In these trying times when — like many businesses — installing security contractors are struggling to remain profitable, it ought to be some relief to realize there are viable courses of action to help stem the tide. This will be particularly compelling for residentially focused companies and those married to the builder market, some of which have seen their business atrophy by as much as 70 percent. There are many strategies to take during times like these, but I am going to suggest one here (with more to come in other postings).
The first is targeting residential subdivisions. These developments were the rage of this decade’s new construction housing boom, which of course has now been flipped upside down by the subprime mortgage crisis. Many security contractors made a killing by providing these housing tracts with structured wiring and security systems, but just as many are now reeling after installing that cabling and those systems at little or no cost based on the promise of future returns that in many cases will now never be realized. Well, all may not be lost.
With times being as tough as they are burglaries are on the rise in many communities. We all know how popular the neighborhood watch programs are, but there is no reason they can’t be augmented with electronic security solutions, especially video surveillance. And while individual homeowners may be watching every nickel and dime right now, many of them have spent years paying monthly or annual dues into a homeowners association. As someone who spent years paying such dues into an association at a condominium complex I used to live in, I know it is not uncommon for homeowners to wonder where all their money is going. My “security” (vehicular gates and intercom-based access control) complex had security guards overnight, but that did not stop units and cars from being broken into or even a rape in the parking garage. So, now is a great time to aim some of your sales and marketing efforts at this residential niche.
I recommend you canvass the subdivisions within the towns, cities and regions you service, find out who the association decision makers are, speak with them on the phone and perhaps in person, and arrange to make a presentation at their next meeting (or maybe have a special meeting scheduled). Make them an offer they cannot refuse. Explain to them how your solution will make would-be criminals move on to unprotected neighborhoods, help residents feel safer and better about their community (as well as the homeowners association), and maintain premium property values relative to overall current valuations. In these ways, it will pay for itself many times over. Additionally, once you are in with the homeowners association, you can more easily have access to the individual homeowners to offer them special discounts and offers that will help you gain their business as well. This will be particularly fruitful once the housing crisis begins to abate.
For more on this trend and opportunity, check out this recent news story: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/421/story/296117.html.
I am greatly interested and curious about the strategies your company is deploying and how they are working out. Please share!
As always, thanks for reading.
SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION