5 Answers to Solve the Residential Security Riddle

SSI picks the brains of some residential security specialists to gain their assessment of the market.

Earlier this year, I participated in a presentation billed as a “Residential Supersession.” That is a grandiose title and, as it turned out, the biggest challenge was paring it down to something manageable and digestible. Heck, it was tempting to throw in everything but the kitchen sink … wait, can those be monitored now too?! The residential market has become so rich and ripe with varied device, system and service opportunities that a chief obstacle is zeroing in on what makes the most sense for a particular provider in a given market at this moment. As we attempted to do in that session, and this annual SSI Residential Issue, is provide some actionable intelligence on sensible success strategies for this fast growth industry segment.

RELATED: Smart-Home Devices Fuel Rising Residential Tide

To kick it off, I reunited some of the crackerjack group that took part in the supersession and filled out my panel with a couple of other residential authorities. Following are excerpts from five key questions I posed to John Cerasuolo (ADS Security), Jim Corbett ((United Alarm), Peter Giacalone (SSI‘s Monitoring Matters) and Mike Maniscalco (ihiji) to gain their assessment of the market …

1. What is the greatest residential opportunity right now for security dealers/integrators?

Cerasuolo: No question the biggest opportunity we have is broadening the services we offer to new and existing customers to include convenience features like remote management of their system and home automation services.

RELATED: ADS Security’s CEO Shares Residential Market Insights

Maniscalco: A huge opportunity that continues to grow is the Internet of everything. Devices like (Nest and (Dropcam are disrupting existing technologies. These devices require solid wired and wireless networks as well as proper network management. This ongoing service and support also paves the way for new recurring revenue offerings around remote network management.

2. How can companies best take advantage of residential opportunities?

Giacalone: The ownership, salespeople and technicians need to understand and live the new ecosystem of systems. It is not about the components and their individual value, it’s the value of how the components work together. Home control systems must be presented as a lifestyle and the advantages that these systems offer must be detailed so the homeowner can further engage. Turn the wants into needs!

Corbett: When you do a sales call, educate the consumer as to what products you have available to help them secure them-selves. Educate the consumer that nothing is free to do the job properly, as we want to protect you properly. Never forget, we are trying to save a life.

RELATED: Residential Security Insights With United Alarm’s Jim Corbett

3. What are the top barriers to succeeding in today’s residential security marketplace?

Cerasuolo: Our greatest challenge has always been recruiting, hiring and training effective sales professionals. Selling residential systems is a difficult job and not necessarily one that attracts the right kind of talent. To do so requires that we sell prospects on why a career in our industry is something they should be excited about.

4. Which is the better sales approach, leading with security or with home automation/controls?

Maniscalco: Many home technology professionals can benefit from leading with both, depending on how the customer is initially acquired. The key is getting a foot in the door and establishing yourself as the expert and trusted advisor.

RELATED: ihiji’s Mike Maniscalco Addresses Residential Security Opportunities

Cerasuolo: Leading with security and incorporating into the solution home automation convenience services. Having a customer understand the value of the security system is the first step. Then, demonstrating to them why integrating door locks and lights into their system makes sense is an easy sell.

5. Should security dealers be concerned about telcos, cablecoms and DIY jumping into residential security?

Corbett: We are not concerned about the phone company or cable as they are only about the money. They have failed in the past and can never do as well with service as a traditional alarm company. As for the DIY consumer who is looking for in-expensive, that is not a person we want as a customer. We want customers who want true security. It is all about the service and doing the job right.

Giacalone: Concerned? No. Aware? Yes. Be aware and lever-age what the telcos, cablecoms and DIYers are all doing. They are all good propositions, yet they all have some small deficits. The independent dealer has something others don’t have: local and personal service, and the diversity to customize. Security dealers have another great advantage in not forcing consumers to be more dependent on tethering to a data line or cable connection. Stay aware and use it all to your advantage!

RELATED: Security Industry Consultant Peter Giacalone Sheds Light on Residential Market


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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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