Hi, Jen Monjaras here. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I am now leading our Trusted Vendor Program. As some of you know, I am not new to the company, but I am new to this position.
In the last few weeks, I reemerged into the adult world (after having my second child Camila, who joined her brother, Larsen, in late July) and started tackling my new job. First thing on the docket was our October Morning Mingle with Trusted Vendor, Echo Systems. I know some of you are thinking, “oh, the lighting store.” In fact, Echo closed their lighting division a few years ago and transitioned to Echo Systems. Now, they specialize completely in state-of-the-art technology for homes and businesses. According to Doug Dushan, Sales Manager & Marketing Coordinator for Echo Systems, “People don’t realize what type of options are available that can make their everyday use of technology more efficient and more pleasing. Echo Systems has built a 12,000 square foot Experience Center and welcomes anyone to visit and learn ways they can incorporate technology into their lifestyle and budget.”
Our Morning Mingle started out with a walk-though of their space. Let me tell you, they had me at the front door. I didn’t, and I feel confident saying that most people don’t, realize where technology is in terms of capabilities and ease of operation. Since I am not the expert on their offerings, I sat down and had a Q & A session with Doug. Considering I just learned how to use Snapchat from the twenty-somethings in our office, I was blown away on what is now available in technology.
Q: Doug, can you tell me what most customers are looking to add to their spaces?
A: The top five we see are:
- Total Home and Business Automation: remote control of home theater system, full home automation integration of lighting, motorized shading, security, cameras, music systems and more.
- Hidden Technology-Aesthetic Integration
- Home Theater
- Lighting Control
- Motorized Shading Solutions
Q: We all know that technology is constantly changing. Not that I can keep up, but what new technology is available or on the horizon?
A: One of the latest trends is voice activated technology. While still early in its implementation, the writing is on the wall. It will very likely replace app control in the coming years.
Q: Personally, I would like a robot to cook dinner and change diapers. Is there something specific people are looking for with their technology?
A: A powerful trend is the demand for technology that can be implemented without compromising the aesthetic. There is an ever-widening range of products to meet this need.
Equally important is ease of operation. Our clients are not generally “tech” people. They are good at what they do, but expect technology to be simple when they need to access it.
Q: Is this only possible with new construction?
A: Not at all. Roughly 30% of our clients are retro-fit projects.
Q: Can you add this to an older home?
A: Absolutely. There are wireless solutions that will work, but it is also easier to run wires in existing homes than people think. Often it just takes minor drywall repair after wires are run.
Q: I like to play the lottery, but if I don’t hit it big, what kind of budget is needed?
A: We can work to just about any budget. While we are not afraid to offer solutions that are outside the box and creative, that does not always mean that they are expensive. We ask our clients to be as candid as possible. Our job is to design what they want at and be attentive to budget, all the while keeping an eye on future growth, infrastructure and expandability.
Q: Say I want to ease into this. Where would I start?
A: There are single room advanced control systems for just over $1,000 that will allow for easy future expansion. Lighting control can be added in a cost-effective fashion, one room at a time. There is now a television on display in our experience center that is priced with other standard televisions, however it turns into framed art when turned off. (That is SOOO cool!)
Q: As I stated earlier, technology changes so quickly. How do you keep up with the offerings?
A: We keep our eyes and ears constantly tuned into our industry. We also look for the best ways to do things, not just the newest or trendiest way.
Q: I use my phone a lot. Can you integrate most of the technology on your phone?
A: Nearly everything can be integrated into a single app. Music, TV, security, pool control, shades, lighting, HVAC, sprinklers, outdoor heaters, fire pits, gate control, cameras, invisible dog fences, etc…
Like I said, they had me at the front door. I can honestly say that I was blown away simply by learning what is out there. I highly encourage you to take a visit to Echo Systems – even if it’s just to check out the home theater. WOW!
If you would like to know more about our Trusted Vendor Program (I think it’s the best one around), please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!