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In Charge Electric Powers Smart Homes for Builders with Brilliant and Resideo

by Matt Brown
In Charge Electric Powers Smart Homes for Builders with Brilliant and Resideo

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.

The Backstory

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.

The Challenge

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.

  1. 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.
  2. “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.”
  3. 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.”

The Solution

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.”

As with any new potential solutions, In Charge put Brilliant through a stringent vetting process before doing a pilot installation for a custom builder. “That first customer absolutely loved it, sold the house, and made a ton of money,” recalls Sariti. “And then we did another one, and then another, and we just started steamrolling from there.”

While Brilliant’s affordable price makes it an appealing solution that In Charge can easily pitch to all its clients, its ease of use and simplicity help sell the system. “With Brilliant, we're delivering a product into someone's home that they feel comfortable with, that everybody in the family feels comfortable with,” says Sariti. “The kids, mom, dad, the in-laws, guests, everyone can easily use it.” 

Within a year of winning the hearts and minds of the leadership team at In Charge, Brilliant announced a new partnership and integration with security leader Resideo. “We were already a Resideo security dealer before we met Brilliant,” said Sariti, “so the fact that they partnered up was advantageous for us. Now Brilliant allows us to deploy a great automation solution that integrates with the Resideo security systems we already install to offer the best of both worlds. Builders can offer one or the other in their package and give their buyers the option to expand from there.”

The Result

In Charge works with some of the largest homebuilders in the country and now deploys Brilliant as a standard feature in thousands of homes every year. “We recommend Brilliant to every builder we get to sit down,” proclaims Sariti. That list of builders installing Brilliant includes Ashton Woods, the 12th-ranked builder in the USA, and K. Hovanaian, the 16th-ranked builder, as well as Pacesetter and Blackburn Homes and many custom builders throughout Texas.

“Once you start talking to a builder and showing Brilliant to them, and they get to see it in action, or they get to watch it, people have the same reaction I did when I first saw the product, like ‘wow, that's amazing. Look what it can do. Look how user-friendly it is and how clean it looks.”

Based on firsthand experience, Sariti believes builders are truly beginning to embrace how smart home tech can help them build better homes. “It's a really interesting time in our industry to see builders tuning in to how much people thirst for home automation, how it can make their lives better, how it can make their homes more energy efficient, how it can save them time, how it can protect them, how it can entertain them, and how all this tech can impact the sale of a house. Brilliant is filling a major gap in the industry and making many new things possible.”

“It's an exciting time to be a part of what I feel is the best home automation system for builders that's ever been introduced into our market,” said Sariti about Brilliant. “And the builders jumping on board are standing out and getting a lot of benefit.”

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