Environmental Monitoring Can Open Floodgate of Opportunity

Watching water levels to weather potential damage can help security companies increase recurring monthly revenue.

It’s a terrible oversight when the term and the revenue related to “monitoring” is only thought to be an alarm being activated, a central station handling the event and the authorities getting dispatched. Although most understand that it is much more than this, we can’t assume that the consumer market understands the same. I witness it all the time when I am with a client and I overhear their sales staff trying to justify their fees. Most leave out the great facts and additional juice today’s “monitoring” really represents.

One in particular is the advanced monitoring and control of environmental and energy management of a home or business. I find that many dealers only offer the monitoring of these nonsecurity events in response to client requests. I also find that the few companies that take a more deliberate, proactive approach to offering monitoring events other than intrusion and fire have experienced great success through higher closing ratios and increased average recurring monthly revenue (RMR).

High Value in Watching Water Levels

Environmental monitoring as high temperature, low temperature, high water, low water, flood, etc., has existed for a long time. The advancement comes in the way in which these multiple paths of communication and control are out in consumers’ hands. Additionally, the valuable automated and remote interactive devices that are available to not only monitor but actually control the environment is tremendous. These devices are low cost and facilitate shutting off or turning on water mains, HVAC systems and virtually any other related devices that are electrically operated. They can be set to activate based on the monitoring of other devices, remotely through a smartphone or via a connected computer from anywhere in the world.

Although this isn’t news to most, value-added applications can vary and this is where most miss opportunities. What also gets missed is that residential as well as commercial and industrial client types all find real value in monitoring these events. Through consumer focus groups I’ve sponsored, I’ve seen that many clients find more immediate value – and a reason for a purchase decision – solely based on a system that offered smoke, flood and freeze detection. Highlighting these services will not only bring you opportunity for increased installation and monthly monitoring revenue, but it may attract and maintain a client that you would not ordinarily attract with a straight intrusion offering.

I and other professionals I’ve met hold a very strong opinion that it’s essential all residential installations should include water or flood detection in one or more areas of a home. Anyone who has ever experienced a leaking hot water heater, a burst washing machine hose, or leaking water softener, purifier or well system appreciates the benefit of early detection. Combining the simple and inexpensive wired and wireless detectors available along with central station monitoring that will immediately text, E-mail and/or call a client’s call list without delay allows for the preservation of property. With the addition of the ability to shut water mains off, this proposition delivers maximum value to customers.

Through consumer focus groups, I’ve seen that many clients find more immediate value – and a reason for a purchase decision – solely based on a system that offered smoke, flood and freeze detection.

Provide Business Peace of Mind

One great device that offers high value is the combination freeze/water detector. Installing this near a home’s washing machine, hot water heater and water softener offers great peace of mind. In a commercial environment the need is just as great and sometimes greater as some businesses only operate eight or 10 hours a day, five days a week. For a large amount of time the building is unoccupied and is subject to major damage if something causes water leakage or freezing during nonbusiness hours. Other pertinent applications include the monitoring of refrigeration or freezer equipment or rooms to assure that the temperature remains below a certain threshold, especially where food or medical-related cooling is required.

These are the obvious applications; taking it further and looking at the market for secondary winter or summer homes expands these opportunities even more. Locations where telephone service is not available in off-season times used to create issues; now most systems are standard with GSM communicators and wireless detectors.

As this column’s name suggests, monitoring matters – and to your bottom line these days it could be the range of monitoring you offer that really matters.


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About the Author


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

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