I talked with Josh Christian of HTA (Home Technology Association) about what HTA is and why you should care!
Part 1: Meet the HTA and the Certified HTA Members
Maureen Jenson: Hey Josh, I know the HTA was formed to create a standard of excellence for the Custom Installation (CI) industry. What do technology integrators have to do to achieve certification?
Josh Christian: Hi Maureen, technology integrators have to pass a demanding 60+ point vetting process that focuses on solid customer service and aftercare support. They must also possess a positive business reputation and technical competency. Once all of this is affirmed, then they will be HTA Certified and part of an elite group of dedicated, highly skilled firms. This stringent criterion 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. [Additional HTA Advisory Board information next week in Part II-Ed].
HTA Certification tells homeowners, builders, architects, and interior designers that these are the very best residential technology integrators for their projects.
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.
MJ: HTA just formally launched at CEDIA 2017. You have experienced such tremendous growth in such a short amount of time. What do you accredit this to?
JC: HTA Certified Dealers are now in 20 states, representing 37 markets across the U.S., with more applications constantly in process. With a board of advisors featuring top names in home technology, the HTA has quickly earned the support of the custom integration industry as a whole.
After just eight months, the HTA has made tremendous strides in raising awareness and educating not just the custom integration industry but the design and build communities about the importance of company-wide certification.
Dealers across the country are already using their HTA Certification credentials to differentiate their offerings. Through the HTA website, consumers can find integration firms that specialize in their type and size project. The HTA’s one-of-a-kind technology budget calculator helps consumers not only determine realistic budget ranges, it also points them to the integrators that excel with their technology needs.
MJ: How are dealers communicating their accredidation to potential customers?
JC: Dealers are sharing their HTA credentials on their websites, truck wraps, proposals, and design and engineering documentation, also with professionals from the design/build community.
Affirmed Matthew Johnson, VP/GM of integration firm Aurum, “We applied for our certification with HTA because the low barrier to entry in our industry has resulted in under-qualified integrators in the market. This has a history of creating poor client experiences and giving what we do a bad reputation. HTA’s stamp of approval on Aurum tells our clients we have been vetted and proven ourselves to be a first-class organization capable of designing, installing and supporting a system we would be proud to have in our own homes.”
MJ: Your list of integrators is so impressive as well…you have assembled a who’s who in a relatively short amount of time. What do you credit this to?
JC: We do a lot of background research to find who the best companies are. We talk to reps, manufacturers, top dealers, and design/build professionals every day. We think we have identified most of the firms that would meet the certification standards. Fortunately, we have had a lot of support within the industry to get us access to the best business owners so we can educate them on how HTA certification is an amazing sales tool for them and, at the same time, is crucial to the long-term success of our industry. HTA is a win-win-win because it benefits consumers, manufacturers, and great integrators.
Stay tuned for Part II (Get that here) of my interview with Josh next week when we learn more about HTA and its Advisory Board.
The following is a list of HTA certified integrators to date:
Audio Command Systems | Los Angeles
Legato Home Music & Theater | Los Angeles
Beyond Home Theater | Los Angeles
Integrated Systems Design | Los Angeles
AVX Design & Integration Inc | Los Angeles
Bliss Home Theaters & Automation | Los Angeles
Future Home | Los Angeles
Interior Technologies | Los Angeles
M2 Multimedia Inc. | Los Angeles
Max Systems | Los Angeles
Roberts Home Audio and Video | Los Angeles
Signals Audio Video | Los Angeles
Wilshire Media Systems | Los Angeles
Simply Home Entertainment | Los Angeles
Brilliant AV | Orange County, CA
NXT AV | Orange County, CA
Cantara | Orange County, CA
Audio Images | Orange County, CA
Audio Command Systems | West Los Angeles & New York City
HiFi Club | Santa Barbara, CA
Modern Home Systems – aka Binacorp | San Diego
Acoustic Evolution | San Diego
Audio Impact | San Diego
AVIR | Palm Springs / Coachella Valley, CA
Epic AV Automation | Northern California
Hermary’s | San Mateo/San Francisco, CA
AVDG | Northern California
Gilmore’s Sound Advice | New York, NY
AV Solution | New York, NY
Osbee Industries | New York, NY
OneButton | New York, NY
Electronic Environments | New York, NY
Realm | Norwalk, CT
OPUS Audio Video Control | New Haven, CT
Rich AV Design | Stamford, CT & Palm Beach, FL
Atlantic Control Technologies | Annapolis, MD
Adobe Cinema & Automation | Cape & Islands, MA
audioDave | Boston, MA
@Home AV Technology | Knoxville, TN
Symbio Lighting & Control | Houston
Unlimited Integration | Houston
Media Systems | Houston
Refined Systems | Houston, TX
Epic AV Automation | Austin
Mero Concepts | Austin
Audio Video Innovations | Dallas
Echo Systems | Omaha, NE
Audio Video Systems | Salt Lake & Murray, UT
Kozi Media Design | New Kensington, PA
WAVE Designs | Seattle, WA
Elevated Electronics | Overland Park, KS
The Integrated Home | Charlotte, NC
Residential Systems | Littleton, CO
Mills Technologies | Chicago
Kustom Theater Kreations | Larimer County, CO
Interseckt Corporation | Coral Gables, FL
Ioty | Miami
Cutting Edge | Middlesex, MA
Mills Technologies | Chicago
Spire Integrated Systems | Troy, MI
Lelch Audio Video | Minneapolis, MN
Bravo AV | Bernardsville, NJ
Electronic Concepts | Rochelle Park, NJ
e-home | Ridgefield, NJ