Why Every Integrator Who Cares about the CI Industry Should Get HTA Certified
Calling the greatest custom installation firms in the world!
We have an epidemic in our industry. The epidemic is bad installations that result in unhappy consumers.
Why do you think products like Sonos, Ring, and Alexa have been so successful? Consumers are open to new products they perceive as “no-hassle” because they have been so frustrated with the CI industry over the past two decades. There have been way too many bad installations that result in consumers wanting “less” technology in their homes.
How did we get here? A low barrier of entry is the easy answer. Anyone can buy a van and call themselves an “AV Integrator”. It couldn’t be easier and less regulated. Hang your shingle and open an account at AVAD or Snap and you are good to go. In the three major markets of the US (Southern California, Southern Florida, and New York) there are 6,000-8,000 entities selling audio/video and control products. How many are really good? The answer is frightening, and everyday a great integrator loses a project to a far inferior competitor based on price.
Inevitably, these thousands of unqualified companies perform poorly and turn enthusiastic clients into tech-haters. And every architect, builder, and designer attached to the project experiences yet another bad technology outcome.
The Home Technology Association (HTA) was formed to prevent this.
Every great installer who cares about our industry should get HTA Certified and educate clients that not all installation firms are created equal… and there is only a pretty small percentage that meet the requirements of certification through superior tech skills, solid customer service, and a reputation for being an honest and fair company.
Once a client understands there is a standard in our industry, they feel good about spending a little more money to hire a company that has proven themselves to be top-tier.
The dealers that are HTA Certified have been using their certification as a powerful weapon in the following ways:
- Using the HTA website to educate homeowners about the differences between a quality firm and an unqualified firm. We give homeowners and trade partners all of the reasons to hire an HTA Certified firm.
- Using the HTA technology budget calculator to educate clients about what they should be spending for home technology. Let’s educate homeowners so they do not get enticed by the artificially low bid.
- Using certification as a justification for builders, architects, and designers to give to their clients as a reason for hiring your firm over less-qualified firms.
- Educating consumers that there are tiers of capabilities depending on the complexity of projects and not all good firms can excel at all projects. The company that did a great job on your cousin’s Sonos install is not necessarily the best company for your $10M estate.
- Shifting the competition from price to quality!
Our industry is plagued with bad installations. Stand alongside the 140+ greatest companies in our industry (as of January 2019) to tell the world that quality matters and that consumers deserve excellent technology experiences. Get HTA Certified! Learn more and apply at https://htacertified.org
Guest Author: Josh Christian
Title: Director of Certification, Home Technology Association
Josh Christian is the Director of Certification for the Home Technology Association. Josh is a home technology veteran, starting on the retail side of the industry in 1995. After leaving retail in 1998, he moved to a high-end custom integration firm in Los Angeles where he specialized in sales & marketing through 2014. In 2015 he worked even more closely with architects, builders, and interior designers as a low-voltage consultant and design engineer. Since early 2017 Josh is proud to run the Home Technology Association, the association that helps consumers and specifiers find the best-qualified home technology professionals.