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Automation Unplugged

Automation Unplugged is a Facebook Live show recorded weekly with our host Ron Callis, Owner and CEO of the digital marketing agency, One Firefly. In each Automation Unplugged episode, Ron speaks with leading industry personalities and technology professionals to discuss all things business development, technology trends, and more. These interviews are designed to help our clients and members of the custom integration industry keep up-to-date with the latest news as well as learn from experts in the field.

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Home Automation Podcast Episode #132: An Industry Q&A With Paul Lopez

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Paul Lopez of Integrated Lifestyles, shares on their transition from a majority commercial focus pre-COVID to a majority residential focus post COVID.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #132: An Industry Q&A With Paul Lopez

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Paul Lopez. Recorded live on Wednesday, August 5th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Paul Lopez

Throughout his 20 years in the custom integration industry, Paul has run up the ranks of audio, video, and custom installations from pulling cables in hot attics to now running a multi-million dollar business since their inception 3 years ago.

Today, Paul runs Dallas-based custom integration firm, Integrated Lifestyles where they focus on creating a collaborative work environment with a “client first” approach.

Interview Recap

  • What experiences led Paul to opening his own integration firm.
  • What it’s like being a Dolphins fan living in Dallas
  • Paul’s transition from a majority commercial focus pre-covid to a majority residential focus post covid.
  • Why Integrated Lifestyles chose to join the ProSource buying group

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #131: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Ryan Anderson

Transcript:


Ron:  Paul, what's going on my man?

Paul: Hey Ron, how you doing buddy?

Ron:  Paul. For those that don't know you or know your business. Where are you guys located and maybe just give us a quick snapshot of the business?

Paul: Oh yeah. We're located in Dallas in the Dallas Richardson corridor area in Texas. We do commercial and residential audio video automation. We're a client-first approach business. We believe hardcore in the relationship of the client. We call them our family. We know that's just our approach. Pretty much in a nutshell.

Ron:  How long has Integrated Lifestyle been a business?

Paul: Three years, in May, is when we turn three. We're excited about what's in front of us. How's the COVID landscape there in Dallas? I know that if you watch the news and everyone on the show knows I tell everyone don't watch the news. But I get a little inkling of it every now and then. Everything that we do every aspect of every step is got the COVID stuff wrapped up of it. Texas was a hotspot for a while. We're just taking the precautions and trying to be as safe as we possibly can. Make sure everybody in the family's good.

Ron:  But let's go into your back story It's always fun to learn about how you landed in this crazy business and how you landed at the point of actually starting Integrated Lifestyles. So let's go to The Way Way Back Machine. How did you land into the custom integration space?

Paul: Well it all started off with doing network just data and voice in my early years. This is about a little over 20 years ago I was actually working for a company doing prison fences as odd as that sounds and they got laid off and needed a job. And I became friends with somebody that was doing the information system at the prison. It was a federal prison. They threw me an opportunity as just being an apprentice pulling wire and stuff like that. Obviously Stewart did voice for large commercial projects. We were doing colleges and high schools in southern California area. And I did that for a while. 9/11 happened. It was just tragic and lost it. I became a cable guy for about two years, two and a half years and transitioned from Southern California to Vegas. I was there for about four years, four or five years. And in that time, the cable business was boring.

Ron:  You call your local cable company and the guy comes out in the van, guy or the gal comes out and they install your cable?

Paul: I was the guy that the cable company contracted to. I was a guy in my pickup truck with a ladder rack installing cable modems and net cards and computers. I did that for a while and then I was at a job site. Saw a job with Amex all automated thought it was the coolest thing I've ever seen and they saw that I knew how to do wall fishes and pull wire and all those things and then at that point transitioned to that and worked there for another two years.

Ron:  Still in Vegas?

Paul: Still in Vegas. Half my time in Vegas was that, the other half was doing the cable work. Then from that, had a baby, marriage the whole nine yards. But I had my family at the time in California. My spouse at the time was in Texas. Immediately we flipped a coin and started putting our things together and said California didn't do it for me even though I loved the state. Let's try this Dallas thing out. Never been to Dallas in my life. What do I have to lose?

