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Integrator Voices | Home Automation

David Daniels

Xssentials, Denver, CO

Our industry is going through a time of major change—we are no longer just selling products with names and model numbers—we are selling solutions and a customer experience. For our industry to be successful, we must place the emphasis on selling services and pay much more attention to customer satisfaction. Savant has been very forward thinking and their vision is aligned with what Xssentials believes is the path to success. We need a solutions partner who like us, is totally focused on taking care of the “wants” and “needs” of the customer.

David Febbraio

Structured Home Solutions, Sherman CT

As integrators, we need to think outside the box and go above and beyond what the masses are doing. Recently, our services have been compared to that which ADT offers during a conversation with a prospective client. The reply for us was easy: what we offer and the level of customer service we have is well beyond that which any mass retailer could offer. We got the job because of our track record. We need to maintain that connection with our clients. It will be the only thing that makes us stand out for referrals.

Dan Miles

Custom Solutions, St. Louis, MO

With people increasingly purchasing DIY-type products such as a Wi-Fi thermostat or SONOS wireless Hi-Fi systems, pitching home automation is actually becoming much easier since most consumers already see the benefits in remotely accessing these devices. When clients come to see us for guidance on their AV and surveillance systems, all we have to do is show them how a basic RTI system with a processor can not only integrate their AV and security equipment, but also the myriad of DIY products they’ve been managing with multiple apps on their phones and tablets. They quickly see how they can have control over everything in their home without spending a ton of money. And once they realize that, we can start talking about lighting and shade control, or just about anything else that plugs in.

Dave Raines

 Osbee Industries Inc., Westchester, NY

We first speak about concepts. We don’t mention brands. The most important thing to do during an interview is listen. Position your company as the best in the business. Strive to do everything better than your competition. Most clients are not familiar with what automation is and which company is better than the next. The only thing they can go on is their gut and possibly a recommendation from a previous customer. Stay on top of the latest in technology and never get caught knowing less than your customer—ever.

Bradley Elliott

Electronic Lifestyle Associates Elmhurst, IL

ELA takes the time to talk carefully with the client and really understand and identify their “true needs.” We ask targeted questions based on our experience, which then translate into to the real needs of their lifestyle or special applications. Our job as experts is to understand the market place options and then find the very best solutions that fit our customer’s needs and budgets.

Todd Jarvis

Sterling Home Technologies Inc., Boerne, TX

We start with the client early in the building process. We design and document the lighting control, electrical, and low-voltage systems and maintain the documentation for every job throughout the build process. This allows us to plan the job and address most issues on paper to avoid last-minute surprises in the field. The homeowner may be the ultimate client, but there are a lot of people that make for a successful project, and you have to appeal to them all.

John Tumbleson

ToGoOnline, Westlake Village, CA

First and foremost, integrators need to be experts in the design and installation of enterprise-grade wireless grid networks. This is especially critical when the home automation services will be deployed within a large residence or business. Next, understanding how today’s digital AV components function is critical to designing a human interface that makes controlling this equipment easy and almost second nature, even for technophobes.

Ken Knapp

Real Sound Inc., Bethel Park, PA

Our role as experts lies square in our ability to listen—listen to your clients’ wish list and deliver on their expectations appropriately by integrating with easy to use products like those from Pro Control. Never lose focus of the client’s needs and abilities and you and your company will always profit and look like a hero/expert.

Craig Cooley

HELP Inc., Plainville, MA

To show you are an expert, you need to be training constantly. I periodically run contests in-house with our techs to come up with the best interface and most unique application. It really challenges my techs and makes them better at what they do. We pride ourselves on keeping up to date on the latest techniques and try to think outside the box. When we can make things easier and more enjoyable for our customers, it will encourage them to refer us to their friends.