Integrator Guest Builds Another New Vendor Relationship at TecHomeX West

Vertex AV CTO K.C. Wolbert has been installing QuietCool fan systems in homes for months since the event; the second straight year he partnered with a vendor company he met at the event.

When TecHomeX California launched for the first time in Long Beach in 2017, integrator guest K.C. Wolbert was looking for new business opportunities. He found some in a partnership with Rently Keyless.

That tangible success had him geared up for a return to the event this year in Pasadena where he was looking to discover and connect with more new vendors. He was able to do that and craft a relationship that is going strong months later.

Wolbert, the CTO of Huntington Beach, Calif-based Vertex AV, met with representatives from QuietCool, a whole house fan cooling system that works by pulling cooler air from outside the home to the inside, creating natural cross breezes with open windows and venting the hot air inside the home outside.

Even as an AV integrator, Wolbert immediately recognized this as something he wanted to have as an option to add on to his projects.

“It’s just a cool solution to be able to offer our customers without a huge investment,” he says. “On average, air conditioning is going to run between $8,000 and $15,000 per house and to be able to find something that we can implement for between $1,500 and $2,000 that really does a great job at taking the outside cool air and cooling off a residence, it’s great.”

Wolbert came away from his meeting with QuietCool with a desire to offer the company’s air cooling solution to his clients.
Wolbert came away from his meeting with QuietCool with a desire to offer the company’s air cooling solution to his clients.

Being in Southern California, there is a clear need for residents to be able to cool the inside of their homes. With so many still without air conditioning, this provides a lower cost alternative that also will save them on energy usage compared to a traditional A/C option.

In just the seven months since meeting at TecHomeX, Wolbert already has installed the QuietCool system in four homes, which he is very happy with. He even added the system to his own residence because of how impressed he was with it, and says he found it could reduce the temperature in his house by three degrees in just 20 minutes.

He, too, is experiencing the benefits as those for whom he is installing it.

“Customers have really liked it because of the reduced noise, the ease of installation and the fact that it’s not a giant footprint like some of these other solutions on the market where you have something the size of an Apache helicopter mounted in the middle of your house somewhere. These guys have that induction motor that allows for very, very fast airflow.”

The QuietCool system also can be integrated with other control systems so it can be automated based on temperature settings. Wolbert is already spec’ing that on two more jobs.

“TecHomeX brings a different element," says Wolbert. "I can see vendors I don’t usually see at other shows."
“TecHomeX brings a different element,” says Wolbert (left). “I can see vendors I don’t usually see at other shows.”

Ultimately, it provides him with another source of adding profit for his company. He says integrators don’t make money on consumer electronics like they used to, so broadening his company’s product mix is creating another source of revenue.

“People want all the DIY products, but there’s hardly any margin in it.” Wolbert explains. “We can now add more products in the mix to be able to create revenue streams for our company, and it’s been great. We try to do that in many different areas, and at TecHomeX, that was QuietCool.”

Wolbert says he was able to capitalize on the opportunity to meet with QuietCool because of the format of the event. He says he was much more focused on trying to discover new companies there, and that’s exactly what he did.

“The one-on-one personal touch with key vendors is a lot more structured than other events,” he says. “At other shows, you might wander around into a booth, someone might talk to you and someone might not. It’s a wasted environment to me.

“The point of other shows is not reaching new business for most vendors. The point of the show is to connect with existing business and ignore everyone else. TecHomeX is the complete opposite mentality. The whole point of it is to generate new business.”

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