Ron:  I'm looking over your shoulder and that looks like a Miami Dolphins jersey.

Paul: It is so confusing because every time I tell anybody that. Where are you originally from? California. Why are you a Miami Dolphins fan? I just went up there. I don't know. Dan Marino, also I'm Cuban. I'm the first generation born in the United States from my family. Most of my family is in the Miami area and the influence of sports was from my dad and uncles that were based out of the Miami area. Of course, there is that push. My brother was a University Miami fan.

Ron:  Are you the only Dolphin fan in Dallas?

Paul: All my friends seem to think so considering they all bleed blue and silver with that other team. We don't need to talk about it.

Ron:  Yeah. We're not going to talk about that blue and silver.

Paul: That's right. But anyhow so I immediately got a job here with the experience I had with that other company working for a very large custom integrator out here and worked there for quite a while six and seven years. And I learned a lot there. Just that get it done, move quickly, get things going A to Z. They would load me up to give me a full media room with an apprentice and also a TV over a fireplace had to get done the next day because there's a pile of work orders the next day. It's just that fast-moving getting to the point where you're having to schedule your stuff to your route. OK do I do this leaving the office or coming back to the office just because there's so much work to do. And I learned a lot. That's probably the biggest learning curve I had because it was just so fast-paced. If you learn something, you had to pick it up. We had to retain it. There wasn't this learn it. Forget it. Get on a URL link to just learn it again. After that I got tired of that fast pace and it was your rooms are awesome distributed audio is awesome but I want to be the guy that programs the button that you push and it does its thing. I became a programmer there for a little while and then other opportunities started to rise as I started building myself up. Just the quality of work. Of course the report from other clients they would call that company and request for me to do the install and it wasn't just I need you guys as a group the company to do the install. We want Paul Lopez to do the install. Obviously, it was building in my brain, I think I'm building a network here. And of course, the transition from there and I started working I worked here and there for multiple companies as an Install Manager, Quality Control Manager, things like that. But the activity of the install started slowing down. It wasn't so much about getting the cool speakers in the ceiling. It was the quality of that. And then also the relationship with the client in regards to Paul, how can I get this thing to work on my phone? Or how do I get the remote control when I press one button it does all these different things. As I transitioned from there, I started really building the network. And it was really working for me. Then 2009 happened. When that happened of course residential sales down primarily doing residential. At that point , I just had to pick and choose what I'm doing. I ended up becoming a contractor. And just working for multiple companies helping them.

Ron:  Were you laid off because of the Great Recession?

"If anybody knows an audio-video guy you've probably been through one or two of them. It's a very high demanding job."

Paul: It had slowed down and I had a couple of life challenges. If anybody knows an audio-video guy you've probably been through one or two of them. It's a very high demanding job, calls and text messages at 10:00 11:00 at night.

Ron:  Folks want service 24/7.

Paul: It's funny cause I feel like I have to have a disclaimer if I'm meeting somebody it's like OK just so you know. But anyhow it all kind of worked out. And then I met through all this contract work an individual that was starting off. It was him and one sales guy. And I helped him build his company from the bottom up. They were moving in the right direction but they just didn't have the backbone to move them to do a deal from one hundred thousand dollars a year to a million a year or a couple million a year. I started working for that company and it grew and grew and grew to the point where I was the Install Manager which I kind of was already because I was the Lead Installer and as the teams built up, they've just worked underneath me and started using my network as well as theirs. And it built up and it was a great experience. Just being on the front line of everything. The owner really leaned on me as much as I leaned on him. I'll be forever grateful for that. And it just built up and built up and became between a four to five million dollar company with a large commercial presence and for me it was a learning curve. Because through the course of the years I was residential only. And then we became more of a commercial company. Doing stuff for some of the sports teams out here and big corporations. Conference rooms full of video distributions multiple floors things like that. It was a really great learning experience. A lot of gray hair.

Ron:  I just had someone call me out the other day for my gray hair. I was talking to one of my customers I have known for 20 years. He's like, "Ron, lift your hat. Do I spot gray?" Man, I don't know a business owner that doesn't have gray hair.

