5 Questions with Resideo’s Brand Ambassador Sales Leader & Industry Affairs Leader, Jason Lutz
ESA interviewed Resideo’s Brand Ambassador Sales Leader & Industry Affair Leader, Jason Lutz to discover his background, perspective after nearly 4 years since Resideo’s spin-off from Honeywell, the goals and impact of Resideo’s new Brand Ambassador program, and a few things he’s learned from the program’s members about the future of the industry.
Can you go over your career in the industry?
I started out in security, in Houston, Texas, in 1992. I’ve seen lot of change over the course of these 30 years and I’ve been fortunate to really be on every side of the industry. I started out in sales and then into ownership where I owned a security company. I’ve sold, I’ve installed, I’ve serviced, I’ve done the payroll.
In 2002 I went to work for Honeywell, now Resideo, and have had multiple jobs over the years including the local Security Manager for Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Arkansas as well as being involved in our Resideo Premier, formerly First Alert program. I’ve been able to work with some of the best private integrators across the country.
The two jobs that I have today really are, in my opinion, the two best jobs in the entire company. They are: Industry Affairs and the Brand Ambassador Program.
The Industry Affairs piece, I’m passionate about. It gives me the time and the resources, supported by Resideo, to be on the ESA board, the board of Mission 500, to sit on a couple of different committees within the industry, and really focus on giving back.
I’m just sharing what’s important to Resideo, but really giving back to the next generation and making it a better place than when I got here. Which brings me to my new role, the Brand Ambassador Program Sales Leader.
Can you offer more background on the Brand Ambassador Program?
About a year and a half ago, Scott Harkins, came up with this idea that we needed a new program to deepen our relationship with our professionals and distributors – a next-generation sales force He wanted us to think differently and wanted me to lead this team.
At first, I wasn’t sure if I was the right person to run a Gen Z sales team. But I spent time considering my options while making some new pieces in my woodworking shop and thought: I love creating beautiful works of art from raw materials! And I knew I already enjoyed giving back to the industry, so I agreed to lead the effort and, it turned out to be the absolute best time of my life.
I would never, ever give it back. It’s the greatest job I’ve ever had, ever! We now have 15 Brand Ambassadors and have plans to expand our next-gen sales team.
One of the things that we’ve learned from this program is it’s okay to be different. Resideo is very big on diversity and inclusion. As we built the Brand Ambassador program, we did it in alignment with the non-profit group, Building Talent Foundation, of which Resideo is a sponsor of.
Together we help create new career opportunities for students to pursue careers in the HVAC and security and smart home industries, while also helping to address the talent shortage in residential construction.
We’re also partnering with ESA and Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana to have them teach ESA classes as college credits. It will be great for our dealers, great for ESA, and great for our industry as a whole!
I’m very proud to say that as of today, our Brand Ambassador program is 100% referrals. We have some of the absolute sharpest young people – with different backgrounds representing our brand. They are making Resideo a better place. We learn from them every day.
We probably learn much more from them than they ever learn from us. It’s interesting to see how they approach telling our story to customers.
A huge chunk of what they do is just telling our story: driving our brand, going to security distributors, going to HVAC distributors, and telling the Resideo story; and from there they help customers to buy our products.
Nearly 4 years after the spin-off from Honeywell, how does Resideo continue to think differently about the industry?
It’s been an amazing journey. Honeywell is a great company, with great people, but we were just a small little piece of that world.
As Resideo, we are now the whole world in a sense, and that allows us to be much more agile and nimble. We can adapt and change so much faster than we ever could before.
We’re thinking outside the box. The Brand Ambassador Program is an example of this. Just recently, we restructured our sales leaders so that each sales leader oversees BOTH security and HVAC – as opposed to before where it was one or the other.
This helps us better sell the smart home and help gets our sales managers in the region closer to our customers.
What have you learned from the Brand Ambassadors about the future of the industry?
The next generation looks at the world differently. I’ll give you an example. During the interview process, one of our Brand Ambassadors was most interested in our environmental, social, governance, and volunteerism efforts.
Those were more important to her than the pay. Other traditional “salespeople” in our industries, ask — first and foremost — how much money can I make? And then we’ll back into everything else, right? For these younger people, not always about the bottom line. It is more about what Resideo is doing to make a difference, an impact, and to be green.
They also don’t have all the bad habits that we have. Many of us in our industry have been here a long time. We built a great industry for future generations, but we’re also sometimes stuck in our ways.
This team of Brand Ambassadors don’t know the old way. They just know the future, and they’re more focused on technology and the connected home and enhancing people’s lives, bettering the world, and bettering the earth.
How does the Brand Ambassador Program impact the security industry?
I would encourage anybody who has the opportunity to go to an ADI in a market that has a Brand Ambassador and spend time with them.
It’s a breath of fresh air. It makes me sit back and say, “You know what? The future is brighter than the past for our industry.” We have a phenomenal past. I don’t take anything away from the industry that we built, but our future really is brighter.
Is our future simply burglar alarms by themselves? Is it fire alarms by themselves? If I’m listening to the trends and the next generation, I’d say no. I think it’s a hybrid of having a connected home or building, but it’s also going to take people with a connected, future-focused mindset to get us there.
I have to say that I also am inspired by what ESA is doing. The world looks different than it did five years ago, and organizations should reflect that change. The ESA staff today is really leaning into new trends and technologies to help prepare the next generation – and I’m honored to be part of that.