There is a lot of buzz lately surrounding remote applications and the variety of technologies and structures that are available as add-on’s for security systems. Yet many security professionals may not fully realize the impact these benefits are having on the industry.
Much continues to be touted about how remote applications provide lifestyle enhancement upgrades to security systems and other supplementary bells ‘n’ whistles. Some installers are even myopic about it and view these benefits as being only for those high-end residential clients who are early adopters of technology and willing to fork out the additional cost.
This could not be further from reality. The availability, usability and benefit of structuring a system that allows homeowners to stay connected to their security systems around the clock from anywhere is rapidly becoming the rule and not the exception.
Many industry professionals state that video was a catalyst for remote services. While that may be true, the benefit of controlling everything from the arming/disarming of a system, to lighting to climate control, has been noticed and well received in the marketplace. Furthermore, as these services become more robust, the enrollment by commercial clients is growing as well.
Educate Your Customers, or Else
I still see some push back from traditionalists who are very concerned remote services that allow end users to stay connected to their systems will erode their recurring monthly revenue (RMR). Again, a reality check is in order. Consumers see the value in staying “plugged in” and are willing to pay for it. What separates the markets is simply education.
The dealers that are taking the time to educate potential and existing clients on the many features and benefits of accessing and controlling a security system via Web browsers and mobile devices are accelerating in this area. In many cases they are re-establishing and extending legacy relationships and building new client relationships with their competitor’s clients who were unaware of how far a security system can be taken.
A very simple example of a market channel that’s accelerating in the utilization of remote access and control are the “door knocker” programs. These salespeople cold call and pitch an entry-level, yet comprehensive system. The basis many of these companies utilize is the value and justification of the core of the system, and benefits the added features deliver.
Offering this as a baseline system with basic intrusion and building from that point is a meaningful path toward success. Taking this concept and utilizing it in a traditional security company model in both residential and commercial makes this proposition even better. Removing the stigma of the cold call and pitching a consumer who is actually interested in a system allows this path to succeed at a greater rate.
Building that basic system and folding in fire safety, energy management, lighting control, etc. — and demonstrating these features based on how the value escalates through the availability of remote access — allows you to accelerate your conversation into a close and signing up a new client. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small residential client or a large commercial client; most, if not all, clients can benefit from these platforms. These systems come in a variety of different forms from a variety of manufacturers; it’s up to you to choose the structure that best fits your client.
Above all, it is essential to keep pace with marketplace developments and advances. Don’t wait for your customers to ask for these new services and applications. If you wait, it will be too late to deliver. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to communicate this message to all of your clients. For certain, if you are not educating your customers on remote applications, your competitors certainly will be happy to.
Peter Giacalone is President of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.