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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 #140: An Industry Q&A With Jesse Silva

In this weeks home automation show of Automation Unplugged, Jesse Silva of The PAVE shares innovative ways he has expanded their reach and customer acquisition through social media.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #140: An Industry Q&A With Jesse Silva

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Jesse Silva. Recorded live on Wednesday, October 14th at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Jesse Silva

Jesse founded The ProView Audio Video Experience out of Phoenix, Arizona in 2009 as a side hustle while still in college and later on while working IT for Bank of America.

Jesse went all-in on The PAVE 3 years ago and hasn’t looked back. The PAVE is known nationally and internationally for their creative use of social media to stay connected with their clients, showcase their work, and to drive business development efforts.

Interview Recap

  • The impacts of COVID-19 on Jesse’s business
  • The PAVE doubling their growth since 2019
  • Innovative ways Jesse has expanded their reach and customer acquisition through social media
  • Manufacturers that embody “exceptional support” and how it has helped Jesse and his team grow

 

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #139: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Michael Cogbill

Transcript:


Ron:  Hello. Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged. Let's see here, we are here for show number 140. Let's go ahead and get my guest in here today we have Jesse Silva. He is the owner at The PAVE out in Arizona. I've known Jesse for a while. I've been watching Jesse on social media. He's a machine. If you go to the Instagram platform and you'll notice if you could search for The PAVE you'll see him there. But I'm actually noticing here that I just lost him.. You're back!

Jesse: Hey!

Ron:  I can't help but notice that beautiful colorful Josh.ai over your shoulder circling that color. Does it do that all the time or does it do that when you give it a command. Or how does that work?

Jesse: Right now, because I knew we would definitely talk about it. It's on mute. When you mute it from the app you have that nice colorful orange and dark orange glow.

Ron:  Yeah. That's so cool. That's hard not to talk about if you enter a room and you see that thing doing that I guess that's telling you that it's not listening.

Jesse: Yeah. We can say "OK Josh" as many times as we want and our lights or TV won't turn on magic.

Ron:  Got it. All right. I appreciate that. Well for those that are listening and or tuning in live or on the podcast Jesse can you tell us , first of all, where are you coming to us from?

Jesse: I'm in Goodyear Arizona which is just a couple of minutes away from Phoenix Metropolitan. Temperatures are finally cooling down we've been on record after record over the summer.

Ron:  How hot was it there?

Jesse: We think we hit it was over 50 days of 110 plus and however many days over 115 which was I think 17 or something crazy.

Ron:  That's nuts. Is that the hottest you can remember it ever being?

Jesse: For that long of a run? Yes , the first year I moved out here actually I think that was one of the other record-breaking years when I first moved out. It's a good time to move in and experience the heat. I always tell people if they're moving into Arizona, move during the summer so you get the worst of it and then seven or eight months after that, you're going to enjoy it.

Ron:  It just gets better. It just gets cooler and cooler before the next blast from the hot air guy comes right in June. Jesse , I want to go back into your background but before we go there. Can you tell our audience a little bit about your business the name your business and what your business looks like?

Jesse: Yeah. Most of our social media followers, our clients friends know us as The PAVE but The PAVE does stand for the pro view audio video experience. Been in business since about 2009. Right when I was in senior year of college and just grew the business as a side hustle. During and after college and about three and a half years ago I left my job doing I.T. for Bank of America to pursue it full time and haven't looked back. It's been very good so far.

Ron:  That's awesome. So you started the business in '09. It was a bit of a side project. You were helping clients you were building that revenue through that corporate entity and it was three or four years ago that you said I'm going all in. Jumping in with both feet?

Jesse: That's right. We had our second child, our daughter Camilla and I just wanted a bit more flexibility. But at the same time I wanted to pursue something that I had been shooting for quite some time and there was no better time when she was born it was kind of like the light bulb was flashing in front of me saying Hey you got to do something now or you're gonna end up in the corporate world for forever.

Ron:  Got it. That makes sense. Let's see if my software is cooperating today. We're getting a few shout outs on Facebook. So we've got Tomas Wing down in Panama. He says "Hola Ron and Jesse. Good to see you both. Saludos from Panama.".

Jesse: Hi Tomas!

Ron:  And we have Angel. He says, "Welcome Jesse Saludos from Mexico".

Jesse: Saludos!

