Original Article by Brilliant Smart Home
When the largest electrical installation company in Texas decided to open up a new smart home and security division, In Charge Electric turned to Brilliant and Resideo to power their smart home offerings. For the 25,000-plus homes they work on each year, which includes communities for some of the largest homebuilders in the country, the Brilliant Smart Home Control System and Resideo Total Connect 2.0 Security Systems have quickly become cornerstone recommendations they make to all of their builder clients and new homeowner customers.
In 2007, Seth Robinson started In Charge Electric as a three-person team with a simple goal—to win the trust of local homebuilders in Central Texas, by providing quality electrical installation services with a genuine customer-first approach. Fast forward 16 years, In Charge Electric is now one of the largest residential electrical providers in the country and has expanded its professionally installed offering to include a variety of home technology solutions, including smart home and security systems.
Throughout its first decade in business, In Charge focused on wiring power in new homes and becoming the go-to electrical installation partner for builders throughout Texas. Then, in 2016, the company identified a huge growth opportunity and launched a new division focused on delivering smart home, security, and low-voltage solutions. It also began opening its own design centers to showcase how their builder and homebuyer clients could modernize their homes with the latest lighting solutions, camera systems, security features, and smart home upgrades.
When In Charge started its new smart home division, it hired Greg Sariti, the current Director of Smart Home Technology at In Charge and a former integrator who owned his own business. Greg and the team identified several key challenges that In Charge Electric would need to solve before they could offer the kind of smart home experiences that builders and new homeowners needed.
- While affordable single-point smart home products from companies like Ring, Nest, Sonos, and Honeywell Home were growing in popularity and generating demand, a looming problem was preventing true mainstream adoption: the experience of trying to control and automate a smart home was way too cumbersome and inconvenient for the average homeowner. Even if a household was lucky enough to have one person willing to download all the apps and learn how to use each product, the technology could not serve everyone living at home or visiting the home. Furthermore, relying solely on your phone or a voice assistant to control individual products was often inefficient in getting your house to do what you wanted.
- “There's a lot of companies out there that do home automation really well, just not at the price point and scale that most builders and homeowners can afford,” said Sariti. “We needed to find something that could work for all of our opportunities with builders and something that was user-friendly.”
- While monitored security was a popular upgrade option for many builders and new homeowners, most builders didn’t like offering security as a standard and locking their customers into monthly fees. “We didn’t want to follow what a lot of security companies were doing in trying to offer smart home automation as a way to charge more RMR (recurring monthly revenue),” said Sariti. “Smart home and automation needs to be its own standalone experience, but one that integrates with security for customers that want both.”
Technology moves fast and the annual CEDIA trade show is often the best place for installation pros to discover and demo the next big breakthroughs in-home technology. “We went to CEDIA trying to find an affordable home control system that we would start offering our clients,” said Sariti. “Brilliant won ‘Best in Show’ that year, and when we stopped by their booth, I was blown away by their system's simplicity. It also integrated with all the smart home products we were already installing and was just really slick.”