Paul: Just embrace the George Clooney Ron. That's what you gotta do.

Ron:  I like that. I'm going to use that line now. I'm embracing my inner George Clooney.

Paul: There you go.

Ron:  Minus the millions in the bank.

Paul: After that I had a great network. I've had clients constantly telling me why aren't you doing your own thing? Well it's intimidating. It's intimidating because I always use a car reference because I'm a car guy. It's always easier to work on the car. But I've got to buy the parts to do it and I've never been the buy the parts guy. I just felt the way things were progressing. I reached an impasse with the last company and I thought the best way, there was some cultural changes that were taking place that I just didn't necessarily agree with. Not that it was bad for the company or good for the company which I thought they were. I think they're great for what they were doing but I wanted to go in a different direction. And so I made that decision with the help of a client believe it or not. A large client skated me through the way and helped me out. And this is where I'm at now.

Ron:  How long, three years ago?

Paul: Three years ago. Yes sir.

Ron:  What has surprised you now that you own your own deal and you run the show? The buck stops right there at your shoulders.

Paul: Yup it's scary.

Ron:  It is scary and naivete is a beautiful thing a lot of time. As entrepreneurs we don't realize the challenges and how hard it's going to be. If we did we may not have done it.

Paul: That's right.

Ron:  What has surprised you in terms of being your own not your entrepreneur?

Paul: A lot of things I didn't expect. We can just go down the lines of finance.

Ron:  Well I mean that's fun. I think some people listening will either appreciate that they went through that as well and or there are probably some people thinking about one day maybe doing something on their own. You can't hide it, it's a fact our industry is born out of people leaving companies and starting new companies and that's how our industry has been since day one.

Paul: Well for me it was a unique kind of deal. Like I said barking up the tree said hey you need to do your own thing. I kind of started off Chuck in a truck, a guy out there doing small jobs and building up slowly. But the demand of the network of folks that were bothering me on a regular basis. I couldn't support it. I couldn't support it to retain it. I'm a certified Control4 company. We have a showroom certified and just getting that, if I don't have the certifications if I don't have the credentials I can't support it.

Ron:  If you had stayed independent like with your own business but just Paul out there, you wouldn't have been allowed to maintain a C4 dealership?

Paul: That's right. I mean they're asking me for a business plan. They're asking me for all these credentials all these things. Do I have a showroom? I couldn't operate everything essentially from a laptop in my cell phone you know. So there's a buy-in. There's just a lot of financials behind it. To obtain a lot of the abilities to get some of these dealerships and then of course they court you. They want to make sure that they're not bringing on a company or a team that just has put a bad taste in other companies' mouths or just can't seem to do the basics, pay the bills. Yeah that was the thing. I just knew that I had to go either all in or all out. That's how it worked and it's sell yourself out. Everybody, I'll see you here later. I don't have a life anymore. My life is my business.

Ron:  What parts of running your business, running your integration shop do you think that you were well-prepared to manage and what parts do you think that you weren't and you needed to get help?

Paul: The big standout was the financial side of it. In regards to the liability insurance the H.R. side of things, your payroll tax, taxes at the end of the year.

Ron:  I've made some of those mistakes.

Paul: Yeah. Luckily like I said I have a solid partner and he's a very well versed businessman and I've been lucky enough to resource their H.R. department. There was a lot of training, you can't say that or if anybody knows me. I'm a very loose individual, I like to have fun. This industry is a lot of fun even though it is a lot of stress and it's just you can't be that individual.

Ron:  Not when you're responsible for others and they're looking up to you. There are not just laws but there's what's right and what's thinking about the other people and their needs and wants and treating people fairly and equally.

"Especially in this industry, you're always learning."

Paul: It's a learning curve every day. With some of the things that are going on in this world right now. Some things we just don't realize are offensive to others. We have to be very careful. And I've learned a lot. To say that I'm not learning anymore. That's a lie. Especially in this industry you're always learning.

Ron:  Sitting in that chair it's very humbling, isn't it?

