Burkentine & Sons
breaks ground for a new house, they do likewise in their innovative use of technology and social media.
Mike Burkentine joined his family's Hanover-based construction and property management business a few months ago with a freshly minted Penn State degree and an inventive approach to keeping customers informed.
Every house under construction now has its own Facebook page, a way for buyers to stay up-to-date and share images. And customers get an iPad, loaded with apps that turn the device into a digital owner's manual. Burkentine has devised an array of apps that display contract documents, change orders, warranties and floor plans. Using the iPad, buyers can browse appliances, cabinets and other fittings and try out interior and exterior details and colors. A 3D model allows users to do a virtual walkthrough and arrange their furniture to see how it fits the new digs. The iPad also generates maintenance alerts notifying residents when it’s time, for example, to change the HVAC air filter or install fresh batteries in the smoke detectors.
Burkentine got the idea as an intern with a Baltimore builder of mega-commercial projects and skyscrapers. He continued to develop it for the residential market over the next year and a half before pitching it to his father, Paul, and Burkentine's marketing team.
"The idea spoke for itself," he says, adding that he continues to tinker: "It's always evolving. It's only a matter of time before the competition catches on."
Source: Mike Burkentine, Burkentine & Sons
Writer: Elise Vider