TecHomeX California guest Aramis Hernandez says learning to reach out to designers has brought new business opportunities.
The Business Collaboration Roundtable session at TecHomeX California assembled a panel of industry leaders in various design, build, integration and contracting trades to discuss how they can better work together on their projects. For one integrator guest in attendance, the messages from the panel struck a chord.
“We need to speak to interior designers because in a lot of ways they are a big, important part of the process when people are deciding how they are going to design their homes, which tends to trickle down to us,” says Aramis Hernandez, president of INC Technologies.
He says it was some of the remarks from interior designer Nadia Elgrably that made him think differently about his approach in working with designers. He made the decision to reach out to them directly early on because he realized it would eliminate headaches down the road after learning how the designers like to approach a project.
“For the most part, when we start a design project for new construction, before they break ground and while the blueprint is still being done, we are working to ensure what the client wants at the end is achievable and we are working it into the structure and how we’re building,” Elgrably explained during her presentation.
By the integrator being involved in those early stages, it makes everyone’s lives easier when it comes time to install the A/V systems. In order to better ensure that happens on his projects, after TecHomeX California Hernandez began marketing to the designers, and sometimes architects, in addition to the general contractors.
“It’s been a much easier transition when we’re working with interior designers and not just the general contractors,” says Hernandez. “A lot of times, the things that were being changed were specifically based on design. Now, being part of those conversations, instead of being on the tail end of that information, it makes it easier and allows us to not only expedite some of the process, but lets us control the parts that are important to us. Instead of having to deal with the waves as they came to us, now we’re actually at the very forefront of that.”
Hernandez says he’s finding that designers definitely want to incorporate more tech into their projects. So, instead of being an afterthought, he is now becoming much more involved in the entire process, and he’s being included in the conversation right around the framing stages.
By working more closely with designers, he also has developed a better understanding of how he can better provide resources to them, which he is able to highlight is his marketing. Those efforts have led to a new relationship with a designer and a job working on a 7,200-square-foot home in the Palisades.
“We’re actually in the design phase, so we’re dealing with the architect, as well,” says Hernandez. “So, instead of just being there after the fact, we’re getting to actually be part of the architectural design to incorporate all of our audio/video equipment, which is nice because now we don’t have to start retrofitting things after the fact.”
He adds this new business wouldn’t have been possible without the knowledge he learned at TecHomeX. Before the event, he hadn’t considered the value of reaching out directly to designers. Now, he can provide them materials and information, allowing them to get to know him better and understand he exists.
“Bridging those gaps has been very helpful to us. I’m very happy with the results. I found that the event was very useful. I found that a lot of the inspiration that I’ve been able to take action on was worth my time coming out there and spending a few days. So, I very much appreciate that.”