Link To Guest Website: Able Control

Title: “Smart Homes For The Future”
Guest: Frank Odell – Able Control LLC
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jeffrey (1s):
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to radio entrepreneurs. My name again is Jeffrey Davis. I am the host of radio entrepreneurs, also the founder and CEO of Mage LLC management consulting firm in the Boston area. And during these times of great chaos, we love to talk to entrepreneurs and how they’re succeeding, despite all the changes that are going on regularly. Our next guest, someone I’m a big fan of Frank Odell, general manager, Abel control, general manager, owner, entrepreneur for able control. Welcome Frank.

Frank (32s):
Thank you.

Jeffrey (33s):
So Frank, I have a firsthand evidence of, of how good your company is, but why don’t we tell our listeners first, what you do?

Frank (42s):
So able control is a smart home integration company. You know, we basically don’t specialize in any one area, but we cover anything from, you know, motorized window treatments, you know, whole house, audio, video, networking. We do cameras, you know, we do lighting control. You name it. If it’s in the house and it’s smart, we do it

Jeffrey (1m 8s):
Smart house. Well, that’s become a pretty important concept right now. It seems like everybody’s moving towards these fully integrated smart houses. It’s pretty tough if they’re not integrated, isn’t that correct? It’s like, what is it? 20 apps on your phone?

Frank (1m 23s):
Yeah. And that’s, we, we find that a lot, you know, people, you know, they tend to go to different places online, Amazon, you know, that’s by whatever. And they, they download, you know, they go and buy all these products, download all these apps, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve even had friends call me and they’re like, what do you use? And I’m like, you know, something that takes your 20 apps and puts it into one, you know? And, and it gets frustrating trying to do that.

Jeffrey (1m 50s):
So how long have you met, excuse me, what motivated you to start this business? And what’s your background?

Frank (1m 56s):
What motivated me was kind of seeing what some of the other companies out there, you know, I’ve been doing this for about 20 years and seeing what some of the other companies that I’ve worked for, you know, some of the weaknesses where, you know, I worked for one company and his, you know, you know, he’d do okay and get, get, get the job done. But then I think, I just felt like, you know, though, he didn’t have the contact with the customers, he, you know, the, the follow through of getting the job done right. The first time and being onsite, being accessible to the customer, you know, those kinds of things. And it was frustrating working for somebody who, you know, didn’t have the hands-on as an owner of a company, I think is important.

Frank (2m 39s):
And so that, that was one of my driving factors of starting this.

Jeffrey (2m 44s):
Well, you know, there’s a lot of companies out there that do this sort of home electronics. Do you have a competitive advantage?

Frank (2m 53s):
Yeah. So, you know, I think what our competitive advantages Jeff is, w w you know, when we do an install for somebody, you know, we kind of, we kind of live, you know, we kind of live with it at the customer’s house. We go through every scenario, scenario possible, you know, we test everything, we make sure it works perfect. You know, we don’t, we don’t want our phones to ring cause something’s not working. You know? So that’s, you know, I think what we strive for is to make sure that we go through every single scenario in every room, every TV, every light, everything that’s installed and just make sure everything’s perfect.

Jeffrey (3m 33s):
Well, I have to admit that I have personal experience with Abel control. It was referred to me by somebody else. I do business with it. Wasn’t a necessarily a friend and we, I have a house that had a lot of apps and a lot of things that were not working in coordination. And you came in and you did not leave until you made everything work and work correctly and made it more simple to make everything work as well. So I’ve had that experience as well. Do you find it hard to get people to know you in terms of the business or find the business? Cause there’s a lot of people out there who say they do what you do.

Frank (4m 8s):
Yeah. You know, I guess at times, you know, we, we basically started at, in officially, we started officially in September, you know, and yeah, at times, you know, it’s been difficult at times, but things are growing at a good rate. We’re getting in front of people and you know, 95% of our work is word of mouth. So we, out of those jobs, we get 95% of the business because of that. So it works out well,

Jeffrey (4m 45s):
Interesting. Is technology changing dramatically? Am I going to see a lot more different things in the next year, year and a half?

