Jimmy Salloum remembers the exact moment the light bulb went on and he realized that a sea change was about to transform his company’s business. The Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Smart Systems Technologies said, “It was 2011 and Standard Pacific Homes had come to us to help them market a 55 home development in Marina Del Rey, California called The Beach Collection at Latitude 33. The tri-level townhome beach bungalows were inspired by Southern California’s “strand homes” and designed to offer the best of modern beach leaving. Everything was perfect with these bungalows except for the fact that they weren’t selling as fast as Standard Pacific Homes expected. They asked us for ideas and we suggested they include a basic Home Automation Systems Package with the purchase of the units. They did. The bungalows started selling. And we realized that our business was about change dramatically — and for the better.”
Salloum and SST President Craig Curran created a special Home Automation Systems Package built around the ELAN g! HC-4 System Controller. The package also included a vandal-resistant camera, two programmable thermostats, one three-button lighting control switch, three one-button lighting control switch, one Apple Extreme Wireless Network Router, one 16GB WiFi Apple iPad, one TV interface, and two viewer licenses. The builder also began to pre-wire all of the homes for audio and, in some cases, included speakers.
“As soon as the prospective homeowners listened to the demonstration of the smart home automation package, the units began to sell,” Salloum explained. “Frankly, we were blown away by the impact these systems had on the buyers decision making. Even more telling for us as a systems integration company was the fact that 80% of the home buyers upgraded from the base home automation package to add speakers, head-in equipment, and the full-on integration of the ELAN g! System in to the entire audio-video system.”
Not surprisingly, one of the key benefits that appealed to these homebuyers was instant gratification, Salloum explained. “This is one of the key strengths of the ELAN g! System. It delivers instant everything without the 10-15 second delay that other home automation systems have and that’s a huge difference. Imagine turning on the light button and having nothing happen for up to 15 seconds. That’s an insane amount of time to wait when you turn on a light switch. The homeowner will start pushing the button over and over again turning the lights on and off on a repeat basis. With the ELAN g! System, there is absolutely no delay in performance.”
Two other critical reasons for the success of the ELAN based Home Automation Systems Package is that the system performs almost flawlessly and it can be updated remotely. “The 55 units in the The Beach Collection at Latitude 33 all featured the ELAN HC-4 System Controller and we didn’t have one service call.”
Based on the initial success with Standard Pacific Homes, SST began working with their other builders and developers to offer similar automation packages. The company works with a veritable Who’s Who of leading builders including, in addition to Standard Pacific Homes, K. Hovnanian Homes, The New Home Company, Taylor Morrison Homes, Richmond American, The Irvine Company, Pulte Homes, and Del Webb. “In each instance, and working closely with the goals and objectives of each builder, we created home automation packages that were configured and priced appropriately for every class of home. We have found that the demand for smart home control exists from buyers looking for homes priced from $700K and up,” Salloum explained. “And, obviously, the higher priced the home is the greater potential there is to sell upgrades from the basic automation package. For homes priced at or around $700K the upgrade take is 10-20%. At the $1-million level the uptake rate goes to 20-30% and the $2-million level the rate really jumps to 50% or more.”
One of the reasons why SST likes working with ELAN, beyond the performance of the system itself, is the fact that it is part of a bigger company that can meet a larger number of their AV/IT needs. “When you work with ELAN, you are working with Core Brands, which is part of the event bigger Nortek Technology Solutions Group, which is part of the bigger still Nortek, Inc. We install a lot of other products made by Core Brands, and in the future we plan to specify and install even more.”
Looking at ahead to the immediate future, Salloum is excited to begin working with the new ELAN g1 System, which is available in three very affordably priced configurations. “This is going to be a real game changer for our business, our builder clients, and, ultimately, for home buyers who, until now, still have felt that an automation system was beyond their reach. The ELAN g1 System essentially allows us to talk to home buyers that would have been interested only in a lower priced security based automation system. With the g1 system these same customers can now seriously consider an affordably priced entry level system that opens them up to whole home control and distributed audio, not to mention everything else that g! connects to and controls.”
With over 13 years of experience and awards from Pulte Homes, Standard Pacific Homes, K. Hovnanian Homes, and more, home buyers can rest assured that SST will deliver the Southern California Smart Home solution of their dreams. The company’s customer service team thrives on providing the highest level of service and support through its service technicians and technically trained office staff. SST’s technical staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support any security monitoring needs. SST’s customer service department is dedicated to giving the customer 110% all day every day. The company’s corporate headquarters is in Irvine, California and it maintains satellite offices in both Tucson and Tempe, Arizona.