Ron:  We've got Brandi. She says "Hi Jesse go Arizona Cardinals!" Are you an Arizona Cardinals fan Jesse?

Jesse: Since moving here. I'm a believer in supporting your local teams. But I grew up a 49er fan.

Ron:  I've got to say, that's almost a politically correct answer. I think you want to tell me you're a 49ers fan.

Jesse: I'm a 49ers fan. Yeah. But I've been to quite a few Cardinal games.

Ron:  All right. We will do one more here. We have one more. You know Jason, he's said, "What's going on Jesse?" That's fun. Jesse, let's go in the way back machine. I'd love to know your background. And you were going to college and you decided to start this. Take us back. How did you as a known player and thought leader here in custom integration how did that all begin?

Jesse: Really I've always been the family go to tech guy or tech kid growing up.

Ron:  Jesse you're going to appreciate this. I got to say Mr. Lee Travis. Lee your ears are burning we were just talking about you before we went live.

Jesse: Hey Lee. Thanks for joining us.

Ron:  That's awesome.

Jesse: That is cool. Yeah. I've always been into in the tech you know taking things apart setting things up and you know I actually got my start in installations doing custom car audio so I did car audio out of my garage in high school. But I'm about 6'1 6'2 and it's not very comfortable under a dashboard leaned over doing that.

Ron:  Especially in 117-degree heat. Or this was before? Y.

Jesse: Yeah. This was in California. A bit cooler temperatures but when I moved to Arizona that was really the nail in the coffin to the custom car audio side. Was that 115 under the dashboard. Not so fun. So I decided to venture and I've always been in the home AV. Got an LCD early and been into that side as well. And really what brought me over to the resi integration side is automation and home theater so that that really led to what The PAVE is now which is the home theater and home automation aspect of our business.

Ron:  While you were doing I.T. at Bank of America, how did you gain exposure to this home residential integration side of things? Where did that influence come from did you read a magazine? Did you attend a trade show of some type? How did that happen?

Jesse: Really it was just any free time that I had nights and weekends. Even breaks on the job had a stack of CE Pros with me and the resi magazine as well. I was just always reading articles, learning about what products are out there, what solutions. Because early on it was mainly surround sounds and setting up TVs and things like that. But as I learned about the Lutrons and smart lighting, intelligence shades, home automation control through those magazines that's really where I started to seek out the training. You had CEDIA and then just the web is undefeated in information.

Ron:  My son is doing virtual schooling downstairs. He's eleven years old so he's in the sixth grade. And you talk about going to the cloud and he's sitting there doing his schoolwork. He's got a laptop he's got an iPad because he's virtual conferencing into the classroom and he's got his Google thing I don't know it's called the touch screen that is Google and he'll literally sit there all day long as he wants to like ask questions. He'll talk to Google and Google will give him an answer like we're doing a science project last night. Working on his project and he's doing it on materials testing and carbon fiber and stuff and so he asks a pretty complex question even to Google and she just without missing a beat gave him a complex answer. I was like "That's so amazing." You have two children as well. Correct?

Jesse: Yeah, I have my son Wakeen and my daughter Camila 7 and 4 gonna be 4 in December. She's three now. She'll be four soon.

Ron:  Are they talking to Josh or to Alexa or to Siri or Google yet?

Jesse: All of them. You'll have to check it out but there's a post I did on my son. We have kind of a bedtime routine and one of the things that kind of kicks it off is is a request to Josh it's you'll say OK Josh it's bedtime and I have it programmed to do a couple of different responses and one of them is actually in Spanish and it says Buenas Noches. The lights dim, if we forgot to lock the garage door into the laundry room locks and then there they have some smart lighting in their room so it kind of creates a night light and starts playing some mellow music for them in their Sonos.

Ron:  Isn't. that amazing. This four-year-old and a seven-year-old talking to the A.I. the house and the house is responding.

Jesse: Yeah. And then they use Alexa quite a bit for like the questions like you mentioned. How far is the sun and things like that and it's so crazy how quick that information just comes back.

Ron:  It's instantaneous. It certainly seems like it's instantly it's happening in microseconds right. The world's knowledge right there at their fingertips. We're in October it's 2020 this is pandemic year. How has your family and your team responded to COVID are you guys okay are you healthy? What's the status there?

