Don’t Be Afraid to Diversify Your A/V Integration Business

Residential integrators who branch into new opportunities, like security systems, have an advantage with the growing number of tech-savvy consumers.

Dennis Holzer

If CES 2017 showed dealers and installers anything, it’s that the smart home device category is exploding with no signs of slowing down.

There are new products and categories hitting the market every day. This year consumers will be adding many smart devices to their home networks, whether it’s a video doorbell, interior camera, smart thermostat, or voice-activated speaker.

As more and more smart devices are added to the home network, the divide between AV installers and security installers is blurring.

This growth is creating a huge sales opportunity for all types of installers; and as consumers are cutting the cords and looking to add smart, wireless devices throughout their home, they will be looking for one installer who can do it all.

To the customer, the dealer installing their whole-home A/V system should be able to add on security products and vice versa. However, many installers are hesitant to expand their business and knowledge into other product categories.

Whether they’re deterred by the education required, fearful of an increase in service calls, or simply stuck in their ways, many installers are cautious to grow into uncharted territory.

“Quite simply, if the dealer isn’t able to fulfill what the consumer wants, they will go elsewhere.”

— Dennis Holzer, PowerHouse Alliance

Dealers and installers should embrace this new opportunity; in fact, most wireless technologies are easier to install and beneficial to both parties. As for the fear of service calls, in most cases it’s easier to troubleshoot a wireless system versus wired, because dealers can tap into a customer’s network and troubleshoot the system without having to step foot in the house. 

It’s also always a good idea to ensure that the customer receives a thorough training for their system when the installation is complete. This simple step and leaving behind a FAQ sheet or troubleshooting guide can help reduce follow-up calls.

Today’s consumer is also more informed. The Internet provides consumers easy access to information, and in many cases clients know what they want before talking to their dealer. They have done their research, read the reviews, will ask hard questions and they know what they want: the latest wireless technology and security devices, and sometimes even brands.

They’re also more likely to get multiple estimates until they get the solutions, price and product that they want. Quite simply, if the dealer isn’t able to fulfill what the consumer wants, they will go elsewhere.

Once a customer has worked with a dealer and had a good experience, they are more likely to call back when they are ready to expand their system or venture into new technologies. Don’t lose a repeat customer based on a product category; expanding your knowledge and offerings can help gain and keep business.

We see more and more dealers who work with PowerHouse Alliance distributors benefitting from our diverse training programs. Our programs continue to grow to support those who are taking on new categories and brands. Continued education is necessary to stay relevant and to provide the best solutions for your clients, today and in the future.

As consumers continue to cut the cords and look to add smart devices to their homes, installers from all aspects of the residential space have unlimited opportunities to profit from growing markets like voice control, surveillance, home automation and smart home devices.

All it takes is an open mind, access to the right training to expand into uncharted territory and the discipline to stay educated and up-to-date on networks and all things capable of being connected to the home network. 

Author Dennis Holzer is executive director of the PowerHouse Alliance.