PCBC 2017: Housing Rethought

To its credit, the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) was pretty clear about its objectives for the latest iteration of its annual PCBC Show in San Diego late last month: Scare the pants off builders that change is coming, like it or not.

With most of its educational sessions under the “Re-Think Conference” banner, this year’s PCBC delivered a mix of experts from inside and outside the industry to underscore its point.  

Here’s what we took away from the two-day event:

  • Kathy Cecilian of Cecilian Worldwide and Jimmy Diffee of Bokka Group echoed each other on the need for builders to shift from selling homes to helping people buy homes, a’ la Amazon’s approach to creating a “joyful” customer experience.
  • Technologist John Ellis, formerly in charge of mobile integration at Ford Motor Company, made the distinction between “ship and forget” (housing’s status quo) and “ship and remember,” a model to cultivate and serve customers for life – an approach Tesla Motors has used to disrupt the auto industry.
  • A wealth of problem-solving products and systems, from Covestro’s insulated wall panel system (read more here) to Moen’s new shower water warmer sans a recirculating system and MiTek’s “rebar for wood” and innovative truss hanger.
  • The introduction of smart water solutions that not only conserve water, but also help detect and shut off leaks throughout your plumbing system – with early entries from Australian firm Aquatrip and more to come from established U.S. players in 2018.
  • Data-driven tools from Zonda by Meyers Research that help builders and developers make better land-buying and home pricing decisions; and Zillow’s collaboration with builders to post new homes for sale on its website and mobile app.