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.
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Katye (McGregor) Bennett, KMB Communications, (425) 328-8640, [email protected].