Jesse: Day 955 of the pandemic. It seems like it feels that way right. No. Fortunately thank you for asking. Everyone's doing well. We've been healthy we've been practicing the proper measures to keep ourselves and our team safe. Fortunately, everyone's been healthy we've been able to continue to work early on as with other integrators I'm sure there was a bit of uncertainty there is what you know what to do what's the right thing to do?

"CEDIA and other integrators really stepped up in providing some of that information and processes and what would be a good course of action. And in the states that required the essential classification to continue to work, that really allowed us to continue to get out there and help clients especially with the surge of being at home."

CEDIA and other integrators really stepped up in providing some of that information and processes and what would be a good course of action. And in the states that required the essential classification to continue to work, that really allowed us to continue to get out there and help clients especially with the surge of being at home. The networks were huge, keeping the kids entertained with streaming and all of that. But business has been good. All things considered, businesses is looking like it's going to be a great close to the end of the year for us.

Ron:  I know a lot of folks that are listening they're eager to hear. Can you give me some stats Jesse, is it up a little bit is it up a lot? What does it look like compared to 2019 in terms of top-line let's call it revenue?

Jesse: Yeah. So we're actually going to double what we accomplished last year. Last year was a pretty solid year for us and this year we look like we're going to double that number.

Ron:  What's your reasoning behind that?

"There's a lot of factors there that they're spending more time at home and they realize that maybe they should improve some of their lifestyle tech at home."

Jesse: I think it really comes down to a couple of factors. One is even though you have the pandemic that has helped you really make folks realize that maybe their network isn't that great there. Maybe they want a bigger TV they're going to spend more time they can't go to the movies. There's a lot of factors there that they're spending more time at home and they realize that maybe they should improve some of their lifestyle tech at home. I think that has a factor. The other one is we've for almost two years now been working a relationship with a park model and a modular home builder. The name is CatCo. That's been a great relationship that we have been able to build up with them and that's allowed us to get into other projects outside of just the traditional residential homes where we've done some hospitality and have brought tech to an industry that maybe hasn't been so heavy on the tech side.

Ron:  What are those solutions looking like? I'm curious and how did they learn about the tech the opportunity with putting tech in their projects? Was that from you or did they learn it from vendors or how?

Jesse: They had been using some audio and some video solutions but what kind of kicked it off was about two years ago we were approached to help provide a solution for an expo that was going to happen. We worked with them. They were going to be a part of a kind of like a CEDIA but in their industry called RVX and it was in Salt Lake a couple years ago and they were trying to design the cabin of the future or the park model of the future. The first thing that came to mind was automation. What we ended up putting in that unit was pretty much everything. It had close to 50 thousand dollars worth of tech in a 400 square foot cabin park model. Everything from automated shades lighting. We put Josh in there. It was one of the first Josh projects that we did. We also utilized some Savant for the remote control functionality and it was really a fully automated tiny home if you want to see it that way. And that sparked the conversation OK this is a one-time show but what else can we provide in terms of an amenity for your customers that are looking for that. Just because you have a 400 square foot space you may want some of the tech that a two thousand or three thousand square foot home has.

Ron:  That's very cool and we have a quick shout out here Michelle, said "Go Jesse and The PAVE."

Jesse: Shelley, she's great. She actually went on a consultation with us for some Lutron shades. Shout out to her for being so helpful.

Ron:  That is awesome. Well while I'm giving shout outs, there's another Lutron name drop here Catherine. She says, "Yay Jesse go Lutron.".

Jesse: Thanks Catherine.

Ron:  Awesome, by those two Lutron references I'm assuming you're a Lutron dealer Lutron reseller.

Jesse: That's right.

Ron:  Awesome. I don't know what it's called what do you think of their new keypads with the round buttons?

Jesse: The LSA keypads?

Ron:  Yes.

Jesse: Yeah those are very beautiful. I'm excited to get some of those in and provide that option to our clients.

Ron:  Educate me and maybe those listening that aren't aware what system can you use those keypads with? Is it only with Homeworks?

Jesse: It's Homework QS. Which also includes the Palladium line and the Ketra circadian rhythm lighting.

Ron:  Okay. We mentioned Lutron. Just on the subject of brands, what are you seeing right now? You're in Arizona. You're here in the United States. It's October 2020. What are you seeing in terms of vendors and the availability of products and electronics for your projects are you backed up? Are you getting what you need right now or what are you seeing and feeling?

