Architects, Builders, Interior Designers & Construction Estimators Applaud HTA’s Technology Budget Calculator

Architects, Builders, Interior Designers & Construction Estimators Applaud HTA’s Technology Budget Calculator

Demystify what an appropriate smart home system budget should be and share results with peers, project partners, clients, etc.

Santa Monica, CA, April 18, 2019 — The Home Technology Association has updated its popular smart home technology Budget Calculator, making it even easier for builders, interior designers, architects, construction estimators, and homeowners to allocate budget for and physically accommodate technology earlier in their projects.

Launched in conjunction with the HTA website and free for anyone to use, the Budget Calculator has grown into the association’s most-used resource to empower decision-makers in the technology-buying process. New updates for 2019 make the calculator more accurate, more specific, and easier to use. See a video about the Budget Calculator here: https://youtu.be/WCd0fQhHpbk.

Share Home Technology Budget Results

Most significantly, the newly enhanced HTA Budget Calculator now gives users the ability to save results and share them with their home technology integrator, their architect, designer, or builder. Having these details in hand helps ensure all parties are on the same page when it comes to the project’s scope-of-work, the clients’ expectations, and, of course, the projected budget range. Understanding the clients’ perceptions of how much technology a client wants in their home puts the integrator in a better position to deliver a technology experience that will please the client.

Similarly, design and build professionals are using the figures delivered by the Budget Calculator to prepare clients for the costs associated with home technology, enabling them to bring an HTA Certified integration firm into the project early in the process. Designing the home’s technology systems early in the project timeline reduces costs, increases efficiency, shortens delivery timelines, and ensures better results that can aesthetically blend into a home’s décor. More information on benefits of early collaboration can be found here: https://htacertified.org/articles/how-architects-designers-builders-should-partner-with-home-technology-installers.

New Functions Help Deliver More Realistic Budget Ranges

In addition to the ability to save and share budgets, the revised budgeting tool features many other useful enhancements designed to give everyone involved a better estimate of the projected home technology costs for a given project.

For instance, the Budget Calculator now features a cost of living adjustment. A new question asks if there is a need for any high-end architectural finishes or concealed technology systems, which allow technology to hide away or otherwise better blend with the home’s interior design.

Another benefit of the budget calculator is that users are exposed to the many different technology systems offered by the industry’s most qualified home technology integrators. For example, many trade partners and homeowners may not be aware that these professionals offer lighting controls, motorized shading, Wi-Fi networks, surveillance cameras, energy management, and increasingly, lighting fixtures in addition to audio/video, home theater, and smart home systems.

“It takes less than 10 minutes to create a realistic budget range for even the largest of estates. Anyone can use it, whether they are just testing the waters to see what things might cost, looking for basic/modest cost home technologies, or a complete, ultra-luxury and high-performance smart home,” says Josh Christian, Director of Certification for the Home Technology Association.

He continues, “If the homeowner or builder isn’t sure what they want, it will take just minutes to fill out the survey with broad strokes and still get an idea of how much technology costs will add to their project.”  

Budget Calculator Helps Builders, Architects, and Homeowners Proceed with Confidence

Above all else, the revamped Budget Calculator is designed to deliver dollar values that more accurately correspond with the costs expected for real-world home technology systems. This is a useful and enlightening tool as most homeowners and trade partners need help determining what the installed cost of home technology systems should be.

“When architects, builders, designers and homeowners use the budget calculator, they feel more comfortable engaging a technology consultant early in the project,” Christian says. “The budget calculator takes something that is typically hard to budget and greatly simplifies it, making it more actionable for the design/build team and easier for the client to digest.”

Since the Home Technology Association’s inception, sharing the budget calculator with the design and build industry has been a top priority. The HTA has shared the tool with many AIA CRAN, AIBD, ASID, IDS, NAHB, and NARI members. See how the Budget Calculator works here: https://htacertified.org/home-technology-installation-budget-tool.

