Atlantic side of the industry

Residential integrator looks to grow security and keep it up on the home theater end
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Tuesday, March 1, 2005

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Atlantic Smart Technologies, a full-service firm, experienced a surge in business over 2003 and looks to further increase its reach in the security and home theater markets here.

The company experienced an increase in business that was up twice as much as the previous year.

“We’ve doubled our size from a year ago,” said Bill Slater, executive vice president at the company. “We have put the infrastructure in to develop the business and we are working harder and smarter.”

Slater recognized that the boost in business stemmed from the company’s service area, an area that is recognized as a mecca for second homebuyers.

“For the numbers of homes being built, for many consumers this is their second home, which translates into a lot of people moving into this market and the majority are million dollar homes,” Slater said. “There are probably more consumers buying high-end, second homes in this market than in any other locale in the United States.”

Atlantic Smart, which employs 35 and recorded revenue of $2.5 million in 2004, offers installs in areas of low-voltage systems, but the company specializes in high-end home theater systems - projects that can range from the $100,000 to $900,000. Currently, security systems account for a small part of jobs, but that number is expected to increase this year.

“On the security end, we have more than 1,000 accounts built over the last four years,” Slater said. “It’s a small percentage of the business now, but next year we expect it to be approximately 20 percent of the business.”

Slater expects the business as a whole to experience an increase in growth again in 2005 - up to a 40 percent increase over 2004.

To account for last year’s growth, the company began looking for an office to support a development contract it secured in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It ended up sharing space with product distributor AVAD.

“We are a dealer to builder partner and because of this they have allowed us to work out of their showroom with our customer base,” Slater said.

Slater said builder relationships - the company is also part of Sears and Home Director's Connected Home program, is where many opportunities lie.

“Most developers that we deal with like the idea of one-stop shopping.”