FAQs for Integration Firms
Assuming your company meets the HTA's stringent certification criteria, you will receive the following benefits:
- Reputation: recognition of being amongst the top 10% of home technology pros in terms of technical ability, customer service policies & company reputation.
- Marketing: direct outreach on your behalf to architects, builders, and interior designers.
- Validation: the HTA's Budget Calculator validates your proposal numbers.
- Validation: clients researching your company will see HTA as confirmation about the competence of your company. An instant credibility booster.
- Education: the HTA website educates homeowners and industry trade partners on what they need to know to find and hire the best integration firms.
- Community & Growth: attend exclusive HTA members-only sales, strategy, and growth webinars. See the 2021 roster of HTA webinars here
- Sales: the distinction of a published 3rd party company certification that sets your firm apart from trunkslammers & subpar firms. HTA Certification changes the conversation from price to competence.
- Sales: HTA Certification lends credibility & trust in your company's abilities in a similar way that 5-star safety ratings validate an automobile's safety, how GIA certification establishes the quality of the best diamonds, and how Michelin stars recognize the best restaurants.
- Sales: HTA Budget Calculator (embeddable in your website) educates, prequalifies, increases project sizes, increases the number of subsystems sold, and causes consumers to shop around less.
- Sales: a legitimate tool (your HTA Certification) to have non-certified firms disqualified from the bidding process.
- Sales: gives your architect, builder, and designer partners a defensible reason to say No to accepting bids from non-certified firms.
- Sales: leads from the HTA Certified Installer finder service.
- Sales & Marketing: we encourage the use, sharing, and republishing of the HTA's educational articles on your blog and in your proposals, designed to answer client questions and pushback.
Does all of the above work? Yes, read testimonials by clicking here and watch this video clip:
Assuming your company meets the Home Technology Association's certification requirements, let James Harris from TV's "Million Dollar Listing" give you a client's perspective by watching the video here:
No. Much like the GIA certification is to diamonds, 5-star safety ratings are to vehicles, ASE certification is to mechanics, and being a CPA is to accountants, a brief explanation that an industry standard based on excellence exists is what builds trust with consumers and trade partners. A short visit to the HTA website will help any consumer understand that HTA Certification is the Gold Standard for integration companies. See the video below that helps explain the state of the CI industry to your clients and trade partners:
The Home Technology Association and CEDIA have different audiences. CEDIA is Custom Installation (CI) industry-centric and has many different initiatives and purposes such as integrator education, advocacy, and workforce development. CEDIA certifies individuals, not companies.
The HTA certifies companies, not individuals. The HTA is a consumer advocacy group to help homeowners and specifiers find the very best firms in the CI industry. The HTA set the standard of excellence that consumers can rely on when hiring a technology integration firm for their project.
No, the Home Technology Association is not a competitor to CEDIA but rather a complement. The HTA and CEDIA both help integrators, though in different and complementary ways. CEDIA education helps Custom Installation (CI) firms improve in installation knowledge and successful business practices, something the HTA supports and endorses. The HTA includes a CEDIA Member reference on each HTA Certified dealer profile and will include the CEDIA certifications the various individuals within the firm may have.
CEDIA, along with the CTA, is the CI industry’s voice in Washington DC whenever there is any legislation affecting the low-voltage industry. The home technology industry needs CEDIA and the CTA, just as it does the Home Technology Association, and the many benefits they bring to integration firms and technicians.
Ideally integration companies would have both CEDIA and HTA Certifications. Integration firms would have CEDIA certified technicians, and the company itself would be HTA Certified. In regard to certifications, CEDIA and the HTA certify different things. CEDIA certifies individuals. The HTA certifies companies as to their technical ability, customer service, and reputation. In conclusion, the HTA supports CEDIA, and CEDIA supports the HTA in its mission.
Yes! Read testimonials by clicking here. Clients are hiring HTA Certified firms due to their certification status. Budgets are rising once clients learn real installed costs from the HTA Technology Budget Calculator. Architects, builders, and interior designers respect the HTA standard.