“The response from trade partners is universally positive; we increasingly hear that our budgeting tool is an invaluable resource to educate their clients in the most objective way possible about their technology options and costs. As an association, we look forward to partnering with the national and international trade associations that represent architects, general contractors, interior designers, and construction estimators. The more we can help design and build professionals to account for technology needs sooner in the build process, the better the end results, and the happier the client,” says Christian.

In addition, the HTA is currently calibrating the Budget Calculator to work internationally. The calculator will be able to adjust for different countries, factoring in component pricing, VAT, and duties that affect costs.

To learn more about the HTA and its newly enhanced budget calculator, visit www.htacertified.org.

About the Home Technology Association

The Home Technology Association is the first independent organization to educate and empower homeowners and the architectural and design (A&D) community in their technology purchases while elevating the custom integration industry’s status with a rigorous third-party certification process. HTA Certification is a rigorous-to-achieve standard that homeowners, builders, architects, and interior designers can rely on to find the very best residential technology integrators for their projects. Not only does this drive more business to the most capable and trustworthy professionals but it also ensures consumers have consistently great technology experiences. Learn more by visiting HTACertified.org and by following the Home Technology Association (HTA) on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Houzz, and Pinterest.

All products, product names, trademarks, and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

Media Contact

For interviews or more information please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications by phoning (425) 328-8640 or emailing katye@kmbcomm.com.

Home Technology Association Finishes First Full Year with Powerful Momentum and Insights That Drive Consumer Confidence

KMB Client HTA Logo

Organization celebrates 1st full year and a growing community of HTA Certified residential technology installation firms across North America and connections with over 1,600 architects, designers, builders, and specifiers

SANTA MONICA, CA (February 20, 2019) — Founded with the ultimate goal of generating consumer awareness for qualified custom integrators and elevating the standards of the home technology industry, the Home Technology Association wrapped up its first full year in 2018 with 135 HTA Certified integration firms in 64 markets.

Achieving its goals of raising the visibility of top technology integration firms and establishing relationships with architects, builders, and designers, the Home Technology Association has built a solid foundation to identify and elevate high-quality home technology companies. With tools like the widely-used HTA Budget Calculator, the HTA Certified dealer finder, and a website full of articles and other useful resources, the HTA makes it easier for consumers, interior designers, architects, and builders to choose the best technology integration firm for their projects.

I use the HTA articles with my clients and builders all the time,” says Navot Shoresh, CEO of HTA Certified integration firm Spire. “These articles educate homeowners on what they should expect from a professional integrator… which highlights the difference between Spire and our typical competitors.”

HTA 2018 Growth by The Numbers

Certifying 135 dealers in 64 markets was just the beginning for the HTA. The only independent organization created to empower homeowners in technology purchases, the HTA also achieved the following milestones:

  • 1,675 architects, builders, and design firms the Home Technology Association has engaged with to promote individual HTA Certified firms for projects

  • 2,300 articles read on the HTA website

  • 4,888 budgets created on the HTA Budget Calculator

Building Relationships and Educating Customers

Many of the HTA’s growth initiatives involve engaging with builders and the Architect & Design (A&D) community and providing an educational resource for consumers interested in home technology. In fact, a representative of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) division reached out to HTA in early 2018 seeking guidance on how to best work with technology integration firms. The Home Technology Association connected Bryan Mills of HTA Certified Mills Technologies in Chicago with CRAN representatives and he presented at the 2018 CRAN Symposium, sharing tips on how to budget for smart home systems and what to look for in a home technology firm.  

Also in 2018, the Home Technology Association was featured on an American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) webinar, including a live, instructional demo of the Budget Calculator and the HTA Certified home technology professional finder. “We received a lot of positive feedback from architects, builders, and interior designers. They love the technology budget calculator, and they understand the need for a standard in this industry. Most have had poor technology experiences in the past, and they recognize HTA Certification as a way to greatly increase the chance their clients will find the most-qualified integrators. We are planning more trade partner outreach efforts in 2019,” says HTA’s Director of Certification Josh Christian.

