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In an interview with CIO Applications, Renner shares his insights on the company’s role in the construction landscape, the factors that differentiate them from the other construction technology solution providers, and the manner in which the company addresses customers’ growing needs and demands.
Can you shed some light on the role HomeSphere plays in the construction landscape?
HomeSphere’s leading digital marketplace connects the country’s major building product manufacturers and local home builders. Since our founding in 1999, we have been a pioneer in developing innovative ways for manufacturers and residential builders to find each other through technology and rebates. Our technology platform facilitates relationships between more than 2,500 builders and the manufacturers of more than 1,500 building products, accumulates data on product usage, and is changing the way building products are selected. Our solutions and services enable builders to discover the right products for the homes they build and earn incentives on products from foundation to finish, while manufacturers gain access to information on where and how their products are being used by builders in local markets. Our customers (builders and manufacturers) are using this data across a wide range of departments, giving all aspects of production, sales, marketing, and design insights into their current and future customers.
Please elaborate on the core solutions and services of HomeSphere and how these help address growing customer demands.
We offer two core customer portals to our platform: My HomeSphere™ and HomeSphere-IQ™.
My HomeSphere is an online rebate management platform that builders rely on to track projects, discover new building products, and claim manufacturer rebates. Recently, the platform was upgraded with new data analysis and online capabilities that allow builders to search for products, learn which products work together, and find ones that make the most impact. It also enables builders to track and manage earned incentives, search the HomeSphere database to learn about manufacturing partners that offer new products and incentives, and then connect directly with the manufacturer’s sales teams. A simple upload feature of the platform allows builders to rapidly report closed homes and product usage.
As HomeSphere continues to grow and scale the strategic focus will be on Data exchange with third parties and as a business. Through the next-gen, microservices platform that HomeSphere has designed and built. the Company is uniquely positioned to handle the exceptional growth, scale and innovation.
These two key offerings are the result of a 19-year evolution of our guiding principle to create a powerful digital community of builders and product manufacturers that simplifies construction processes and improves ROI.
While there are numerous construction technology solution providers out there, what makes HomeSphere distinct?
We are in a class of our own. We are positioned to change the builder-building product-homeowner relationship. Currently, buying decisions are made based on long-standing relationships with a third-party distributor in a closed environment. Our platform is opening up this closed environment with a flow of informative data to all stakeholders along the entire value chain from home construction to ownership and beyond. Our platform delivers value to product manufacturers by enabling them to target builders for awareness-building and sales, while builders are connected with products that are suited to their geographical market, demographics, product price, and style. In a nutshell, HomeSphere is creating intelligent connections for both builders and manufacturers, opening up a one-on-one communications channel, and streamlining the buy-sell process.
Share a customer success story illustrating HomeSphere’s role in helping a client mitigate the challenges they faced?
Our unique data insights are helping many organizations clear major business roadblocks. An example of how access to this type of data changes thinking is our collaboration with a financial industry partner. The partner relies on credit scores to evaluate its buyers but does not use the same approach to evaluate homes due to the lack of data on the home itself. Clients now are evaluating how to use this new data on the home and products in the home in their evaluations. Home inspections are performed simply as a contract event between the buyer and seller, and the focus is primarily on either non-functional items or those areas at high risk for failure.
We stepped in and provided them with data on products used in construction. By using it, they were able to obtain insights into often overlooked aspects such as foundation and infrastructure work. Additionally, our platform also enabled them to compare product information to a product’s expected lifecycle or mean time between failure to predict maintenance bubbles, home quality indexes, and more.
Moving forward, give us some insights into HomeSphere’s landmark achievements and the company’s plan for the future.
HomeSphere is the winner of two construction technology awards and is lauded by customers across the country. With our platform, which leverages rebates and incentives to create a digital inventory of products used in every home built by a community of more than 2,500 participating builders, we intend to change how the homebuilding industry uses detailed channel data to the benefit of all.
As a natural extension of our rebate processing, we have also started digitizing the whole U.S. home inventory— home by home, product by product—throughout a home’s lifecycle. This drives collaboration and communication from the contractor to the builder, to the manufacturer, their sales teams, and finally to the homeowner.
In the days to come, with our highly-differentiated data on product usage, we are uniquely positioned to provide powerful insights to a wide market including builders, contractors, distributors, and building product manufacturers.