One of the best parts of traveling to industry events — besides the occasional steak dinner — is learning new things from people much smarter than me.

I was recently in Austin with Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) for the Building Performance Forum and there was a lot of talk about home-performance contracting. In a session with contractor Steve Schmidt, of Frederick Air, the conversation turned to competition. In the home-performance-contracting world, contractors are looking for more competition. Since their price will come in significantly higher than those who are not considering the entire home, having a competitor producing the same type of quote actual legitimizes the quote they offer.

If you received four quotes to get some work done on your house and one was a very high number with a long list of things that should be done and the other three were much lower and saying you do not need the additional work, who would you believe? A lot of times the home-performance contractor gets tossed out like the East German judge. That is why many  home-performance contractors spread the word so more HVAC contractors get involved.

I found this an interesting way to look at things. This was just one of the many items I took away from this event. Do you have any below-the-radar tricks you would like to share?