Connecting Commercial Clients With Your Residential Repertoire

Learn how your security firm can capitalize on residential offerings in the commercial space.

Over the past few years we have experienced how home automation, what was once a bolt-on option for affluent homeowners, has transitioned into a bigger opportunity. Through the leveraging of technology and the forward thinking of some first movers, the technology improved and became efficient enough to offer as a closing tool for even a wider marketplace channel.

Now we live in an industry where the successful security integrators are in essence “connected home” dealers. They are smart dealers who really don’t delineate between intrusion alarm, life-safety alarm, home control and automation, energy management and video systems. All these segments and more are pieces that help make up what is now known as the connected home.

The connected home dealer, which includes some of the cable and telephone companies, offers their subscribers a platform that allows the consumer to decide on their buy-in based on education they receive from marketing, television and their salesperson. The consumer gets to decide how deep they want to buy in, including whether they simply want to start with the basics having the comfort of knowing that they can build on their system over time. This has become a very different marketing and sales approach that provides great success when positioned and executed properly. Dealers can foster better customers and the consumers benefit from better systems and, most importantly, better value for their investment.

Benefits Befitting Breadth Of Businesses

Early on, some skeptics of this transition stated that this connected home positioning could never have widespread success with the residential market. History has proven this theory to be wrong. Traditional operators and thinkers believed that this opportunity was more commercial based and that commercial customers were the ones ripe for video and remote viewing. Again, a theory proven wrong … but per-haps not without some merit. That leads me to today and a growth opportunity that is starting out slowly, but, in my opinion, will be profoundly successful: the “commercial connected business.”

The commercial connected business model makes absolute sense. All the controls and benefits we have communicated to our residential subscribers sometimes offer greater benefits that are immediately realized for commercial businesses both small and large. Most of these benefits have been available to large commercial clients for a large price, for many years. Now, by leveraging the same or similar technologies we are using residentially, we can bring greater value and retention to commercial accounts. Wireless technology such as RF and Z-Wave, that integrates security, lighting, locking, climate control, video, etc., is extremely valuable to businesses. Offering greater control, security and management of their businesses while saving money through these controls is a no-brainier that is way overdue. I do understand that some companies have already engaged in this channel and have done so with success. That said, currently there are not many dealers heavy into this area, and I believe you may see the adoption grow faster than home control did.

Work Will Pay Recurring Referral Dividends

You know my position. As this monthly column’s title advocates, monitoring matters. In the case of building commercial connected business, it really does and the revenues that you as dealer will enjoy are better than existing commercial revenues, more secure than existing commercial revenues and when executed properly, your commercial clients will now become raving fans of your company and will become evangelists for your services. That gives more meaning to being “connected” as those satisfied customers will be connecting you with even more business than your client base did in the past.

Commercial business customers can easily quantify their re-turn on investment of a connected business system. As a dealer, you will get stronger at including an estimate on the specifics of their return both in direct dollars and the savings both of their time and the time of the people they have on their payroll.


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About the Author


Peter Giacalone is President of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.

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