Paul: Yes, it sure is. I praise myself I praise my family everybody that was supporting me every single day because without all that I don't know that I would be in this chair right now.

Ron:  What's changed? If you look at your business pre-COVID and you look at your business now in the COVID era which we don't know how long it's gonna be like this. Right? Maybe forever. But what's changed? What are some big or obvious things that are different?

Paul: Business has changed dramatically. I was mainly a commercial outfit student 75 percent commercial easily. We've had some pretty large projects and we were crushing the hospitality realm. Lots of bars and restaurants. For a while there, it was kind of funny that I felt like that's all we did you know We made some changes. It wasn't an overnight thing to become a certified Control4 showroom. They had to court me and it was something that I knew that I needed to do. Because you can't just put all your eggs in one basket. We've got to diversify. We've got to be able to put our hands in several different baskets so when times like this take place, we're covered. Everything kind of landed in a way that I got very fortunate with. One being this showroom the other one updating the web site and getting things going on that. We were more geared to being a 50/50 type company and when all this took place my commercial business has dramatically.

Ron:  What would you say your ratio was in 2019? Commercial to resi?

Paul: 75 to 80 percent commercial 20 to 25 percent residential. And now I want to say it's almost a flip flop. Just the timing of doing all these things. My team is awesome in our Facebook posts getting others to know more about the business how personal we really are how much we do care. For a while with all this going on, we were labeling ourselves with Takeover AV. Just the fact that their relationships with prior companies just weren't there. And the fact that we actually do care, it's like oh my kid can't get on a laptop and do their study. It falls off all the time. It's that my child's going to fall behind. That's a prime example of being able to set yourself up to move forward. And then the fact that we'll take the call at six o'clock in the evening and say OK let me see if I can do X Y or Z or we're going to talk to you early in the morning to get it resolved. That's important. That's important especially in times right now.

Ron:  In your the markets that you serve, are you seeing the spike or a significant increase in residential technology demand? Is that what enabled you to transition from seventy-five twenty-five commercial resi to flipping that?

Paul: Yeah, I think so just because the Zoom meeting situation that's taking place right now. It's a fact that 90 percent of all these families are home. The idea of going to the movie theater getting away going to a concert you can't do those things.

Ron:  When will we go to a concert again? When does that whole business even?

Paul: Going to a football game going to a baseball game. Everything is being streamed.

Ron:  You're going to a Dolphins game you're going to have six-foot separation automatically.

Paul: Exactly. If there is football Ron and that's what I'm hoping for. Everybody keeps telling me otherwise. But I am holding onto that string. We're going to get it.

Ron:  I'm going to have people hating I have Dolphins fans on my team in Miami. I'm going to get some eggs thrown at me for that comment.

Paul: Yeah. Getting back to that. It's a fact that people are paying more attention to the things that are going on in their home now more than ever. It's sad. It's not one of those deals where you think about it. We're dealing with higher-end CEOs, large management people and companies that are never home you're always traveling. That idea of like Big Brother in your system was one. Now they're in their homes using their systems. I do need audio in this room when I come in here and decompress. I've had a long day on my laptop staring at a screen. I want to be able to listen to some music.

"The demands for networking have never been higher."

Ron:  Tell me about networks. What have you done to address the obvious demand from your customers? You just mentioned all these executives right now. You know they're doing this they're video conferencing or they're doing live stuff. Their kids meanwhile are in the other room and they're about to restart all their virtual learning. The family's watching Netflix. The demands for networking has never been higher or greater with a greater focus in our industry.

Paul: Well it's funny you bring that up because we got partnered up with a company called Access Networks and they help us out immensely. It's so wonderful to be able to use their design aspect as well as their monitoring. They give us that ability that the client comes up to us says hey I'm on my network constantly. Family of five. The wife is using it. I'm using it. I've got kids that are studying it on it. I have classes coming up. I get dropouts all the time. So what we've done is we're using product that they help us design. We'll take a layout. It will give us a plan or we'll even use a Google shot. Just the outside of the house plus the square footage route and we'll turn around and we'll send it over to them. We will have a discussion and let them know whether they have an automation system. Let them know what's important to them and so on and so forth. We will come up with a proper design and we'll implement it. And it will be monitored. It'll be 24/7 monitored. And what's nice about that is that typically we will get the information of knowing that something is having an issue prior to even the client even knowing. We're ready for that service call if need be. Or Hey we know something's going on. You might unplugging this piece of equipment. We're noticing that it's having some fails. Things like that. It's just trying to be ahead of the game a little bit for the client to make their lives a lot easier.

