Home automation company locating near LSU

Home automation service provider Vivint Smart Home plans to open a sales and recruitment office at the North Gates of LSU in the former Massey’s Outfitters location on Highland Road by the end of this year.

The new office is part of an initiative to increase Vivint’s presence across the U.S., says Josh Crittenden, senior director of sales performance. Vivint chose 18 universities, including LSU, to locate new sales offices where the company will recruit college students for paid internships and train them to sell Vivint products nationwide.

“We recruit college students looking for summer jobs and maybe something that can evolve into a career,” Crittenden says. “We’ll take summer recruits from LSU, send them out to cities in New York or California and focus on training, selling and being part of the team.”

The Utah-based company signed a lease on Monday for the 6,000-square-foot space adjacent to Five Guys, which has been vacant since Massey’s closed in February after four-and-a-half years at the location.

“This is a long-term, strategic play,” says Matthew Shirley, an agent at Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, which owns the property. “We’re confident Vivint can make it there.”

The location on Highland will display Vivint products in the front, but its main purpose is to provide an office space where employees and student recruits can meet and work.

Vivint bills itself as a leading home automation company with 1.3 million customers in the U.S. It offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage and high-speed Internet solutions. The company, founded in Provo, Utah, in 1999, has mostly focused on direct-to-home sales, although it’s also recently gotten into retail sales with products in Best Buy.

Vivint products and services are already available in Louisiana and Baton Rouge, where Crittenden says they have been well received, which was part of the reason why the company chose to expand to LSU.

“We’ve been successful selling there,” he says. “We’re starting to build name recognition, and the school was very open to meeting with us.”

—Annie Ourso Landry