Selling the 'Bling'
If you deliver more than you promise as a custom integrator, your execution of a project will be absolutely top drawer. These days, though, that may not be enough. What is it, then, that oftentimes trumps functionality and ease of use, when it comes to impressing a client? Answer: the ‘bling.’
Just as with any luxury purchase, most high-ticket custom installation clients relish the ability to “flash,” or show off, what they bought. Revealing to friends and family what’s quirkily unique in a newly minted installation helps make a major expenditure in home networking or automation all the more palatable in these times when nerves about over-spending can exact a heavy toll on a project’s total ticket.
That theory surely has worked in practice for Lewis Franke, a CEDIA University on the Road instructor and a seasoned integrator at Carrollton, Texas-based DM Home Entertainment. There are few who know more than Franke about making home control easy. But he also knows how to capitalize on the “bling” in the ammenities he recommends for installation in a client’s home.
The Luxury Appeal
Franke tells about a Dallas-area project for a couple that began modestly, as part of a total inside-out home renovation in an 8,000-square-foot, two-story space. “It started with the family room, where they wanted multiple TVs,” he says. “Money was not necessarily an issue. However, they were huge on the idea of integrating everything, having it all on one interface so they could get the best bang for the buck, so in that respect, there was a cost element to the project.”
Franke was guided in the initial stages by little else but that the client wanted to build the TV room around a very large screen, and wanted to add media server and Blu-ray disc playing capability.