Ron:  Do you find Paul right now, that clients are willing to spend more on better gear for networks? Has the conversation in that regard changed at all?

Paul: Yeah it has. It has I think pre-COVID even only because the Internet of things. Think about it. Everything that we have is connected, even something as simple as a Ring doorbell. Everything that we do is oh there's a web page you have to go in to sign on for your email chatting. Even your phones, most of my clients now are using their ability on their phone to use their Wi-Fi calling more than they're just using their regular phone. Maybe they have a metal roof on the house and they're just not getting a good coverage in the home as far as their cellular is concerned. Network right now is everything. I mean it really is.

Ron:  You just mentioned Access Networks and I know you know Hagi and his team are really an impressive company on an impressive trajectory. What a neat opportunity for them. I mean talk about turning lemons into lemonade in terms of this COVID situation into really what I know is supercharged growth for them. Are there other vendors? We're in this super strange time right? There are no trade shows there are no buying group events. I don't know that as an industry we'll even get together in 2020. All of our interactions are here virtual over video conference. Are there vendors that you think are doing it right? T.

Paul: Here's one that stands out and the company is called Origin Acoustics. What they're doing is amazing. As soon as the epidemic started they were concerned because everybody of course it's a big scramble. Everybody's panicking and so on so forth. They started immediately with these Zoom meetings talking about hey if anybody knows Jeremy Burkhart, he's been around for decades. And he's faced several things of this magnitude where business has dropped out and him having the ability to get on there with his team and talk about what they can do. Hey, this is what we're doing. This is what you should probably be doing too. Even the PPP stuff you should be applying for this for all these different programs that are accessible. It even goes further than that just that I'll be at the home office doing my thing and get a phone call from Miranda or get a phone call from Mark or any of them. Aaron is a rep for them. Yeah. I'll get a phone call and it's like "Hey Paul how's the team doing? How are the families of your team doing?" It's not a "Hey you haven't bought X Y Z amount and hey have you ever thought about getting terms we're willing to help you out. Will that help you?" Things like that stands out to me. That just shows that we're in this together. It's not a hey your numbers are down situation where I have other companies large companies that I have to give a long explanation to clients of why their gear isn't here yet. Because manufacturing got shut down. It's really something.

Ron:  How bad is the extent that vendors you're doing business with don't have access to product because they just can't get it from China or wherever?

Paul: I've got a client right now that we've had to push their install back and it's now we're getting things back online. It's been almost a month from now. That's already paid for but that's the kind of thing about building the relationship with the client. If you're upfront with them and honest with them and you have a good rapport those conversations aren't difficult. I feel like we take on most of the anxiety of those conversations than they do. They're like well we're OK. We've lived without it for years. What's another month? And we're like well just keep in mind we're going to make this right. You're going to love it.

Ron:  And staying in good communication with the customer.

Paul: We have weekly meetings going through some of our CRM in regards to like okay where they are . And we followed up things like that just to make sure that our customers feel comfortable. We're family members. The last thing you want is an an angry uncle, that's kind of the approach.

Ron:  That makes sense. I saw the news. I am a vendor within the Pro Source buying group and so I get these updates. And of course, I know you and Jonathan. We knew it through other channels as well. But you guys just became a Pro Source member.

Paul: Yes. Very exciting.

Ron:  For those that are listening that don't know what Pro Source is, what is it? And why'd you guys join?