The HTA has an aggressive awareness campaign that encompasses direct marketing, digital marketing, trade shows, and traditional advertising. The Home Technology Association is also building relationships with national design and build trade associations to let them know about the HTA Certification standard and how to find the most qualified integrators. We reach out to HTA Certified integration firm's architect, builder, and interior designer partners, proving to them why it is in their and their clients' best interest to only hire HTA Certified firms. Getting the word out about the benefits of hiring HTA Certified companies is a top priority for the HTA.
The HTA is Not:
- A buying group
- A competitor to any other association (CEDIA, CTA, etc.)
- A dealer listing service (Angie's List, HomeAdvisor, etc.)
The HTA is:
- The creator of the first and only neutral and independent standard of excellence for the Home Technology Professional
- A consumer-facing association that helps homeowners and design / build professionals find the highest-quality installation firms
- Lets clients, architects, builders, and interior designers know your company is amongst a small group of elite integration firms
- Gives clients, architects, builders, and interior designers a legitimate reason to exclude non-certified companies
- The creator of the "Best in the U.S." awards program that awards Home Technology Professionals on merit
HTA has 60+ certification requirements and a confidential proprietary algorithm to objectively evaluate a firm's capabilities. You will get a high-level overview of the requirements by clicking here.
While we are happy to share some of the criteria we do not share it all, as doing would so would dilute the value of the Certification by making it easy for some to overstate their company’s statistics or include inaccurate figures. We do however list the minimum requirements so applicants can be prepared for what will be required (read them by clicking here). Bear in mind, while any Custom Installation (CI) firm may apply for HTA Certification we estimate less than 15% of CI firms will meet the HTA’s stringent criteria. Our goal is to ensure only the best firms may achieve HTA Certification.
Over 25 respected industry professionals were consulted on the certification criteria. The final set of certification criteria was approved by our Board of Advisors, which is comprised of some of the most respected names in the custom installation industry. Click here to meet our Board of Advisors.
Company size is not a scoring factor at any of the HTA Certification tiers. We do not ask gross sales figures as that is not relevant to what matters to the Home Technology Association. What IS important is a company's demonstrated: 1 - technical ability 2 - customer service & aftercare support policies, and 3 - reputation in the marketplace. There are plenty of small companies (less than 5 employees) that are exceptional in all three of these categories. A company's focus on excellence, not size, is what is important to the HTA.
No, the guidelines are stringent for certification. Either a company meets the criteria or not.
Once a firm is HTA Certified, their qualifications will be inspected every year. At any time, though, HTA Certification may be revoked if the dealer fails to uphold the high standards of professionalism, service and reputation as required by HTA standards.
The Resource Guide is a directory of some of the best brands in the home technology industry. These stellar companies are hand-picked to participate in the Home Technology Association's mission to connect homeowners, architects, builders, and interior designers with the very best custom installation firms in the world.
No. Home technology installation firms are not certified based on the brands they offer. No brand (participating or not) has the ability to influence our objective certification process.
The HTA has received overwhelming support by consumer electronics manufacturers. The goals of manufacturers and the Home Technology Association are in complete alignment. Great consumer experiences are delivered by great technology integrators which results in an increase of business for everyone. This is a triple-win and is easily recognized by every manufacturer. In 2020 the HTA launched the Supporting Brands program, click here to see leading brands supporting the HTA's mission of consumer electronics excellence.
No. The Board of Advisors each had a hand in setting the HTA Certification criteria. Home Technology Association staff process each application in accord with these guidelines. Either the applying dealer meets the criteria or does not.
HTA Certified firms are divided into three categories: Estate, Luxury, and Foundation. Although we feel that great companies exist at every level, they are grouped into these categories as they excel at different types of projects. Our goal is to match homeowners with the right fit for their project. Click here for an explanation of the differences between the three HTA Certification tiers.
We are funded solely by revenues derived from certification fees. We use certification revenues for the following activities:
- initial due diligence / vetting of the HTA Certification application
- ongoing yearly verification of company information
- consumer dispute research and resolution
- HTA awareness campaigns directed towards design/build professionals & consumers
- social media marketing
- dealer marketing collateral
- trade show expenses
- website development and SEO
HTA was kickstarted on investments, not donations, therefore we did not meet the requirements of a Non-Profit organization.