Remodeling and Home Additions Drive Specialty Dealer Market
As the general state of the housing market fluctuates weekly from bad to worse to bad again (depending on the month and the market), custom system installers and A/V specialty dealers are seeing one constant: More customers over the last six to 12 months are remodeling their homes or building additions.
Only a few installers and dealers at the opening reception of the Brand Source and Home Entertainment Source (HES) Spring Summit in Dallas on Saturday said they've generated business from new housing starts over the last several months. If so, those jobs are few and far between. More dealers, though, said many of their customers are beginning to open up their wallets again for a variety of installed solutions and consumer electronics products for their new additions or remodeled rooms.
"My customers are staying home more and want to make the best out of what they have," said Ken Bourgeois of AV Fusion in Memphis. "They realize they have to stay in their homes at least five more years before they can make any money on them."
Although the average ticket price for the majority of installed solutions has shrunk over the last year or two, customers are still buying full solutions, especially those that represent a strong value or deliver a return on investment. Dealers at the Summit reported that smaller home theaters, lighter automation packages, fully programmed home-theater remotes and lighting solutions continue to sell fairly well as customers remodel their homes or build additions.
"It's almost a 100 percent retrofit in the Boca Raton area," said Brad Bergoine of Boca Theater and Automation.
"Almost" is an important word. Clients looking for full-blown theaters and automation projects are still out there; dealers just have to dig deeper or pray harder to find them.