TecHome Builder recently published an article highlighting the most important questions you should consider asking and the answers you should look for when interviewing a potential smart home integrator for your new home or renovation. In researching the article, they reached out to our own Julie Brown for her insight and expertise in coming up with those questions.
OneVision has always worked to align its interests with the clients, ranging from our hiring practices (we don’t outsource any of our integration work) to our billing practices (everything from our smart home projects to our service plans are based on a fixed-fee structure). We’re even brand-agnostic (meaning we don’t mention specific brands on our website and in our sales process) so clients can focus on the experience, not the behind-the-scenes tech that makes it happen.
It’s this experience we’re proud to share with TecHome and are happy to see they passed it along!
Below is the article, titled “5 Questions to Ask an Integrator”:
An experienced integrator should be well-versed on the latest home technology and comfortable with forecasting industry trends. But how can you tell that this prospective partner will be a good match for your business?
We asked Julie Brown, director of business development at OneVision Resources—a technology and personal health management company in Boston—to share some ideas for questions that you should consider asking during that first interview.
Here are the top 5 questions you should ask your prospective integrators.
1. Do you outsource any parts of your business?
It’s important to know what areas the integrator has control over when it comes to quality. If your integrator is only a go-between on key aspects of the project–in particular design and engineering, programming, installation, project management, service and end-user training–then you’re likely to see quality suffer.
2. How do you assess a client’s technology needs?
Look for an integrator who aligns their incentives with the clients needs and desires. If the integrator’s core business is in providing service through contracts, as opposed to selling hardware, then you can be more assured that quality is that integrator’s top priority.
3. Which brands do you work with most often?
Again, integrators ought to understand the client’s needs and the home’s requirements. Specific brands will become apparent during the design stage. Saying “Let’s use this brand because I’ve used it before and I know how to install it” is not the same as designing to fit the project at hand and the client’s long-term needs.
4. How long does design/engineering take, and at what stages are you typically involved?
Proper design and engineering can take anywhere from a few hours to multiple days or weeks. It’s essential to know exactly how–or when–the integrator’s work will impact your schedule.
5. How do you coordinate your with other team members and subcontractors?
An integrator should be intimately familiar with the construction environment where nothing is ever on time or happens as expected. Integrators need to keep up with changes to the project by communicating effectively and not letting anything sacrifice quality or the relationship with the client.