10 Things Security Integrators Need to Know about Home Entertainment Installs

Sept. 13, 2019
Entertainment is a logical next step in the connected smart home

1. Upsell Opportunity: This might sound obvious, but you are already speaking to your customer about one home technology solution, so why stop with security? Think of this as a consultative lifestyle sale – your customer is interested in the peace of mind a security system can bring, and you may already be incorporating some lighting and climate control. Entertainment is a logical next step in the connected smart home your client may not realize is easily possible.

2. Solutions to fit every application: Whether you are opting for wireless audio or installing a distributed audio system with in-ceiling speakers, entertainment is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. Ask questions about how your client enjoys media – this will inform your recommendation.

3. Start small or go big: From a simple media center in the family room to dedicated home theater, your “menu” of recommendations has many flavors. Again, listen to your customer – just like some homeowners are happy with a video doorbell while others want multiple surveillance cameras, the same holds true with entertainment options.

4. Take the party outdoors: Outdoor audio is a major growth segment to capitalize on. Speaker options come in all different styles, from under-eave, wall-mounted cabinets, to “rock” speakers designed to blend into the landscape. For large spaces, consider 70 Volt systems which enable multiple stake-mounted satellites, anchored by in-ground subwoofers.

5. Wiring: You should ask the homeowner if they are comfortable running wires? This will obviously influence your decision of what to recommend.

6. More speakers, not more volume: When installing audio, always keep in mind where the listeners will be. Place speakers in that area rather than blasting the volume from an adjoining space. This keeps it comfortable for everyone.

7. Go multi-zone: Your client will appreciate audio throughout the home. Many distributed audio systems enable playing different audio sources in different “zones” of the home, indoors and out. These systems can even connect to a home theater for a more integrated experience. While you might not be gaining reoccurring revenue on an audio installation, the margins are generally quite good, enabling a profitable installation.

8. Start with power: Make sure you are safeguarding the electronics you install with high-quality surge protection. That $5.99 power strip your customer has behind the stereo is very likely just distributing power, not protecting from catastrophic surges like lightning strikes. While lightning is an understood danger, constant over- and under-voltage situations that are part of the everyday power grid can cause long-term wear and tear on electronics, so always go with a quality power conditioner – and put it at the top of your proposal, not as an option. With the remote power management functions enabled by some power management products, you can add maintenance plans for RMR.

9. Everything from a single app: Many, if not most, of the solutions you will install have a mobile app to control them. Certainly, your security system does. Consider the advantages to your customers and to your business of working with one of the home automation platforms that integrates all the “smart” functions of the house – including the entertainment system – into a single app.

10. Own the customer relationship: By integrating more technology into the home, you are tailoring the home to fit your customer’s lifestyle. You are also becoming your customer’s go-to resource when it is time to upgrade.

Bill Hensley is Senior Director of Marketing for Nortek Security & Control. Request more info about the company at www.securityinfowatch.com/10215766