Recently I was working a Parade Home in the Salt Lake City market. I had been talking to a guest about Smart Home solutions when he asked me,
‘Do I have to use a Dealer for my Smart Home System?’
It’s a question we get asked a lot, and it’s totally understandable.
Now, of course, there are DIY solutions out there like Samsung Smartthings or Nest, but usually, if you’re
asking this question, you’re looking at something like Control4, Savant or Crestron.
Which Security System is right for your Smart Home?
Before we dive into this, here’s a little background on Tym you’ll probably find helpful.
Over the years, I’ve noticed Clients are often surprised to learn a Smart Home and Home Theater company has any burglar alarm experience at all.
My business partners and I have been in the Home Security business for over a decade. I started out selling and managing a team for a large national Security company.
And here at Tym, we’ve sold and installed thousands of Home Security Systems across the nation.
So, you can feel confident about the information here.
So… What’s The Answer?
The short answer is Yes. If you’re looking to use one of the major platforms you have to work with a Dealer.
However…with today’s solutions, that relationship looks much different than it did a few years ago.
Today’s Dealer Is More Like A Consultant
Every dealer operates a little differently, but the goal of any dealer is to help you design and deploy a Smart Home you’ll be excited about long into the future.
Several years ago, Tym created its Design Service, or rather our Clients started asking for the service.
Our Design Clients come to us from all over the nation, and our relationship with them is more like a consultant or designer.
We help answer your questions, navigate the different Smart Home Solutions, and design the perfect system for your home and application.
Many of our Design Clients end up purchasing the system from us. Sometimes we travel to help assist with the install, but most times they install and support the system largely on their own.
So, in a world where Smart Homes require dealers, you’re probably wondering how that works?
Today’s Technology Enables You To Do More
Today’s technology gives you much more control than ever before.
Control4, Savant, and Crestron all give you the ability to quickly create custom scenes right from your app without ever needing to call the dealer.
Control4 even has a Client version of the software, that allows you to customize the programming yourself.
Some dealers are concerned about completely giving you the keys (understandably). If you inadvertently wreck the programming, it can quickly become a support nightmare.
At Tym, we set you up to do as much of the install and maintenance as you want. When you need help, we are here to assist.
We learned our happiest Clients are the ones who are actively involved with the install and support.
Even if you have us do most of the install and service, this approach helps you understand the system, how it should operate, and how to fix the common service issues on your own.
Smart Homes Are More Reliable Today
Today’s Smart Home is more reliable than ever before. Assuming you have a well-designed system, the majority of service issues will fall into one of two categories:
- A device falls off the network
This can happen during something like a software update. Something like a TV will need to be added back to the Network so the Smart Home can see and communicate with it.
- A device needs to be power cycled
We see this a lot with Apple TVs. They have a tendency to lock up; so occasionally they need to be power cycled.
Your dealer can easily manage this remotely, but many integrators offer an app you can use to quickly power cycle your own devices as part of a service agreement.
So rather than finding a device in your Media Rack, you open an app on your phone, see which device is offline, and press a button to power cycle it. Easy right!
Giving You Back The Control
What I’ve seen working with our Design Clients is you want control. Most Clients aren’t against working with a dealer so much, but what you don’t want is to give up control.
If you buy a new TV, or a new Roku, you don’t want to be stuck waiting on your Dealer to come set it up for you.
If you’re having guest over for the big game, and the system goes down, you don’t want to be dependent on your dealer to get the TV back online.
But… you welcome advice from an expert who can answer your questions, and help you design the perfect system for your home.
Our Involvement With Each Client Is Different
As you would guess, each Client’s situation is unique. Nationally, our Design Clients are more involved with their systems and installs, and we operate more like consultants.
Other Clients know they want a Smart Home and Home Theater, and they just want us to take care of everything.
The cool thing about the industry today, we can easily accommodate both Clients.
If you’re like our guest at the Parade Of Home, who obviously wanted more control and freedom to manage his system, we can give you as much as you want.
If on the other hand you just want us to take care of everything, and make sure the system always works, we can do that too.
Why Do Companies Require A Dealer?
At the moment, Smart Homes can still be very complex. It’s critical that the system design and programming are designed and deployed correctly.
Control4 has a Client version of the programming software. Our clients that use it love it.
However, without training and certification, it would be really easy for a Home Owner who is programming the system for the first time, to make some show stopper mistakes.
These bugs lead to unhappy Clients and none of the Smart Home companies want that. So they require Dealers to ensure systems are properly deployed.
When we sell a Control4 system, we have to set up the basics and ensure new products are added to the programming correctly. Once the devices are in the programming, you can customize.
For example, say you buy a new Blu-ray player, you install it, we add it to the programming remotely, and you customize it from there.
Savant and Crestron each do it a little differently, and it requires a little more involvement with the dealer, but overall the process is similar.
Do As Much Or As Little As You Want
So, when Clients call us and ask us if they need a dealer, our response is always the same. There are certain items with Control4, Savant or Crestron that absolutely require a dealer.
But beyond that, you do as much or as little as you want. When you tap out and want an extra hand, we’re here to help. We want you to have as much control as you want.
If you need help designing the perfect Smart Home for your home, give us a call, or check out our Design Service.
Named one of Technology Integrator’s Top Talent Under 40, Matt has designed systems for 20 national award-winning projects, including "Home Theater of the Year", and "Custom Smart Home of the Year" from CTA™ (Consumer Technology Association). His ebook “How To Wire Your Smart Home” is a best seller among professionals and DIY-ers alike. He has taken classes with Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). You can watch Matt share the secrets of his craft on YouTube!
Matt is a Golden State fan.