The home security industry has evolved considerably over the years, but its core focus on life safety has not wavered. Recently, bundling lifestyle features such as remote lighting and thermostat control into traditional security systems has been providing installing security contractors with an opportunity to attract new customers and deliver more to existing clientele.
Last year there were approximately 1.5 million home automation systems installed in the United States, according to ABI Research. By 2017, it has been predicted that more than 8 million systems will be shipped, which would result in a 45% growth rate between 2011 and 2017. This is great news for security dealers and security manufacturers; it also provides an explanation for why competition in the home automation industry is on the upswing.
High demand for connectivity and convenience is prompting nontraditional service providers to enter the home automation market. The competition actively touts the capabilities of a “smart home” through heavy marketing and advertising. On one hand, the public’s overall awareness of benefits of security systems has grown. On the other, it is easier than ever for homeowners to bundle lifestyle services with providers that traditionally sell them subscriptions to cable television, wireless services and access to high-speed Internet.
Security systems dealers have an edge over lifestyle providers because not only can they integrate an array of lifestyle functions into their offerings, they also bring life safety and security into the home. Security dealers are able to provide a more complete level of service because they offer solutions that extend peace of mind to homeowners. They must look for ways to present all of their offerings each time they engage customers, in order to keep this edge over the competition, and to continue driving sales growth and customer wins.
Security by Way of Convenience
The advancement of technology plays a significant role in making home automation and security systems easier to understand, simple to use and more affordable. Today, dealers and integrators can build-out services for existing customers by discussing the newest features. A customer, who has been using a wall-mounted touchscreen to manage the home’s intrusion system, will be interested in learning that it is now possible to control their security system remotely, via a smartphone application.
By introducing remote services, a dealer is able to re-engage an existing customer to demonstrate the latest benefits of added connectivity and an improved lifestyle. Even though this customer had initially invested in the system because of its security features, with proper explanation of lifestyle enhancement solutions, that same customer can understand the benefits of the connected home. Dealers with a complete offering of security systems and lifestyle solutions provide a tangible benefit that will result in winning new sales, and retaining existing customers.
Security dealers should ask the proper questions in order to help deliver the proper solutions. They should approach new and existing customers prepared to discuss their complete offerings, every time. Dealers must be observant of customer responses, wants, needs and their home environment in order to provide precisely targeted offerings.
For instance, if a potential new customer’s family finds itself consistently rushing out the door to be on time for appointments or other engagements, a dealer would make it a point to discuss a number of features in security and home automation that would make life easier. One example would be the ability users have to use their mobile devices to open or close the garage door, automatically lock doors or adjust thermometers and turn off lights throughout the house.
Considering Automation & Life Safety
Security systems that allow homeowners to automatically or remotely control their HVAC system are a notable discussion point for dealers. Homeowners enjoy being able to configure a system to automatically control energy costs. Some security systems provide an additional layer of security, adding fire protection to home security and automation. Early detection capabilities in some systems are able to detect when smoke is present and trigger the system to shut down HVAC fans.
Shutting down an air conditioner in this situation will slow down how quickly smoke spreads from the source to other rooms or levels of a home. This allows more time to make a safe exit. It can also potentially help reduce damages caused by a fire. As always security systems can alert the central station upon immediate detection of a fire or smoke.
Customers or prospects that own a vacation home, travel or are away from home often, understand why a security system is important. Dealers should be sure to re-engage these people and talk about remote capabilities that will help them increase the utility of these systems. These homeowners will find value having wireless motion detectors that warn them of intruders on their property, affordable video surveillance systems that send them alerts when motion is detected, or keypad locks added to doors that allow remote lock and unlock from anywhere.
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