The Rapid Disruption of Home Building | John Burns Real Estate Consulting

The Rapid Disruption of Home Building

The home building industry is rapidly changing in some very exciting ways. New technologies are allowing homes to be built better than ever, while also enabling home buyers to live much more comfortably and conveniently in a new home than a resale home.

Here are just a few quotes from this podcast starring CR Herro, VP of Innovation, Meritage Homes:

  • “The housing industry has changed more in the last 10 years than it changed in the 100 years before that, and it is positioned to change 10 times more in the next 10 years.”
  • “Everybody that is in the space recognizes that the industry won’t look the same in 10 years, and they are either going to be displaced or participate in their own disruption….All my big framers are investing in panelization plants as we speak.”
  • “We are the last industry to build something in the dirt and in bad weather.”
  • “I watch the Japanese very carefully because they have a tremendous track record of improving and disrupting other manufacturing segments.” Sekisui [Housing] invests more per year in housing R&D than the US housing industry combined.”
  • “Improved energy efficiency + better production process = greater value”


Read the Episode Transcript


CR also talks about how technology driven by tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Apple is being used to proactively help homeowners live conveniently, comfortably, and safely. Next year, who knows what technologies will be able to do? When it comes to smart homes, CR sees Silicon Valley companies shaping the frontier, with builders, developers, landlords, and building product manufacturers creating the platform to deliver the technology.

Sure, there are people who will adopt or reject new technologies. However, CR estimates that 70% of home buyers are those “in the middle” who are just waiting to be inspired by what technology can do next. Educating home buyers on how new technologies can improve their lives will make a big difference in future sales success. Dean Wehrli, our podcast host and Silicon Valley / Northern California housing market expert, will continue to help us lead the charge in figuring out how technology will change housing.

CR will speak at our Housing Design Summit on March 12–13 at The Woodlands in Houston, TX. Due to last year’s tremendous success (see information here), we will have a bigger venue as we help the industry come together to make great design decisions that improve sales and the new home pricing premium. To become a client and receive an invitation, please fill out this form on this page or email Jenni Lantz at


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The New Home Insights podcast is available on various platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, and Spotify. Episodes will be released bi-weekly. To receive email notifications whenever a new episode is released, fill out the form found on this page.



John Burns If you have any questions, please contact John Burns, CEO at (949) 870-1210 or by email.
Dean Wehrli If you have any questions about our podcast, please contact Dean Wehrli, Senior Vice President at (916) 647-3263 or by email.