Win Over Newfound Prospects in the Connected Home

Learn how security systems integrators can succeed in the home control business.

Paul Romanelli, the proprietor of Long Island, N.Y.-based Suffolk Security Systems, remembers the customer he almost made cry.

About seven years ago the homeowner came to Romanelli with a request: He wanted his thermostat connected to his security panel, plus the ability to control it remotely. It’s a setup that’s quite common these days, but even just those short few years ago it was considered flashy new territory for anyone who didn’t own a luxury home.

Romanelli made the connection between the panel and the thermostat just fine. But as many a homeowner and integrator has learned over the past decade, making the connection doesn’t necessarily make for a successful solution. For instance, the remote control functionality was really a switch between preset high and low temperatures. Consequently, the system didn’t always detect the exact temperature in the home, nor did it work on a combination of heating and air conditioning systems.

Fast forward to today. That same customer would eventually ask Romanelli to outfit his new residence with a security system. This time the results were different. The total system included wireless touchscreen controllers that could manage multiple thermostats, door locks, lighting and, of course, the security panel. And, yes, it can be controlled remotely in a much more efficient manner with precise tracking of the home’s temperature.

“The guy almost cried he was so happy,” Romanelli says. “He said, ‘This is exactly what I wanted all those years ago.'”

Cases like this illustrate how the connected home has flirted with becoming the status quo for the past several years, but seemingly fallen short at times. The reason isn’t necessarily because the technology didn’t work; the devices may have fit together, but they didn’t always lend themselves to a design that truly catered to an individual’s daily routine. Today, however, the technology is starting to cater appropriately – and appealingly – to end users’ distinct lifestyles.

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The light-bulb moment for the industry depends not on selling a single connected home system to as many people as possible, but rather learning about the homeowner and designing custom solutions to address their particular needs. Typical home automation and security installments might satisfy most customers, but much opportunity lies in that untapped percentage who desire something more tailored. When adapted to specific lifestyle behaviors, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the connected home can open up more business opportunities than ever imagined.

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