Frank (4m 55s):
Oh, definitely. You know, some of the things that are happening that happen a lot is, you know, just like phones and computers and stuff like that. It’s the same thing with technology where, you know, even like a smart TV, you know, in a couple of years, you know, the technology, the resolutions, the, the speeds, the capacities, all that stuff, it, it just, things changed so quickly. And then the demand on the products to keep up with the technology ends up changing so much, that things become outdated pretty quick. So, yeah, we’ll see. We’re going to see a lot of changes in the next few years, for sure.

Jeffrey (5m 32s):
You do both business B2B and B to C. Do you do a homes and business?

Frank (5m 37s):

Jeffrey (5m 39s):
Is there a difference, do you think in the two markets?

Frank (5m 41s):
Oh yeah. You know, business is, is a lot different, you know, in general businesses, you know, th they’re they’re using their stuff most businesses during the week where, you know, homeowners usually using their stuff at night on the weekends, total uses businesses or in general, you know, you know, they’re, they’re looking to do like video, maybe some lights or something like that. And we’re homeowners are doing a lot of music, a lot of stuff outside, you know, whole house control and stuff like that, where businesses are just usually just, you know, specific to their needs.

Jeffrey (6m 20s):
And I would assume that the trend for home security is changing everything dramatically too. And we do agree also that that’s not something to be done as a one-off. It has to be integrated with everything you do. Don’t just buy a doorbell.

Frank (6m 32s):
Yeah. So that’s, that’s another big thing too is, you know, people, you know, they end up, they ended up buying cameras and they buy a doorbell and they buy this and they buy that. You know, we, you know, we, we recommend like were talking about before having everything in one app. So you have, you have cameras, your cameras can integrate with your doorbell, can integrate with your system. Now, you know, the camera picks up motion somewhere. I could turn a TV on, you could turn a light on, you know, you know, a real criminal. If they see a light go on outside, it’s not really gonna scare them off too much, because that could just be, you know, a white on a sensor. But if they see a TV turn on in the house, they’re probably not going inside. So there’s a lot of things like that.

Jeffrey (7m 11s):
You made me smile. Cause you said a real criminal. What does that versus a pretend criminal?

Frank (7m 16s):
Well, I mean, you know, like a teenager walking around trying to steal change out of people’s cars, you know?

Jeffrey (7m 21s):
Oh, yes. I’ve had that experience too. Teenage vandals.

Frank (7m 25s):

Jeffrey (7m 25s):
So you do you differentiate between teenage vandals and, and professional criminals criminals. We’ve been speaking with Frank Odell, general manager, entrepreneur, owner of able control, LLC. Frank, if someone’s looking for able control on you and wants to understand how you can help them with their home or their office, how would they find you?

Frank (7m 47s):
So they, they can go to our website, which is That’s a, B L E And they can call us (781) 882-2253 is our phone number.

Jeffrey (8m 3s):
So Frank, we’re wondering about having you coming back and telling us maybe a case, a case story, let’s say like the house that was haunted and worked on its own and how you sort of solved all the problems within that home or office. We didn’t do that.

Frank (8m 18s):
Yeah. Yeah. We actually, I guess a good, quick story I can tell you is we did a job for a funeral home and I felt like it took us longer to rip out the stuff they had and it did to put it in the new stuff. I mean, they had stuff from 30 plus years ago, what knobs and dials and, you know, sliders and buttons to push and instructions. And it was unbelievable. And so we went in, we put all new TVs and we integrated everything. They have a touch screen, they hit one button and, you know, everything works before. You know, when I hired somebody, it took them like a week to train them.

Frank (8m 59s):
Now they just go up to a touch screen and push a button and the TVs come on and you know, it does what it wants it to do. And they’re able to show presentations and play music and, you know, anything anybody wants when they go in there for their service, for their loved ones, you know, they can do by a push of a button now versus a half an hour work. So, you know, we’ve done some good stuff like that.

Jeffrey (9m 20s):
Okay, great. Well, we look forward to seeing you again and hearing about how things are changing again. We’re speaking with Frank Adele, entrepreneur, founder, and general manager, Abel control. Frank, thanks for being on radio entrepreneurs today. Okay. Remind everybody. This is radio entrepreneurs.

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