As I start my term as President of SMACNA, I am struck by the rapid transformation all our sectors are experiencing when it comes to technology. None more so than the residential sector, which is the focus of this issue of SMACNews. It is the residential sector where a confluence of technological trends and consumer preferences collide in an effort to provide comfort, convenience, and pleasant aesthetics to the consumer.
It’s no secret—consumers like their technology and I am one of them. Maintaining the comfort of my home requires several systems making remote adjustments throughout the day. Like millions of consumers, I prefer to remotely control my thermostat through an iPhone app rather than walk around the house tinkering with various controls. The Internet-of-Things (IoT) enables me to conveniently control my settings, and it is the IoT that presents the residential sector with some promising expansions in the services they offer.
In addition to the impressive technological innovations taking place in the home, I am also impressed by the level of competitiveness required in the residential sector. The competition is tough, and slim margins in service separate the best from the rest. Stellar service, in-depth knowledge, and timely installations all matter significantly to the bottom line and the company’s very survival.
The marketing required to win and keep new customers in the residential sector is awe-inspiring. No longer is it just a Yellow Pages ad and we are off to the races, now its social media posts, Yelp reviews, customer recommendations on list-servs, truck decals, outdoor billboards, and more. Its complex, and every effort contributes its part to the marketing mix that can grow a business or kill it.
And to top it off, we can all take a page from the residential sector in terms of their flexibility and responsiveness to market demands. Many have gone on to diversify the work they do to take advantage of opportunities present inside and outside the structures they serve. From the roofing surfaces to the larger, more open spaces inside, residential contractors are doing their part to meet the changing consumer preferences for greener, more efficient energy systems within their homes.
Residential HVAC contractors are therefore in a great position to continue their adaptable ways and broaden the services they offer as they fight to service the whole household, not just the thermostat.