Curtis uses the term ‘family room face lifts’ to describe his marketing strategy in the company’s early years; Current Home concentrated on smaller scale projects with an emphasis on quality.
“We built the business off that type of work in 2008, ’09 and ’10, and now we have an infusion of new construction that’s back,” he said, “but we also have past clients that refer us out so it was really a great way, looking back, of allowing us to get in front of a lot of people.”
Curtis sits on the Board of Directors for the Building Industry Association (BIA) and believes that staying involved in the community is directly tied to his company’s success. He explained that Current Home is very much a relationship-based business. Each client receives a fully-integrated home system tailored to their lifestyle. As that technology changes, he wants to position Current Home to be every past clients’ source for updates to that system.
With the custom home market growth in the last 24 months, Curtis said Current Home is back to more elaborate installations. An integrated system works with all facets of the home from built-in vacuum systems, home surveillance and security, infrastructure cabling, whole home Wi-Fi, streaming audio and visual, integrated architectural speakers, lighting, heating and the list goes on. All these sub systems are pulled together with one user interface like an iPad, smartphone, PC or wall-mounted keypad to create a true smart home with one touch of a button.
According to Curtis, one of Current Home’s ongoing challenges is finding qualified employees. Curtis would like to hire two to four additional integrators on his team in the next six to 12 months, but said the uniqueness of the industry does not lend itself to being pool-trained in all aspects of technology integration. Even his employee who holds a master of engineering degree needed on-the-job training, so Curtis finds himself considering a security installer or someone with a computer background, and educates from there.
Keeping up on emerging technologies and weeding out the useful and reliable from everything else is another necessary task that must be constantly monitored, Curtis noted.
Looking to the future, Current Home Technologies would like to expand its facility to accommodate additional services as well as custom audio/video retail product lines, Curtis said. The company occupies a 2,000-square-foot space in downtown Vancouver (2306 Main St., Vancouver) and has another 1,000 square feet leased next door. In his three-to-five year plan, Curtis said he would like a 5,000-square-foot space in Vancouver with a smaller location on the east side and in Portland.
“It’s hard to gain the Portland market if you have no Portland presence,” he said.