The era is coming where consumers expect automation readily installed in their homes upon purchase. Needless to say, this is something for which construction companies need to prepare. These days it seems not realizing the value technology can bring to the home is a mistake builders can’t afford to make.

At least one company, Belman Homes, www.belmanhomes.com, Waukesha, Wis., seems to be ahead of the curve. Since January of this year, Belman has made automation systems from Nexia, www.nexiahome.com, Las Vegas, Nev., a standard feature on each southern Wisconsin home it builds.

Systems from Nexia come equipped with an Internet-monitored front door set, a programmable thermostat, motion-sensor technology, an interior camera, and lighting controls. All these elements can be manipulated via smartphone or computer. When using a computer, homeowners may track their energy usage, store videos, and control their notification settings.

“You can easily control and monitor key components in your home just about anywhere from your computer or smartphone,” says David Belman, builder/land developer, Belman Homes. “We feel it is the next big thing in housing.”

Other features from Nexia include alerts on temperature drops, front lock usage, and motion-sensor disruption. Homeowners may also receive a live video feed from inside their home at any time.

The Nexia system is designed to give consumers more control and awareness, and thus more freedom and control. Users may save money and conserve their energy by manipulating their thermostat from anywhere. If workers or contractors need to enter a home, temporary access codes can be programmed to let them in for a specific timeframe.

“How great is it that you can get a text if your furnace shuts off, have a video sent if someone stops by your front door with a package, or know exactly when your child comes home from school,” Belman says. “We are in the information age, now you can keep up with what is going on with your home even if you are not there.”

None of us can see the future, but at the very least we can be prepared for it. With this technology, Belman is prepared for the next era of homebuilding. That undoubtedly gives the builder a leg up on much of the competition, and added appeal for homebuyers.