How to become a smart home installer

Multicoloured vans parked on a slant

As automation takes over in the workplace and our personal lives, it only makes sense that our homes embrace technology, too. If you’re looking to broaden your horizons as a field service professional or just starting out in home services, getting your foot in the door with smart home installation will keep you ahead of your competitors as the demand for smart homes grows. 

But what does it take to become a certified smart home installer? How can you ensure you’re successful with jobs consistently flowing in? We’ll explain all of this and more below:

What is a smart home?

It takes more than just setting up a Google Home or Alexa to call a home “smart”. A smart home has a connected suite of devices that control various aspects like light, temperature, music, doorbells, and even smart cleaning devices. All these automations serve to create a personalized, convenient space for the homeowner, based on their behavior. These devices are controlled using Wifi, smartphones, and other internet-connected devices, turning a home into an efficient space.

If you’re the old-school type who prefers your old-fashioned field service business, consider that last year in the US alone, 53.8 million households used smart home devices. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to over 64 million. 

That’s 64 million smart homes that’ll either need new installations, troubleshooting, or repairs. If you haven’t done your homework and gotten certified as a smart home installer, that’s lost business.

What does a smart home installer do?

A smart home installer is responsible for the set up, configuration, and maintenance of a home’s smart ecosystem. They’ll need to be savvy in not only installation of various digital devices, but understand construction, electrical systems, equipment placement and mounting, wiring for digital infrastructure, data and IP networking, and more. Smart home installers ensure the entire ecosystem runs without a glitch. 

If you work in a more traditional home services industry, like HVAC or electrical, offering smart home solutions can propel you from the past into the future, while increasing your customer base. 

Here’s how traditional industries can add value with smart home services:

  • Installing a smart thermostat as an HVAC technician
  • Installing smart door locks as a locksmith
  • Knowing how to install and repair automated sprinkler systems as a lawn care professional
  • Installing and troubleshooting smart lights or Wifi-controlled appliances as an electrician or electrical contractor
  • Assisting customers with their Roombas as a home cleaner

By leveling up your smart home tech game, you can go above and beyond for existing clients, and avoid turning down new clients with smart home requests.

How do I start a smart home installation business?

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to enter the smart home market:

  1. Educate yourself about smart home devices

    Google Home, Alexa, Nest thermostats, burglar alarms, smart light bulbs…there’s a plethora of smart home technology available out there. You can’t properly advise your clients if you aren’t well-versed in the ever-changing technological landscape.

    Whether it’s the popular models of devices your client wants, how to troubleshoot common problems, or the installation process, you’ll need to know your stuff to be trusted as a credible home automation pro.

  2.  Get the right licenses

    Depending on your state, different certifications will be required to offer your services to the public. While knowing how to install smart devices doesn’t need a certification in itself, you’ll need a specific contractor license depending on the type of work you’ll be doing.

    For example:
    • If you’ll be installing smart devices like in-wall switches and outlets, you’ll require an electrician’s license.
    • If you’re installing things like smart thermostats, you’ll need an HVAC license.
    • If you’ll be installing smart door locks, you’ll need a locksmith license.
    • There’s also special licenses required for smart sensors related to burglar or fire alarm systems, and licensing needed to write proposals for home improvements.

    These licenses all vary by state so be sure to check the specific laws where you live.

  3. Get certified

    Smart home installers with an official certification will stand out from the pack. In fact, 66% of homeowners say they’re looking for a verified professional to install their smart home systems.

    Getting certified not only means you know your craft better than the rest, but makes you a more credible option when clients are shopping around. You can get certified with companies like CEDIA, ETA, and Schneider Electric.

  4. Get field experience

    Start off with small jobs and work your way up. Have a more experienced professional guide you, should you need help along the way.

    For example, start by offering smart light installations rather than a full suite of multi-room Audio Visuals. If you’re an experienced HVAC tech, try offering simple smart thermometer installs to get experience before offering more robust ecosystems. These small jobs will eventually get you enough experience and confidence to land bigger and better ones.

  5. Collect reviews and testimonials

    After every happy client, be sure to collect a positive review. Whether they leave a review on your Google Business, Facebook or Instagram page, or on your website, positive testimonials from real clients are powerful tools to help new clients choose you over the competition. Make sure to prominently feature these smart home-related testimonials so that new and existing clients understand you offer these new services.

  6. Grow and scale

    Once you’re running your smart home services like a well-oiled machine, consider hiring a team of professionals to help you expand your services and grow your client base. Be sure to keep on top of the industry pulse and continue educating yourself on new technologies and changing trends so you can offer your clients the best possible service. Once you have a team of professionals with multiple vehicles out for jobs, you’ll want to invest in GPS tracking to level up your customer service and satisfaction. GPS tracking allows you to easily track all your vehicles in real-time, so you always know where every tech is. Not only that, GPS tracking devices like Force Fleet Tracking allow your customers to track their technician’s whereabouts so they never have to guess how far their technician is. If a customer has a dispute, you can easily check your tracking logs to understand exactly what happened. You’ll never have to play guessing games again!

Becoming a smart home installer is the smart thing to do

The world is obsessed with efficiency and convenience, and smart homes are the next step in personalizing the home experience. 

Becoming a smart home installer can help you reach a host of new clients looking to automate their homes. Likewise, investing in fleet management software is just the next step in automating your business to give your customers the future-friendly service they expect. 

Request a demo to see how Force can help your smart home business.

Published October 18, 2022