Why Newbie Smart Lock Resellers Should Feel Secure With the IoT

The smart lock is a natural entry point for dealers to educate homeowners about smart home technology being driven by IoT adoption.

IHS Markit has forecast a striking upward trajectory for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The research firm reports an installed base of 15.4 billion IoT devices in 2015 will rise to 30.7 billion devices in 2020, then 75.4 billion in 2025.  That amounts to highly profitable sales for security dealers and other resellers that can catch the IoT adoption wave.

For most consumers, the path to the IoT begins at home, with devices like smart locks that enhance both convenience and security. In a post CES 2017 write-up, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) predicted a record year ahead for emerging technologies like the IoT. Specifically, the January 2017 article said that the smart home “is evolving as consumers’ most popular means of IoT engagement.”

The IoT is already having a tremendous impact on the way we live and work. With this in mind, resellers of IoT devices such as smart locks might want to think about disrupting the way they position and market their wares.

Security Can Be the Key to IoT Sales

CTA projects that the smart home category — which includes smart thermostats, smart smoke and CO detectors, WiFi cameras, smart doorbells and more — will reach sales of 29 million units in 2017. And according to many sources, security is the driving motivation in a customer’s initial IoT or smart home purchase.

In fact, according to a collaboration between CNET and Coldwell Banker Real Estate, smart security is a central element in any smart home. The two organizations teamed up in 2016 to produce a new definition for “smart home” in order to help home buyers, sellers and sales professionals accurately identify properties in this category.

In part, the new definition they arrived at says, “In order to be categorized as a smart home, the property must have a smart security feature that either controls access or monitors the property or a smart temperature feature, in addition to a reliable internet connection.”

The new smart home definition is intended to help Coldwell Banker’s network of independent sales associates to educate their home buyers and sellers regarding what defines a smart home.

This same type of education is also an important element in selling smart security products to consumers interested in testing the waters of the IoT.

Becoming Secure in IoT Know-How

To leverage the sales opportunities presented by the growth of the IoT, sales channels need to understand the central role that smart locks can play in this trend. Dealers who sell smart locks are no longer limited to just selling door hardware; they are selling an integral part of a complete and connected total home security solution. And they are demonstrating that they are on the cutting edge of an emerging trend.

Industry sales professionals need to clearly communicate to consumers the ways that a smart lock not only solidifies home security and safety, but also enhances the lives of homeowners and families with greater convenience and more complete access control, even when the consumer is away from home.

Dealers also should recognize that the smart lock, usually located at the entry to the home, is a natural entry point for homeowners that want to dip their toes into the waters of the IoT and add some smart home technology to their home. The smart lock can be programmed through an automation platform to not only put access control at the user’s fingertips, but also deliver the convenience of home control right at the front door.

Homeowners can set up custom smart home scenarios before they step inside. For example, residents can program a lock that’s connected to a home automation system so that every time they unlock the door, lights turn on, thermostats kick on the heat or air conditioning and blinds are shut. When a smart device is located right at the front door, home control can easily become part of a consumer’s routine. And the comfort level with the IoT grows every time the smart lock is used.

Education is the key to smart lock distributors becoming secure and comfortable with the IoT. When sales personnel understand the role that smart locks can play in the smart home, and can pass that knowledge on to the customer, they are better equipped to enhance customer engagement and lock up long-term customer relationships.

Nick English is Kwikset’s North American Sales Manager for Residential Access Solutions. 

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