performing homes to buyers in major markets across the U.S. For nearly two decades, TRI Pointe’s homebuilding brands have been industry leaders due to their forward-looking strategies in constructing homes that produce superior performance in comfort, control, and energy efficiency.

Homebuyers have become savvier in what they want and need in a home, and builders need to meet the challenges of this growing trend. TRI Pointe Group has developed strong relationships with manufacturers and suppliers, allowing us to increase our knowledge about what’s new on the market. We then pass that knowledge on to our architects, purchasing and construction team leaders, and trade partners as they build with and install these new products.

There is increasing interest among home buyers for products and technologies that produce high-performing and sustainable homes. TRI Pointe provides our LivingSmart® program to meet our commitment of providing some of the healthiest and highest-performing homes in the industry. This comprehensive program was created 17 years ago by Pardee Homes, a member of the TRI Pointe Group. It involves the development, design, construction, and ongoing operation of high-performing homes, resulting in cost savings for our homeowners and a better living environment for their families.

Smart living

Through the LivingSmart® program, homes are branded, designed, and independently tested to offer homeowners healthy living and well-being through the use of new materials, technologies and features. Each of the five specific areas of the LivingSmart® programs have names that convey the importance of each feature to our customers including: HealthSmart®, EnergySmartTM, EarthSmart®, WaterSmart® and HomeSmartTM.

HealthSmart® assures healthy indoor air quality through the use of low-emission carpets, countertops, paint and adhesives. EnergySmart® reduces energy use through advanced construction techniques for the building envelope and the addition of solar and ENERGY STAR® appliances. EarthSmart® includes products or practices that relate to recycling and using fewer resources. WaterSmart® reduces water consumption with low-flow devices and drought-tolerant landscaping. Finally, HomeSmart® is a state-of-the-art home technology package that helps buyers stay comfortable, in control, and connected through features like smart temperature and lighting controls, door locks and Wi-Fi access points for consistent, strong connectivity.

Beyond the usual

TRI Pointe Group’s family of builders is reaching beyond LivingSmart® to provide information, savings, and education to buyers. Quadrant Homes offers its homeowners in the Pacific Northwest state-of-the-art home technology packages with voice-controlled devices allowing buyers to play music, turn down the heat, dim lights, and more. To help Quadrant buyers maximize their in-home technology, a dedicated expert provides a free on-site activation appointment, allowing buyers to customize tech options to fit their lifestyle.

Telling the sustainable story

Some LivingSmart® features are standard and others are optional, depending on TRI Pointe Group’s home building division and community. Pardee Homes San Diego recently opened its first all-solar master-planned community: Weston in Santee, California. Upon completion, the community will include 415 single-family homes across 204 acres and four neighborhoods — Sandstone and Lake Ridge by Pardee Homes San Diego and Prism and Talus by TRI Pointe Homes Southern California. While Pardee Homes San Diego has offered solar options to buyers in its communities for more than a decade, this is the company’s first master-planned community in which each of the homes in all four neighborhoods will include solar, increasing energy efficiency and cost savings for homeowners.

Customers are more willing to pay for some features than for others. For example, radiant roof barriers are a popular amenity because customers understand how it helps protect their home and provide better insulation. This is something that potential homebuyers can easily understand and appreciate in hot climates. Tankless water heaters are also popular because buyers understand how they work and how they help save money and energy.

Many of TRI Pointe Group’s buyers see value in smart thermostats and door locks, low-E glazing for windows, radiant roof barrier sheathing, carpet made from recycled materials, low-flow water devices, and drought-tolerant landscaping. The green lawns that were once a badge of honor are being replaced by drought-tolerant designs that conserve water.

To be successful in homebuilding today, builders and developers need to stay abreast of new sustainable products and technology. As buyers demand more amenities to help them save money while making their homes more comfortable, builders that respond with new technology, new ways to save energy, and new ways to offer it all in a convenient way will stay far ahead of their competition.

Linda Mamet is Vice President of Corporate Marketing at TRI Pointe Group (NYSE: TPH). She can be reached at Linda.Mamet@TriPointeGroup.com

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