HTA Budget Calculator Demystifies What Home Technology Projects Should Cost

A simple and free-to-use online tool that quickly shows what the overall cost of technology installations within the home should be, the HTA Budget Calculator quickly became a go-to resource for consumers, architects, designers, and specifiers last year. Over the course of the year, more than 4,800 budgets were created or confirmed using the calculator. Seeing the value in this aspect of HTA’s offering, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) now link to the HTA Budget Calculator on their websites. In 2019, the Home Technology Association will work to align more closely with other national A&D associations to share insights and encourage more widespread use of the calculator with the goal of helping people better understand what a realistic budget for professionally-installed home technology systems should be.

“We find that the HTA Budget Calculator is a quick and easy tool that helps our customers understand precisely what drives the overall cost of a project,” says Evan Struhl, CEO of HTA Certified Cutting Edge Systems [in Westford, MA]. “The calculator has been instrumental in walking every client through early discussions about pricing and is now a relevant step in our everyday process.”

HTA Certification Helps Top Integrators Stand Out

Industry suppliers, too, recognize the real and tangible benefits of HTA certification for their dealers. In January 2018, D-Tools made it possible for users to add HTA certification badges to bids and other documentation in the D-Tools System Integrator platform, helping home technology professionals share this key differentiator with project decision-makers at the time buying decisions are being made.  

Control system manufacturer Savant updated its dealer finder to display HTA certification prominently. Control4 will allow their authorized dealers to update their Control4 profiles to include their HTA designation by the end of the first quarter. The HTA is currently in talks to have other high-profile manufacturers add indications of HTA certification to their dealer finders as well.

The HTA also held its first Best in the U.S. awards in 2018 to award the very best integrators in the country based on overall performance and quality. Winners will be announced in the spring.

HTA Director of Certification Josh Christian looks back on the organization’s first year as a quantifiable success. “We estimate that over $15 million projects dollars have been shifted away from unqualified dealers to HTA Certified home technology professionals, which is a meaningful and significant start. This is what we set out to do, to help the best technology firms win the projects they deserve. This is a win for the client, the HTA Certified firm, and our industry as a whole,” Christian says.

The Home Technology Association’s inaugural year was a great success and 2019 is off to an equally exciting start. HTA Certified technology integration firms are telling us they have experienced unprecedented success in the marketplace, with many reporting their best year ever. As more dealers add HTA certification into their sales pitch, awareness of this meaningful standard and the value of certification will continue to grow. Professional certifications and standards create clarity, instill confidence, and help ensure consumers experience and enjoy everything technology can do in the home,” he concludes.  

To see the current list of HTA Certified integrators, visit: https://htacertified.org/companies-table.

About the Home Technology Association

The Home Technology Association (HTA) is the first and only organization to empower homeowners, recognize exceptional businesses, and elevate the home technology industry with a third-party certification process. HTA Certification is a rigorous-to-achieve standard that homeowners, builders, architects, and interior designers can rely on to find the very best residential technology integrators for their projects. Not only does this drive more business to the integration community, but it also ensures consumers have consistently great technology experiences. Learn more by visiting HTACertified.org and by following the Home Technology Association (HTA) on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

All products, product names, trademarks and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

Media Contact

Katye (McGregor) Bennett, KMB Communications, (425) 328-8640, katye@kmbcomm.com.

Home Technology Association Announces Call for Entries Now Open for 2018 “Best in the U.S.” Awards

The Home Technology Association is on the hunt for the Best in the U.S.—the best residential integration firms in the United States—entries being accepted until October 1st, 2018

Santa Monica, CA (August 2018) –The Home Technology Association—the first independent organization to empower and educate homeowners, recognize exceptional businesses, and offer a rigorous third-party certification process—announces the first annual “Best In The U.S.” Awards for residential integration firms. The Home Technology Association (HTA) is excited to award the very best integrators in the country based on overall performance and quality.KMB Client HTA Logo

“This is the first time that any association has given a technology firm an award for its overall performance and quality. Other awards or lists are focused on revenues or have been given on individual projects. Consumers want to know which firms excel in the field and have a proven track record of excellence,” says Josh Christian, Director of Certification for HTA. “The Home Technology Best in the U.S. Awards will answer those questions without any bias towards what brand the company sells or how much of it they sell.”

