Central Vacuum: Why You Should Sell It, and How
Manufacturers of central vacuum systems have been engaging the custom electronics installation market for several years now, to varying degrees of success. Perhaps now, their time has come, as numerous trends are working in their favor.
For one, their products, which they claim can remove indoor pollutants, play into the touchy-feely “green living” trend. Secondly, builders increasingly are looking to differentiate their homes in the midst of a softening housing market. And finally, the days of big profits on flat panels are gone for the custom installation market, and the hunt is on for products that can deliver high margin.
Still, there are challenges faced by all parties: the manufacturers, the installers, the builders and the home buyers. We asked some of the manufacturers for their thoughts on why you should sell the category, and how you can sell it effectively.
Bob Hasty, central vacuum product manager for NuTone, says custom installers typically aren’t familiar with “the tremendous upside potential and true incremental profits they can enjoy by growing more into central vacuum systems. According to industry statistics, less than 10 percent of all new homes built have a central vacuum system installed. By merely installing more systems, an aggressive custom installer could easily add several thousands of dollars to its bottom line each year.”
Hasty says demonstration is key to selling central vacuum effectively. “Central vacuums are what we call a ‘delighter’ to the consumer, meaning they have one of the highest satisfaction rates of any built-in product for the home,” he says. “I highly recommend that the installer take a few minutes to demonstrate how a system works and how easy it is to use. We find that the acceptance levels increase significantly after the system is demonstrated.” Like DVR and home automation, central vacuum is a life-altering technology for the initiated. “We see many NuTone central vacuum sales going to home buyers who already had a system in their prior house and simply can’t live without one in their next home,” says Hasty.