Intelligent technology has reached through much of the HVAC industry now, and while intelligence in HVAC is much more than just smart thermostats, those smart HVAC products were one of the first in recent years to take homeowners by storm. One of these products is the Google Nest, and at the Nest Pro Virtual Summit on May 20, the company highlighted the ways it hopes to partner with HVAC contractors to serve homeowners through an end-to-end smart home.
Google Nest Pro is a collaboration between contractors and Google. When homeowners purchase a Nest product, Google will connect the customers to a qualified installer, a “Nest Pro.” For contractors who become a Nest Pro, this could represent a new way to acquire business, getting inside customer’s homes and forming relationships. Perhaps the customers would call that same contractor when a heating or cooling need arose.
The Nest Pro partnership consists of more than just smart thermostats and can include other products like video doorbells, security cameras, and smart lighting.
“The smart connected home market is growing incredibly fast,” said Brennan Mullin, vice president, Devices & Services Business Organization, Americas. “There’s lots of headroom, and lots of opportunity to get involved if you haven’t yet expanded your portfolio. Google Nest products can also bring incremental business. Your existing revenue streams don’t need to change.”
Nest Pro Partnership
Google’s final vision, according to Gene LaNois, head of professional industry partnerships for Google, is that of an entire smart home, with products that are integrated to work with one another, cooperating holistically. The company has recently worked on new thermostats, including the Nest Thermostat E (sold only through Pro partners) and a co-branded thermostat with Goodman.
Google also recently launched its HVAC monitoring capability, which allows homeowners to stay connected with their Pro installer. Should an issue arise, the software will notify the homeowner and help them book a call with the Pro installer in their area. This means that Pros who install a single smart home product may find that it turns into a recurring revenue stream. The alerts provide information to the homeowner, informing them of whether the issue is either severe and in need of immediate service, less serious and not as critical, or a simple reminder of needed seasonal maintenance.
“The HVAC monitoring capability keeps you connected across the entire lifespan of the thermostat with the user,” said Kathryn Mckinley, product manager, energy services, Google Nest. “It also allows access to new customers. When you go and do the visit, you become their go-to, and your contact is now surfaced in every alert that the user will get.”
At the virtual summit, Google announced the launch of Nest Pro Rewards. Contractors who sign up as a Pro will receive double points for signing up, as well as double points on everything they install through Aug. 31, 2021. Points can be redeemed for brand-name merchandise, sporting events, concerts, travel, and Nest products.
Google also used the virtual summit to announce the launch of the Nest power connector, which is a c-wire substitute for all Nest thermostats. Some thermostats require a common wire (c-wire) for power, though Nest products are designed to work without one in most homes. However, in a minority of cases, extra power might be needed, which meant that installers would need to install a c-wire in the walls for the thermostat to work. The new power connector is a substitute for that c-wire, removing the need for a more expensive and more time-consuming installation of a c-wire. The product will be available for purchase as early as June 22.
“We’re trying to concentrate on building an entirely new business and trade, and it’s really about building the helpful home business together,” said LaNois.