The HTA Best In The U.S. awards has three tiers. Black is the highest award level, given to the firms that execute at the highest level the most technically and operationally challenging projects in their markets. The Platinum tier is awarded to companies with a proven history of excellence in delivering technically complex projects and providing excellent customer service. The third award tier, Gold, is awarded to companies that have a proven track record of technical proficiency and delivering outstanding experiences to consumers on simpler-scale projects.

While other awards or lists may be biased to the integrators who are larger and have more purchasing power, the HTA is focused only on quality and performance. A small integrator with a few employees has the same opportunity to achieve the highest award tier as a large firm with dozens of employees.

“Consumers want the best technology experience possible. Every city in the U.S. is different.  Sometimes the best experience is from a small integrator and sometimes it is from the biggest firm in town. Our goal is to connect consumers with the best firm for their installation. This is how we contribute to raising the bar in the AV industry,” adds Christian.

Integrators who achieve this honor will be proud to announce that their company will be in the Top 1% of integrators nationwide. Dealers who win the Best in the U.S. award have a unique advantage in the marketplace, something that legitimately differentiates them from companies that just claim to be technology experts. Best in the U.S. winners go through a vetting process that checks the integrators technical proficiency, customer service, aftercare support, and reputation in the marketplace. Clients want as much assurance that the firm they hire is qualified, and this award gives them added assurance. The Home Technology Association will provide a certificate to the winner as well as digital marketing materials to promote this award on social media, the web, and print. A custom designed glass trophy will be made available after the awards are announced.

How to Apply
To apply for 2018 Best in the U.S., simply go to https://htacertified.org/apply. The same application for certification is used for the Award entries. The deadline for applications is October 1st, 2018. There will be no extensions, so businesses are encouraged to apply now.   

The requirements for applications are as follows:

  • For current HTA Certified firms, there is no fee and no additional paperwork needs to be completed.
  • For non-HTA Certified firms, the applicant must completely fill out all information in the application by October 1st, 2018. Applicant must pay $400 application/certification fee and maintain HTA Certification standards for a minimum of 60 days.

The final list of award-winners will be announced in December 2018.

About the Home Technology Association
The Home Technology Association (HTA) was formed to create a preeminent standard of excellence for the Custom Installation (CI) industry. HTA Certification is a rigorous to achieve standard that homeowners, builders, architects, and interior designers can rely on to find the very best residential technology integrators for their projects. Technology integrators who have passed a demanding 60+ point vetting process that focuses on solid customer service and aftercare support and a positive business reputation will be HTA Certified and part of an elite group of dedicated, highly skilled firms. These stringent criteria was developed by industry veterans and refined by the HTA Board of Advisors, which includes top executives from Sony, Lutron, Crestron, Control4, Savant, and more.

The mission of the Home Technology Association is to raise the bar in the CI industry by giving exceptional integrators a prestigious third-party endorsement they can use to differentiate their offering and ultimately, win more projects. Not only does this drive more business to the integration community, it also ensures consumers have consistently great technology experiences. The result will be a dramatic transformation of the reputation and overall presence of the integration community and those who serve it. Learn more by visiting HTACertified.org and by following @HTACertified on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Home Technology Association Certification Badges Help D-Tools Users Win Business

HTA and DTools

 

Home Technology Association Certification Badges Help D-Tools Users Win Business

D-Tools users can now add HTA Certification badges to bids and other documentation in D-Tools’ System Integrator software to help their integration firms stand out from the competition

Santa Monica, CA (January 30, 2018) – The Home Technology Association (HTA)—the first independent organization to empower homeowners in technology purchases, recognize exceptional businesses, and offer a rigorous third-party certification process— today announced the new partnership with D-Tools, Inc., the worldwide leader in data-driven system integration software. The partnership between the two companies adds HTA Certification badges to documentation produced via the D-Tools System Integrator (SI) platform, helping integration firms stand out from the completion and increase profitability.