Jesse: Yes. Early on it was OK just because manufacturing was going but once some of the plants and manufacturers were forced to either cut employees or for worse have to shut down plants. For example, Samsung had to shut down for a few weeks a lot of the panels are made in Mexico for North America. Their plant was forced to shut down. Initially it was OK just because they probably had plenty of inventory but as time went on even after they reopened that's when things started to hit a bit of a of an issue. But right now I think it's things are getting better.

There are some things that are affected just because it's offshore manufacturing. Chips or things like that where there is some backorder still going on. We're pushing through it. We've just had to be very clear with our clients and let them know ahead of time that we're willing to help them achieve what they're looking for but it may take a few extra weeks just to get the product in and come out, things that are out of our control so to speak.

Ron:  Got it. Couple more comments here. Jesse rolling in. Of course , Michelle gave us some clarification, " The LSA are gorgeous. You can have 1-9 buttons." Ariel, our mutual good friend. He says, "The PAVE many greetings to Jesse from Polaris Controls.".

Jesse: I love that guy. He does these really great shorts, video shorts and you got to check him out. It's fun.

Ron:  Yeah. Ariel is a good friend. He and I go way back to our Lutron days and he had me on his podcast a few months ago. I think I was his first English speaking guest because he generally does that for the Caribbean and South America.

Jesse: He does. Yeah.

Ron:  I said Ariel I love you man but I can't do the Spanish. It's not one of my skills. He's like Ron. Don't worry. I speak many languages so I'll work with you.

Jesse: He does. Man of many talents.

"You're running a small business. Every dollar counts, every bit of support counts."

Ron:  Man of many talents. I want to let your name drops and people if you want to show people some love. What are some vendors that you think over this COVID period have been particularly impressive to you in the way that they've supported you or and helped you along the way? I mean you're running a small business. Every dollar counts every bit of support counts and you could theorize that maybe they want to prioritize bigger businesses. Some manufacturers might. Doesn't mean it's right or wrong. What have you seen? Who's really stood out to you as demonstrating exceptional support for your business?

Jesse: Yeah, for us it's all about the people behind the brand. The people that represent the brand to us. And you know the folks that stand up quite a bit ahead of the pack would be the guys over at the guys and gals at Josh.ai and Origin Acoustics. We love the people we along with them and they went above and beyond in terms of providing information to us not only just about their product and how they can help with their product but also providing solutions and help us be more creative on how to generate business and help our business out.

For example, Origin had a few webinars where they had other big integrators and what their processes were and they kind of helped put process together for the PPP. Things like that goes to show you that they care more about just simply the number of speakers or products that they're selling but you as the company because they want to establish that long term relationship. Also a shout out to Sonos and our rep Corey. They're a big company. I'm small in terms of their customers right but having that relationship with him has really helped provide some insight and heads up on hey there might be some delays you want to order some stuff just to make sure before they go out. Things like that. It's all about the relationships in this industry and probably in any industry. But that's really what has helped us stay at the forefront of technology and helping our customers is the relationships with our partners.

"You mentioned some bigger companies and companies of various sizes there but what really makes that difference to you is that relationship with whoever that that personal direct contact for that manufacturer is for you."

Ron:  Got it. I think that's a really key point because you mentioned some bigger companies and companies of various sizes there but what really makes that difference to you is that relationship whoever that that personal direct contact for that manufacturer is for you that's what's making the difference.

Jesse: That's right. Yeah. Folks like you know it's not just Josh it's Bridget it's Chad. At Origin, even Fisher Marc Fisher. He's at the top of the company and even he reached out and said hey what can we do to help you? It's the people it's not so much the brand name.

Ron:  What does a typical project look like for you Jesse? If you go and you're doing the bread and butter work that you do every day. What is a project like that look like what type of technologies are in that project?

Jesse: A lot of our projects to hone in on this year, a lot of our projects have included the automation so multiple solutions from audio-video to lighting control, shades. We tried to show our clients the benefits and the beauty of having technology in their home that is reliable and easy to use because I feel a lot of times some clients are reserved to going down the path of technology. They hear that doesn't work or the frustration. You go into Costco any day of the week and you see a stack of returned items and you kind of wonder like well what was really the problem were they really that many defective?