Paul: Well, it's a buying group it helps us build our buying power with some of the products that we offer to our clients to give them a better opportunity and make it more cost-effective for them. It also is a great resource. It's a great resource of information. It's a great resource of just getting our minds together with other A.V. companies out there that are experiencing the same things we are. Maybe we're all using the same product with the same problem. Maybe it's something along the lines of Hey I use this. It was amazing or some of the future development projects like low voltage lighting is a big deal right now. It's only going to get bigger, they're offering educational courses for that. Those are resources that you just can't look away from. And it just strengthens our team. Being well versed in that. The last thing you want to do is get caught off guard and walk into a situation where it's like hey why don't you offer this to me? I was really interested in it. That's what's important, I don't know that there's a dollar amount that you could put on that.

Ron:  There are more than this gang type into the comments and educate me. But I know there's like four major groups. There's Azione, there's Pro Source there's HTSA there's Nationwide. And you chose the Pro Source path. What stood out for you as to why that was the right path for your business?

Paul: Well two things one I had an inside track just because the company I used to work for I used to go to some of their town hall meetings and events and just the resources just stood out. Also, it also fit our line card not because I built a line card to follow with what their offerings are. Just because it just was a good fit. Matter of fact that's what's so great about this business is that I did talk to other groups and they told me hey you should probably look at this one instead because we just don't feel like you're going to be a good fit. Not because we don't want you to be just because your line card shows that it's going to be way better to deal with this company and they're right. And that's and that's the great thing about. I feel like in this industry we all play well together. It's really nice.

"All of those discounts and rebates flow to the bottom line to increase your net profitability and clearly your financial muscles are much stronger now and you know that's an important thing in terms of running a strong business."

Ron:  I know a lot of our industry is not in a group. What Paul's referencing is that if you sell and I'll just use Control4. If you're doing your volume with Control4 then you probably want to join a group where Control4 is because then you'll get your rebates or your discounts or your programs based on that volume. It doesn't make sense to join a group that doesn't have Control4 because you're gonna miss out on that opportunity. All of those discounts and rebates flow to the bottom line to increase your net profitability and clearly your financial muscles are much stronger now and you know that's an important thing in terms of running a strong business.

Paul: Those Christmas parties don't pay for themselves Ron.

Ron:  Well I'm just doing my budgeting for 2021. It's one of our exercises I've been involved in in the last couple of weeks with my team and we're doing that. We're designing our team events and our departmental events we're operating on an assumption that we actually will get together next year. I don't know that we will get together but we're planning that we will. Just on that concept of what's going to happen next year. What do you think big picture changes for you or this industry as we look at your crystal ball out and look into the future?

Paul: My mix is going to be seventy-five residential twenty-five commercial and it's going to be a different type of commercial that's a lot of more huddle rooms or Zoom setups. My hospitality stuff is going to be really weird only because right now Texas is 50 percent occupancy in restaurants right now. Bars are still closed. That's going to change a lot.

Ron:  How do restaurants survive? They aren't profitable at 50 percent.

Paul: Takeout orders I guess but why do you need a big TV and audio to adjust with one button if you're standing outside handing orders out. That's kind of where we're at. We're just seeing what the whole situation is in regards to that. There are other areas we have some large commercial projects we've done in the past to continue to do things in and we're gonna be able to do a few smaller projects with them but it's not anything like it was. It wasn't a venue or it wasn't a really great nightclub that turns into a sports bar. Now that's probably just not really going to happen, unfortunately.

Ron:  Do you think you'll grow in 2020? Do you think your revenue will grow over 2019?

Paul: Yeah I think so because of my residential and I think the reason why is because not only is the marketing working our relationships and our referrals have been fantastic but also all those clients that we deal with in those commercial-style settings are having to work from home. They're like oh I'll just call these guys. Being familiar and having them having that relationship with that you know that manager or that CEO and you know looking at their TV their plasma from you know 10 years ago they're like I'm going to call these guys did a good job. Let's get them over here to the house, they do residential. I didn't know that before but now I know. I feel like that's going to be a big win for us.

Ron:  What do you see as the importance or lack of importance, how does it play out for you the importance of the way you present your business on the Internet? I would say the digital representation of your business.

