Automation Brings More Business Home

Technology and consumer interest have advanced to bring about real opportunities for security contractors that offer home automation and entertainment products and services. Get up to speed on in-demand offerings with surefire tips to please customers.

<p>Handheld devices provide an opportunity to use apps to meet client needs. They can turn on a lamp, check the garage door and adjust the ceiling fan, all from the comfort of bed. ©</p>Smart Steps for More Sales

It is important that dealers install and use automation in their own home or office. This ensures confidence in selling and allows witnessing the reaction of friends and families that can be passed on during a presentation.

Also consider extending automation sales to small business owners as another way to grow your revenues. A simple camera installation allows remote viewing via a smartphone or laptop. Set up an access control option that is tied to thermostat and lighting for energy management. The coffee pot could even be turned off when the system is armed. A simple access control system eliminates the need and expense of rekeying the locks with employee turnover. An added benefit is being able to receive voice or E-mail confirmation when an event occurs.

Dealers have access to a wealth of opportunities by contacting existing cu
stomers and offering expanded services. Often, consumers only expect security from security dealers and are unaware of the other capabilities. With the low interest rates on refinancing available, reaching out to existing customers and offering upgrades can be a much more viable option than closing on a new construction project.

A Dealer Explains His Methods<p>Lighting systems have long been offered by electricians and the high-end integrators. Team up with local electricians and offer to do the design and programming while they make their money on the installation. A system can be as simple as two switches. ©</p>

As mentioned earlier, the ELK M1 has become a common control that is used by dealers that want to offer more than just a security system. It also allows the dealer to keep any additional RMR generated by the system’s enhanced features, whereas some devices require a monthly fee for remote access.

“The main feature I value is that the firmware in the ELK system is upgradeable,” says Michael Sanfilipo, owner of San Diego-based Integrated Alarm Technologies, who has had success selling the product. “I recently updated the first ELK system I ever installed to the latest firmware so the end user can use his iPad. I haven’t come across anything I haven’t been able to do using [the product].”

Sanfilipo programs a button on a keypad to play a message to give audible directions on how to reset smoke detectors for the customer. “Ease of use for the end user, ease of programming and exceptional support are all features I value,” he says.

A unique application Sanfilipo used in a vacation home involved an exterior light being vandalized. The neighbor was removing bulbs because the light was too bright. After enabling the panel to control the light level, the neighbor never tampered with the lighting again and the owner no longer arrived at a dark home.

The ideas and applications covered here are merely scratching the surface of what can be achieved using today’s advanced technology as a means to deliver more effective, efficient and convenient system functionality and services tailored to your customers’ individual circumstances. In these tough economic times, this represents opportunities to boost RMR and champion customer loyalty.

Melissa L. Hirt has 30 years of industry experience and runs an independent rep firm.


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