Probably not. It's probably just they couldn't figure it out. It wasn't what they thought. As an integrator, our solutions that we push we try to show them the benefits of them. To answer your question, a lot of big TV's great sounding audio and lighting and shading control have been the leaders in what we do day in and day out.

Ron:  And you had mentioned previously but I just want to make sure I'm clear this covered. I'll just call it level of busyness the summer to the present. Many of us in the industry were slower and it was super weird in Q2. March April May but really June to the present. There has been a change. A change nationwide that I've witnessed is that just everyone's super duper busy. Levels of busyness they haven't seen in many cases, many years if ever. Is there a change in what your projects have looked like in the company? The technologies that are in those projects or what maybe what the consumer is asking for today versus October 2019 versus October 2020 is there any difference?

Jesse: I think there has definitely been a difference in a couple of categories. Networking has been one that we've gotten a lot more calls on and also security like cameras. That has been a big one. And it's probably for a couple of a number of reasons. We've had a lot of uncertainty and unrest throughout. And I think that kind of triggered clients to say well maybe I do need that doorbell camera or we do need some surveillance around. And I think that those two categories have really jumped. In terms of requests from us we would normally networking is such an integral part in what we do. And the other technologies that are tied into our installation.

That's always been big but we've done just standalone network solutions for clients this year as opposed to a complete package. And the same thing with the cameras where we get a call and they want surveillance system as opposed to surveillance system tied into an automation system. Those are some of the changes that we've seen.

Ron:  Got it. Any post-election predictions? Not to get into any political leanings. One where I think I really got in trouble by doing that my last podcast so I won't go there. But any predictions in terms of post-election being good or bad for your level of busyness? This year and early next year.

Jesse: I think it's going to continue to be busy I would predict especially since it's the holiday season and even though you know there is the COVID 19 scenario going around I feel like most people are still spending money for themselves. They're not spending as much being out or going on vacations things like that. They're using those added funds that they're not spending elsewhere into their home fixing up their backyards and things like that.

Ron:  Got it. That makes sense. So I learned about you Jesse probably a few years ago just because as One Firefly started to ramp up our level of activity on Instagram and we were a little late to the game on Instagram. I want to say we as an agency only really started becoming active maybe I want to say two years ago something like that and anyone can go to our Instagram page and check me on that but I want to say that's when we started taking that platform more seriously for this channel. We noticed that you were super active and you're in this cohort of integrators that are really leveraging that platform and you're really running with it. You have just under two thousand followers on Instagram more than LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter. Where did that come from or just how do you think about maybe social media in general? And then if we talk a little bit more about Instagram like how do you think about that platform?

Jesse: Yeah. It's really again it's going back to the question that you asked about. The brands and how I mentioned about the people and I've always been someone that loves to talk and interact with others. I love to help people if I can. Instagram just felt like a space where you can share ideas you can share images and then now you have videos and stories and live feeds. They just kept on adding additional similar as tools and social media is a tool for us. A marketing tool as well as a way to gain information and ideas from others that are doing it. Not only within Arizona or within the U.S. but worldwide.

You pick up a lot of great information and also not only just information but clients. We're able to share a beautiful setup or solution that you provided someone else and it might gain someone's interest and then you get a message, the DM as they're known. Requesting Hey how did you do that? Or I'm thinking about remodeling my home. What ideas or you start the conversation there set up a consultation and you can earn customers through the social media.

Ron:  Have you picked up business from Instagram?

Jesse: I have. Yeah, we definitely have. We have a few customers right now that we're working with that are doing home remodels. One is building a new home and we're in the talks of the design phase. It does equate to business. It's worth going on there and seeing what you can do.

Ron:  I'm going to make an assumption that the customer types or the design trade partner types that would be most valuable to you would be locally in the Phoenix market. Is that accurate or do you pick up work anywhere in the country?

Jesse: Because we tag the locations usually where our installs are with cities that are here local. But we have gotten work in California we have gotten requests from out of state. Some of the out-of-state requests maybe don't make so much sense just because we're not positioned to be as successful out of state as we are here locally. But we have also even partnered with other integration firms that have needed help here that maybe they had a customer move here or they have a connection with a resort or something that they need help. We work with other entities to provide services here as well as have recommended other firms out of state as well.

Ron:  What do you decide to post to Instagram? How do you think about that or approach what to put out?

