Think outside of the box.
“That’s how I approach every project I do,” says Dustin Oberlin, CEO and president of Redfli Electronics.
“The way I design a system is different from the way anyone else designs a system. I spend a lot of time with my customers listening to what they want and the concept they have in mind. They tell me what they want the end result to be and I figure out how to make that happen.”
Oberlin started Redfli eight years ago, but says his fascination with technology started when he was a kid growing up in Fort Wayne. While studying entrepreneurship at Ball State University, Oberlin knew he wanted to start a company doing what he loved. The dream was to offer customized, residential and commercial networking services no one else can provide. Take a look at the Redfli showroom and the designs Oberlin has created and it looks like his dream came true.
“I only pick quality products that, at any price point, have a high value to my customer,” says Oberlin. “I don’t buy the thing that will make me the most money. Instead, I find the product that’s of most value to my customers. I’m very selective when it comes to the companies we are dealers for.”
The list of products and services Redfli offers is a long one: everything from flat screen televisions and high-end, two-channel audio to a home automation system that will send you a text message to alert you that your sump pump is not working properly and it would be a good idea to get home fast!
“Most of the products we sell, you can’t walk into a store and buy,” says Oberlin. “But it’s important to note that we set it up so that when you walk into your home or office, the system we put in for you is ready to use. We also train our customers so they know how to use everything. People can spend a lot of money on a system, and my goal is to make sure they get their money’s worth and know how to operate what we provided.”
Oberlin says many of the customers he works with will spend tens of thousands of dollars on a customized system and some much more than that. But he will work with any kind of budget.
“My philosophy has always been to treat everyone with equal respect. It’s not about the price, it’s about the value. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to spend $1,000 with me or $100,000 with me. The value of what I offer needs to be high and the value of what it means to you needs to be high.”
Some of the home projects Oberlin has taken on may appear to be over-the-top on the surface, but he says they actually make a home smarter and more energy efficient. Things like motorized blinds and touchless light systems will save you money and keep you comfortable.
“Every light in our showroom can be turned off with one button on my iPad,” says Oberlin. “When we engage the security system, a lighted path highlights your way to the door and then the lights slowly turn off over a minute. Then, as you shut the door, the lights shut off completely. Think about something like that in your home. Imagine that you’re coming home with groceries in your arms and your kids in tow, but instead of fumbling for the light switch, the lights come on automatically as you enter the kitchen. Once you get used to that, you won’t go back.”
Oberlin goes on to explain that having lights go off as you leave a room makes your house smart and safe, too.
“Security is a big deal,” he says. “We can install a door lock system and program it so that certain codes are only allowed at certain times. Say, for example, you have a cleaning service that comes every week. You can get a text message on your phone that lets you know exactly when they arrive and when they leave. From a safety standpoint, it’s all about having a connection to your home at all times. We’ve even set up sensors and locks for wine cellars and liquor cabinets so underage kids can’t get into them when their parents aren’t home.”
While a lot of Redfli’s business is based on the efficiency and security aspects of a system, some of it is just plain fun – and that’s the part Oberlin likes best.
“I can turn on my television from my iPhone,” he says. “It’s awesome and I do it all of the time. But the fun stuff should definitely come after you take care of the functional stuff.”
Redfli has been blessed with substantial growth in recent years. Oberlin says the business tripled last year and doubled the year before that.
“I think it speaks to how much time and effort we put into our customers,” he says. “We care about every detail of a system and we continue to improve by thinking outside of the box and creating solutions and new ways of doing things.”
Address: 6427 Georgetown North Boulevard
Phone: (877) REDFLI7
Years in Business: 8
Number of Employees: 7
Products & Services: Customized audio and video and networking design, products and professional installation for commercial and residential customers