How can homeowners best take advantage of the continuing growth of smart home devices, technologies and systems? Who better to answer this question than CEDIA, the trade body of the custom installation industry. Vincent Bruno, CEO of CEDIA (left) and Dave Pedigo, CEDIA’s Vice President, Emerging Technologies (right) discuss the topic in more detail in this two-part article. To catch up on their comments on DIY and the smart home, click here. And in this second part, they focus on the ‘Do It For Me’ and ‘Do It With Me’ approaches to custom installation…
How would you describe the Do It For Me (DIFM) opportunities and how do these differ from a Do IT With Me (DIWM) approach?
Vincent Bruno: The DIFM opportunities are the ones that CEDIA members are certainly more accustomed to. Our members are skilled professionals who are prepared to recommend products, talk about system design and execute exceptional experiences. The DIFM approach is not going anywhere, but our members will need to be prepared to work with a range of products, including those that might be perceived as more entry level or DIY.
We see the DIWM approach as an emerging opportunity. What this may look like for our members is a business model where the professional installs a robust, secure home network and they manage and monitor that network as a trusted advisor to the homeowner. Then, when a homeowner decides they want to add another device to their ecosystem, they would ideally consult with their CEDIA professional installer to understand how to best integrate the new device and secure it on the network.
Which do you think will be the more successful for the home technology professional?
Vincent: Do It For Me will be more successful for the home technology professional, it really provides them with the opportunity to develop a system that is holistic, reliable, and suited to the needs of the client.
We are in the business in creating clients for life, so while Do It With Me has not reached a critical mass for home technology professionals yet, it does not mean that they won’t find success pursuing those opportunities in the future.
What does the future hold?
Dave Pedigo: The reality is that people are going to continue to buy electronics and put them in their homes at an incredible rate, so demand for the skillsets that home technology professionals have, is only going to increase. The call to action for our members is exploring new ways to sell and market their expertise. So many home technology professionals rely on word of mouth to find new clients. There are a variety of simple and sophisticated strategies that home technology professionals can employ to help homeowners see them as the single point of contact for all technology in the home.
What will be the benefits to the consumer?
Vincent: There are countless benefits to working with a trusted and experienced professional who knows how to make all the technology in your home work properly. But, we think the biggest benefit to a consumer who is weighing the options of DIY vs DIFM and DIWM is the reliability.
The peace of mind that CEDIA members deliver is unparalleled. Unlike employing a strictly DIY solution, CEDIA clients know that a system will work and perform as it is supposed to without hours spent on the phone with customer support trying to troubleshoot on your own. A CEDIA member serves as that trusted advisor who is the go-to for all things technology in the home.
What will be the benefits to DIY product manufacturers?
Vincent: Consumers will be happier with their experiences and be more likely to invest in more technology. CEDIA members are prepared to bridge the gap between individual DIY centric products and whole home solutions. Plus, with installations properly done, there will be fewer returns for products that work as intended.
[Main photograph: CEDIA Member Inspired Dwellings, Chelsea Townhouse, best integrated home under £100,000 in the CEDIA Awards 2016]