Paul: Well it's introducing everybody to the team. We do that on Facebook. We try to do a meet the integrator once a week. We take snapshots of what we're doing here at the office. Other people that we've done business with. We'll showcase their restaurant bar maybe their really nice setup in their media room whatever. We try to show everybody just all the little tools and tangibles and keep it at the attitude of the company. We're a real fun company and real fun group. And we just try to showcase that as much as possible that we're just not the kind of team that just goes in hey we're your here to do your media room and never talk to you again. That's not who we are. And that's not the model. My staff does a great job of just portraying that and letting them know who we really are. I think that's what really helps us and the social media thing has been great for us. We just launched an update on our website which was great. We work with a fantastic company that helps us with that. They handle my SEO stuff as well and have gave us a lot of pointers on how to help help with that.

Paul: I just did some fancy technology here and I made it show up on the screen. Pretty good Ron.

Ron:  Ninety-nine percent my software 1 percent me clicking a button.

Paul: I'm just kind of looking at this and this gives us a prime example of exactly what we're about. Just day in the life of using our technologies. The team, understanding what we're doing here in our office, just giving us a real-life just a real touch of what we're doing.

Ron:  I love that you've used video of your people. If you look across our industry that is so rare it is so rarely done where someone puts a camera or any photography or video of their team and you've got that here why did you choose to do that?

Paul: Well I feel like in our conversation right now. I've kind of pushed the sentiment of the company of us being a personal group and I could have hired a lot of pretty little people to be up there doing that stuff. And why do that? I want to give the sense that basically if a client is going to this website and they're looking for something to get done, the person that's on that website is who they're going to deal with. We've had some additions to the team as well and we'll be making those changes as we make some adjustments to the website itself. But it's important to have that proper presence rather than just being a very bland website. When I first started the company that's what I did just because I just didn't know the direction. What my idea was and what it turned out to be obvious it always changes right.

Paul: You've just got to go with what's going to work rather than just being stuck. If we're sitting here and just stuck on our old ways I don't know where I would be right now. I mean considering that way we were always 75 percent commercial. I mean if I tried to live by that I might be a Chuck in the truck right now. Us together can all change and move and make those changes and know this is what is being required of us let's do it and let's be good at it. That's the approach we're doing.

Ron:  Love it. Paul for those that are out there listening or watching and they want to get in touch with you directly and or they want to learn more about your business Integrated Lifestyles. What are the methods that you'd like them to get in touch with you?

Paul: Well you call us if you'd like our numbers to 2142728178. You can call us there you could visit our website. Our website is integratedlifestylesinc.com. There's a direct link there that you can. I gave the wrong phone number guys see this. This is it. Let's try this again 2142728678. There it is. And you can do that. You can reach us at the website. There is a link there. You can actually chat with somebody or you could just send an e-mail right from it as well. There's a lot of good information on that website. There's some how tos if you're not sure in regards to the Control4 side of things because that's what our primary automation system is. You can go there just like hey if I was considering doing this how can I go and do it? How would it work? Go on how tos, get familiar. It's like test driving your car before you buy it.

Ron:  Paul I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule sir to join me for episode 132 of Automation Unplugged and I know my audience is going to get a kick out of this as well.

Paul: Thank you so much Ron, appreciate it. Whatever I could do to help anybody I hope any of the information I gave is helpful.

Ron:  That's great and we'll drop your phone number and website, we'll drop all that down into the chat screen.

Paul: The right number.

Ron:  We're going to drop the right number down in chat string on Facebook and then we'll also put that over in the show notes on the dedicated page on the One Firefly website.

Paul: All right fantastic. Thanks so much Ron.

Ron:  Thanks Paul.

SHOW NOTES:

Paul started pulling cable in attics 20 years ago and worked his way up to the ranks as he now runs Dallas-based custom integration firm, Integrated Lifestyles where they focus on creating a collaborative work environment with a “client first” approach.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing within the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and links from the interview:

To keep up with Paul and his team at Integrated Liftstyles, visit their website at integratedlifestylesinc or reach them by phone at 2142728678. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

More Automation Unplugged:

Want to stay up to date with the latest Automation Unplugged interviews? Head over to the One Firefly Facebook page and subscribe to receive a notification whenever Ron is live!

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