Jesse: A lot of the time I feel like the most traction in those scenarios. And that's what we post most of the time is real life scenarios.

Ron:  Real-life scenarios. And do you also follow other integrators? And if so, how do you choose who to follow and what are you looking for there?

Jesse: Usually I'm pretty free. I follow quite a few. What keeps us following them is their interactivity or how many posts like if you go on there you can see their post was from over a year ago. They're probably not that active. Doesn't make so much sense to follow them. But some of the standout accounts that are doing a knockout job like Art of Smart out of the UK Rich and the team. He's taking it to a whole other level to where even his team has Art of Smart handles and they're they're out there doing their thing and they're doing the same thing they're showing what the level of quality that they provide the solutions that they provide and how easy it is to use. I think that's kind of a golden rule I would say for social media. If people want to see the real-life thing they don't just want to see a perfect picture of a living room. They want to see what goes on there.

Ron: How do you think about Instagram versus the other platforms Facebook LinkedIn Twitter. Houzz maybe others?

Jesse: Yeah, I think they all have their own special niche I guess you can say of specific followers that are looking for certain things. Instagram is there at the end of the day a media platform for photos and video so that makes it easy to share what we're doing visually. Whereas Facebook you could do that but I feel most of the time it's maybe for a conversation a little bit different than how Instagram and our followers are within the Instagram platform. We also use LinkedIn and Twitter a bit. LinkedIn is great for networking with other professionals in the industry but you can also share posts and things there as well.

Ron:  What would you say to any anybody in our industry. And I'll partition out integrators business operators that are not currently active on social media.

Jesse: Just do it. Just jump in headfirst . Don't worry so much about being perfect because you know you'll gain that experience and you'll see what works what doesn't know and don't be afraid to do even the stories where you talk into the camera and a lot of folks are maybe a little timid about doing that but. You can do it in many different ways and be successful. It doesn't have to be just one specific way.

The biggest thing is content creation and you're not limited to how much content you can put out there. I'm a big follower of Gary V I don't know if you follow him but he loves to say that its content you're not limited to how much content you can put out there so put out as much as you can and see what sticks.

Ron:  What do you say to the person that challenges and says "My customer is not on social media."

Jesse: Your next customer might be though.

Ron:  Oh that's good. Maybe the current one isn't but the next one might be it's not going away anytime soon is it not. Not anytime soon. Yeah , I concur. All right switching gears. We just had the seeds of a virtual conference. I want to say a few weeks ago to three weeks ago. Did you go. And how was it? And what stood out to you?

Jesse: Yeah. I got dressed up and went to my living room and watched a ton of content. I think it was very well done. It's not like seeds of past where you get to go. We as integrators and people we love to consume touch feel see shake hands and all of that. We couldn't do that this year but we still were able to gain a lot of information, took some training. We're always looking for what we can learn that would allow us to continue to be what we are in providing best in class solutions.

Education is a big portion of CEDIA. And then some of the standout companies like Sony for example or Samsung they did a very good job at providing a virtual experience to where you felt like you were there. You had Sony did a big conference room in a hotel. It looked like and they had the CEDIA booth there with the actual product and they did live by invite live sessions where they would walk around and talk about the new products and product announcements. I think overall for what it was it may have not been our traditional CEDIA. But you can definitely find a lot of information and you can still if you signed up and registered you can still go now and tap back into that information that you might have missed.

Ron:  Got it. Did just you attend or did you have members of your team attend as well?

Jesse: Yeah. We all attended myself and the other members of our tea your management classes you're the ones that are meant for your techs things like that. We signed up for quite a few courses and took that in.

Ron:  Got it. What do you think next year? Think we're gonna have conferences or buying group events do you think everything's going to stay virtual?

Jesse: My hope is that we could go and attend some events. But I think it's still too early to say what's going on now as is in for a while I think.

Ron:  If the events do start happening as early as the Spring, would you actually attend or would you still go virtual or not attend?

Jesse: I would easily say that I would love to attend but we've got to make sure my family approves.

Ron:  Will your family allow you to attend? That's the key. Maybe that's the better question.

Jesse: Yeah I think we've definitely hit a good stride in being responsible and taking the proper measures at the end of the day, we're not going to sit in our house in the bubble. We couldn't do it as integrators. Our business wouldn't succeed if we weren't able to. But in terms of the shows I mean they're important. But if they're able to provide a safe environment, I think I'd be open to it.

