Hard Hat Tours: How You Can Become the Go-To Integrator in Your Area

By Joe Barrett
Published on: August 13, 2021

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In a previous article, I discussed how valuable my time is and how building trade relationships for our company is a long-term investment. I’d like to expand on that and highlight one of the most powerful event marketing opportunities that goes along with my membership in the PowerHouse SMART® alliance. It’s known as PowerHouse SMART® Builder/Architect Hard-Hat Tours.

PowerHouse SMART® is a networking community for leaders in all areas of high-end design build and development in luxury residential and blue-chip real estate in the Chicagoland area, including Milwaukee. New members are carefully chosen and invited to join by existing members and trusted colleagues before being vetted by our Advisory Board.

Members can host a Hard Hat tour event or support someone else’s event. Leaders in luxury design build use the Hard Hat tours to stay informed of industry news and trends, including technology trends! This is our opportunity to keep our trade relationships educated and up to date on the latest tech news and developments and to showcase our work. Tours may be conducted at projects that are under construction or have been recently finished, including new builds and remodels/restorations/renovations.

Here is a typical schedule run-down of one of our Hard Hat tours and how we allocate time:

  • The Architect introduces how the project got started and gives an overview, which takes roughly 10 minutes.
  • The blueprints are handed to the builder, who talks us through his process and how he was brought into the project. Again, about 10 minutes.
  • The Interior Designer is up next and discusses client expectations, etc. Again, 10 minutes.
  • Then, three to five significant sub-contractors who were involved in the project each get to discuss their work. It could be the tile guy, the landscaper, or the system integrator.

This general format takes approximately an hour. We then follow up with a cocktail happy hour reception where we get to network with our colleagues and answer any questions that might come up. This networking opportunity is a great vehicle for keeping our name out front and center with our trade relationships, and a way for me to evaluate how others conduct themselves and their business, in case I’m asked by a client for a recommendation. It’s also a great way for keeping abreast of what’s going on in the marketplace and keeping in touch with key influencers.

One of the great support mechanisms our alliance provides for members is an easy-to-use event creation template. The professional PHS Event Template allows us to send e-invites and RSVP requests to members within the alliance, as well as having our events posted to the PowerHouse SMART® Calendar.

I can’t stress enough the power of building alliances and partnerships, not only within the consumer technology industry, but within the greater design build community. Having the opportunity to lead your colleagues on a tour of today’s technologies, and by association becoming the go-to company when it comes to system integration, is simply priceless.

Joe Barrett

Joe Barrett

Joe Barrett has been in the Consumer Technology business his whole life. Today, as President of Barrett's Technology Solutions (celebrating it's 51st year in business) he leads a system integration company designing, installing, and servicing state-of-the-art residential technology systems.

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