How to Get More RMR From Monitoring

Leading monitoring companies like Affiliated Monitoring, Monitronics, USA Central Station Alarm and EMERgency24 share their thoughts on incorporating smart home interactivity and video verification as new revenue streams.

SAVVY security professionals know that new technologies can be gateways to new revenue streams. The current state of the industry is opening up new opportunities for dealers and integrators to upsell their monitoring services and realize more recurring monthly revenue (RMR) than ever before.

“There are a lot of opportunities for dealers now,” says Michael Zydor, managing director at Affiliated Monitoring. “The most impactful to their business, I would say, is offering interactive as well as video verification services. Those are two newer revenue streams and opportunities for them to increase RMR with both new and existing customers.”

Zydor is seeing this model become more prevalent in the industry with some of the national companies offering these services and increasing their RMR. There are many more options dealers can offer their customers than in years past, he suggests, and there are successful examples that can be used as templates.

“Dealers need to avail themselves of all the options that are out there,” he says. “The national companies have proven that you can turn $32 a month into $60 by presenting a more complete suite of offerings.”

SSI leaned on Zydor and representatives from other leading monitoring providers Monitronics, USA Central Station Alarm and EMERgency24 to get the lowdown on hot upselling areas for security integrators, including connected home systems integration (and mobile device access in particular) and video verification services.

Read on for their insights, as well as a directory of wholesale monitoring companies that can benefit your cause.

Remote Control, IoT & RMR

Consumer demand is high for the basic ability to arm and disarm remotely, according to Zydor, but also gaining in popularity is the request for the same capability to set lights, locks and thermostats, as well as to view video of their home or business.

Dealers aiming to increase their RMR should leverage such mobile technology and make it a priority to get customers comfortable with the concept of interactive and remote services, he says. Familiarity will breed repeat and expanded business.

“They can start with basic arming and disarming capabilities and increasingly offer [customers] add-ons once they’ve gotten a feel for how much more they can control their system,” Zydor says. “This gives dealers the ability to sell more than just security systems.”

Bruce Mungiguerra, senior vice president of operations, Monitronics, is equally optimistic, noting that the myriad new offerings have “opened up the doors for everybody” to cash in not only with more RMR possibilities but also upfront revenue growth.

Two hot items he points to are locks and thermostats. He cites the increasing popularity of connected or smart homes, the ability to control things remotely and the Internet of Things (IoT) as significantly impacting the market.

“IoT has opened up consumers’ eyes to the security world whereas in the past, they thought only about security. We are, of course, still focused on being a security company, but also on enabling the IoT,” Mungiguerra says. “Sell security first, but along with those systems there’s a plethora of products to be connected in their customers’ homes.”

Along with arming and disarming their alarms, consumers are also looking to remotely control other integrated technologies such as their lights and thermostats.

With so many new products entering the market so rapidly, he advises dealers to consider what will be most appropriate and convenient for their individual customers – and the least costly from a service perspective.

Bart Didden, president, USA Central Station Alarm, is a bit more conservative in his forecast for the new RMR opportunities that IoT can present.

“I think the train hasn’t gotten to the station yet. I don’t know yet exactly how it’s all going to come together, and it’s going to be interesting to watch and see,” he says.

More on Monitoring: Have You Reevaluated Your Monitoring Center’s Capabilities?

In terms of increasing opportunities via lighting and shade controls, Didden says it depends on how much the alarm dealer can do on his own. “If they need another trade, such as an HVAC guy to complete an installation, they’ve brought in another competitor for the same dollars.”

Didden does see promise in dealers being able to promote and earn these sales; however, he thinks add-on sales are best done incrementally.

“If you try to hit someone over the head with 10 new add-ons, I don’t think it works. The customer goes into overload. But if you approach them with one new thing every six months, what does it cost you to capture the cost in the RMR? If it’s incremental building, that doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort and you can keep it simple enough.”

Read more about video verification and best tactics on the next page…

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