D-Tools users will now be able to add HTA Certification badges showing their certification level on proposals and other documentation generated in D-Tools. This adds credibility to HTA-Certified integration firms’ bids, helping them stand out from the crowd and win more bids. Prospects will be reminded, right at the crucial time they are making their buying decision, that a home technology firm has been vetted by industry experts and peers and is well-qualified to handle the proposed project.

“We support HTA’s effort to raise the bar for industry standards through its’ certification program,” said Randy Stearns, CEO of D-Tools. “Recognizing HTA Certification through branded documentation helps communicate a high level of proficiency and professionalism to partners and clients.”

Get Certified by the Home Technology Association

All three certification level badges—Estate, Luxury, and Foundation—are available to display on documentation using the D-Tools System Integrator software. These badges indicate that technology integrators have passed HTA’s demanding 60+ point vetting process that focuses on an integrator’s technical ability, solid customer service and aftercare support, and positive business reputation.

“This is a great alliance for HTA as D-Tools has more than 5,000 customers using the software,” says HTA Director of Certification Josh Christian. “Consumers, architects, builders, and interior designers love what the Home Technology Association stands for. Having the HTA Certified logo on D-Tools documentation reminds these folks that they are dealing with an elite firm…a company that has a proven history of giving clients excellent technology experiences. HTA Certification has teeth, and certified firms are gaining the respect they deserve. Having the HTA Certified logo on such key documents is sure to help certified integrators win more projects.”

About the Home Technology Association
The Home Technology Association (HTA) was formed to create a preeminent standard of excellence for the Custom Installation (CI) industry. HTA Certification is a rigorous to achieve standard that homeowners, builders, architects, and interior designers can rely on to find the very best residential technology integrators for their projects. Technology integrators who have passed a demanding 60+ point vetting process that focuses on solid customer service and aftercare support, and a positive business reputation will be HTA Certified and part of an elite group of dedicated, highly skilled firms. This stringent criteria was developed by industry veterans and refined by the HTA Board of Advisors, which includes top executives from Sony, Lutron, Crestron, Control4, Savant, and more.

The mission of the Home Technology Association is to raise the bar in the CI industry by giving exceptional integrators a prestigious third-party endorsement they can use to differentiate their offering and ultimately, win more projects. Not only does this drive more business to the integration community, but it also ensures consumers have consistently great technology experiences. The result will be a dramatic transformation of the reputation and overall presence of the integration community and those who serve it. Learn more by visiting HTACertified.org and by following the Home Technology Association (HTA) on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

About D-Tools, Inc.
D-Tools, founded in 1998 and based in Concord, California, is a worldwide leader in accessible, highly accurate system design and documentation software platform. The company’s flagship product, System Integrator™ (SI), is a robust solution that utilizes Autodesk® AutoCAD and Microsoft® Visio to facilitate comprehensive system design, documentation and project management. D-Tools enables residential and commercial integrators to streamline business processes and increase revenues while reducing the time and cost associated with the installation and integration of low voltage electronic systems. More than 5,500 leading companies in 87 countries currently use the award-winning D-Tools platform to reduce time, costs and to streamline the system integration process. Product updates and related information can be obtained by following D-Tools on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

All products, product names, trademarks and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

Media Contact
For interviews, please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications, Inc. by phoning (425) 328-8640 or emailing katye@kmbcomm.com.

D-Tools Media Contact
D-Tools: Tim Bigoness, D-Tools, Inc., (925) 270-4102, timb@d-tools.com