Ron:  Your business today you run a total of you're a three man shop. Correct? Three man or woman shop.

Jesse: That's right.

Ron:  There are folks that are just like you. There are folks that strive to be at the level that you're at. And I say that comically just as you might we had Lee join a little bit ago just as you might want to strive and grow your business to be like Lee's business. There are people that want to strive and have a business just like yours. What are any words of advice or counsel that you might give those that are watching or listening?

Jesse: Yeah I would say a couple of things. To be successful, you're as good as your. Your process. And although my process may not be as great as some of the bigger companies, I think that we've done a great job especially this year in gaining some of our processes and a lot of has to do with software. My recommendation would be invest in software that helps you provide a better experience for your customer and for your employees as well as managing say your projects your invoice something as simple as Portal that I owe to send a professional estimate to a customer. Those little things can help you gain customers. I say software is a big role.

The other recommendation would be your brands. Be selective in your brands and don't let yourself go and try to carry every product under the sun because you're doing a disservice for your customer and for yourself. Concentrate and focus on the brands that best highlight what kind of business you're running and the solutions that you know best in class solutions. Best of breed solutions that you can focus on. For example some of our top brands that we use day in and day out. You have Sonos you have your Josh.ai paired with either our Savant systems and soon to be Control4 systems as well. For speakers there are tons of great manufacturers and love a ton of them but for your business , it's best to focus on one and the benefits to focusing on certain brands that provide you with what you need, allows you also to establish those relationships with those people that we mentioned because if you interact with them and they provide you information, it's kind of a give and get line there.

Ron:  No that's great. Jesse, it's been a pleasure having you on the show, man. I've been enjoying watching you grow your business and your visibility and level of interaction within our industry and globally. Right. Because the people we follow and interact with throughout social media they're all over the world.

Jesse: Right.

Ron:  And it's been a lot of fun watching your success and I want to thank you for coming on Automation Unplugged.

Jesse: Yeah. Thank you for having me. It's been great. I watch the show. You know it's crazy it's 140 episodes in but super grateful to have the opportunity to be here with you and share some information.

Ron:  For those that want to get in touch with you directly. What's your advice? Where do you want them to go?

Jesse: On the topic of social, you can follow us on any of the platforms. The handle is ThePave.com spelled out. At Instagram it's @ThePave.com. You can direct message me there. I'm usually the one handling the DMs there. And also if anyone would like to email me that wants to know more about the software or the brands that we use, feel free to email me it's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ron:  And you think you'll have a chance to go into the comment stream after the show and maybe say hi to some of the folks that have taken some time to comment?

Jesse: Absolutely. I plan to I plan to reach out to everyone I appreciate everyone that joined us today and hopefully you're able to take at least a piece of information that might help you. But if there's something else that I can help you out with I'm here for the industry I'm here for for other integrators and the family.

Ron:  Awesome. That's it. We are family we've got to help each other out. Jesse to you and your family. Thank you for everything you do. And thanks for coming on the show. We'll see you soon.

Jesse: Thank you. Likewise, bye everyone.

Ron:  All right gang. There you have it. That was show 140. Holy moly. And that was a lot of fun. I appreciate all of you chatting and interacting had a few comments come in here at the end. Tomas thank you for that sir. I'm hoping that the stream has been coming to you consistently. My software's acting super wonky in about every 10 minutes. Jesse and I would see on the screen a 3-2-1 countdown. That's usually not a good sign. I don't know that the stream was constant. I'll have to check with everyone afterward. But I hope it was. If you have not already done so please go to your favorite platform for listening to podcasts and just search up Automation Unplugged and subscribe or leave a review. And on that note here is all the best ways to get in touch with myself and the team at One Firefly. There's our web site and our phone number and definitely be sure to check that out and I'll see you guys next time. Be well be safe. Ciao.

SHOW NOTES:

Jesse founded The ProView Audio Video Experience out of Phoenix, Arizona in 2009 as a side hustle while still in college. The PAVE is now known nationally and internationally for their creative use of social media to stay connected with their clients, showcase their work, and to drive business development efforts.

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 Jesse at The PAVE, check out their website at THEPAVE. Be sure to follow them on social media on Houzz 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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