Bryan Gorog is a new breed of custom integrator. His company, BCG Concepts which serves the Los Angeles area, successfully targets young “power users of technology.” The formula is working … BCG Concepts has grown from four employees generating $750,000 in revenue in 2014 to 12 employees and an anticipated $2.5 million in revenue this year.
“The majority of our clients are younger people. We have lots of clients in the ‘Silicon Beach’ neighborhoods of Westwood, Brentwood and Mar Vista that are under 35 years old buying $2-million to $5-million homes. They are power users of technology,” he says.
To serve those tech-savvy clients, BCG Concepts needs high-tech products that are simple to use but robust in nature. As such, the Nest Learning Thermostat has become one of the company’s go-to products for the past three years.
“We really like focusing on devices that have robust stand-alone apps. Tech-savvy clientele really appreciate having a robust app that sits outside of the automation system,” says Gorog.
To satisfy those client desires, BCG routinely creates a “Smart Home Folder” for its customers in the smartphone, tablet or computer interface. The full home automation control system is layered over the top of every device, but within that folder, individual apps for particular devices are nested, including the Nest app. This configuration allows those tech-astute end users to dive deeper into all the energy-saving, configuration and scheduling features for the Nest thermostat.
“We tell clients they can dive into the advanced functions directly via the Nest app, and that goes for the cameras and smoke & CO alarms too,” says Gorog.
He says the Nest app is by far the favorite feature of his customers. Typically, after one or two weeks, clients will use the Nest app to tailor the learning function to exactly their preference. He cites one of the best features of the algorithm is learning the capabilities of a home’s HVAC system so the thermostat knows how long it is going to take to raise or lower the temperature in a particular space.
Having a robust individual app for a device like Nest does not subvert Gorog’s ability to sell whole-house control. Indeed, BCG is a platinum Control4 dealer.
“We always pitch the automation system by saying it is ‘like a universal remote for everything.’ It will do 60 percent of the stuff you need to do easily and well, but if you want to drill down to do more intense content you will want to use the individual device’s app,” he advises. “For me as a user, I will go into the Nest app 100 percent of the time to change the thermostat settings even though it is integrated with the control system. It is just a better UI experience.”
Nest/Google Name Recognition Helps Seal Deal
The brand recognition of Nest/Google also helps close deals.
“Compared to every other brand that we sell, Nest is the most recognized and people will ask us about it,” comments Gorog. “People definitely know about Nest. The brand carries a lot of weight. People want it. Because the brand name is so well recognized, we don’t feel the need to actively market and push it. We are also listed as a registered Nest Pro on their website, which has driven traffic to us.”
He says that during a typical sales walkthrough with a prospective client, 70 percent of the time the customer will ask him about Nest.
“I simply have to say, ‘They are great. We are Nest dealers. Nest has a really awesome app interface,’ That quick conversation enables Gorog to build upon the sale.
“I can quickly move on in my sales presentation and I don’t have to spend any more time talking about thermostats. The Nest helps us cement our reputation as experts and it opens up more sales and I build a system around it,” he adds.
Nest Cam Indoor for Home Monitoring Needs
Gorog is also a fan of Nest Cam Indoor and its user interface.
“I love the Nest Cam Indoor. We sell a lot of the cameras. People do not want a dome camera with red infrared lights staring at them inside their home, or a camera that does a lousy job of two-way audio,” he says.
Again, according to Gorog, it’s all about the app. “The timeline-searching function works so well compared to so many other camera-recording apps that we have used that cost significantly more money. The quality of the video, the buffering, everything… is the best I have seen among any other product out there,” he says.
“They have a great UI team with a lot more resources than smaller DVR/NVR manufacturers do who build those types of interfaces. They just released the ability to view multiple cameras on a single screen page. Nest did a nice job on it. The layout looks very nice. You can now see all your cameras at a glance,” he notes.
Because the Nest Cam Indoor does not connect to a local DVR, BCG’s customers sign on to use the Nest Aware cloud recording service for the cameras.
“We typically install four- to eight-camera systems so it’s a little expensive for some clients to record images from every camera, so some clients will only pay for recording from one camera. But although at first glance it might seem expensive, it is worth it because the service and equipment work so well,” he says. Nest Aware is $10 per month for the first camera and $5 per month for each additional camera.
More Product Please!
Gorog also plans to install the new Nest Cam Outdoor security camera.
“I am just hungry for Nest to push out even more product. Their UI is superb and their industrial design of all their products is great. I am hoping Nest does a lot more things in this channel,” he adds.
Gorog says he has been “very happy” with everything Nest has done in the custom channel.