Washington, D.C.-area-based A/V integration firm Sight and Sound Systems has led in its market for more than 25 years in offering home theater, home automation, home security and low-voltage solutions to custom and production builders in the area. The company’s expertise has always extended to arming homeowners with the information they need to make informed choices.
And so it was, in the case of clients with young children who were in the process of moving from the West Coast to the East Coast into a newly constructed home. Kris Kaymanesh, Sight and Sound Systems president, and Maryam Kaymanesh, design/branding direcctor, were tasked to guide these owners to the right choices for a home with an almost mind-boggling number of windows. “It is a corner unit, and there are around 50 windows in the house,” explained Maryam.
The process began with a visit to the firm’s showroom. “We educated them about the technologies available, and showed the benefits of motorized and powered vs. manual window treatments. We taught them, and they were interested from there…. The clients wanted peace of mind, where if they were out of town they could control all the window treatments from their phones and not have to worry about privacy.“
The brand of choice decided on was Hunter Douglas, whose product portfolio could accommodate every window treatment need in this home – including the 21 windows in the four-story that were earmarked for motorized shades.
“The clients liked Hunter Douglas’s Silhouettes from the minute they came in – the versatility of the product,” Maryam said. “They have a sliding glass door in the loft opening to the balcony rooftop terrace, and that they decided to cover with a Hunter Douglas Duette Vertiglide; we used Luminette products on the main floor as well for lighting control as well as privacy.”
Kris Kaymanesh points out that Sight and Sound has a decided advantage in this integration space – the firm designs and installs systems for over 50 builders. Relating to this project, he says, “we had a few clients with the same house type for window treatments. So after doing a few, it was easy for us to explain to the clients what to expect. It was a very smooth process. Because we have all these options done through our builders, an advantage is that there is an opportunity to build the pricing into a mortgage.” And for this client, he adds, the lion’s share of the automation spend was, by far, the window treatments. “For us, having that much of a ticket being window treatments shows that we made a very good decision to bring them into our line of offerings.”
Moreover, he continues, “It has enabled us to diversify. As some very reputable names like Google and Amazon are tinkering with automation and tapping into our line of business, we also have had to think outside the box and see what other disciplines we can bring to our offerings. Hunter Douglas has been an extremely key element for our business to help us with that diversification and have additional revenue sources – and our clients are experiencing a much better end result, because now we can tie all of that together in terms of automation.”
Ultimate Client Satisfaction
The bottom line, for all integration projects, is client satisfaction – and this project was no different. Maryam gives a large measure of credit in its success to “what our programmers can pull off – it was great. They integrated Hunter Douglas treatments with Control4, and tied everything in with audio, TV and distribution.” Adds Kris Kaymanesh: “Having Hunter Douglas – especially with their motorized products – we have been able to deliver a certain level of convenience for clients. For example, with Evening mode, they just push one button on the Control4 panel and all the shades come down to provide privacy; they don’t have to go around and push half a dozen buttons. With these solutions, we try to touch the human senses; it’s not about selling line items or options. We are there to provide a lifestyle solution.”
He goes on to say that he encourages his technicians to interact with end users at the conclusion of a project. “We have them ask a simple question: ‘Have we served you to a point that you’re happy with our work?’ If so, the next question is, ‘Would you say this was a five-star experience?’ If yes, we encourage them to post the rating online.”
Moreover, this project, he says, indirectly led to other referrals and also to additional work with this client on other occasions.
“That tells us they’ve been happy to bring us back,” he says, “and have likely spoken to friends about Sight and Sound Systems.”