Exec Interview: How Post Alarm Set a High Bar in Security, Service & Growth

Third-generation leaders discuss Post’s formula predicated on expert installation, monitoring and armed patrol response.

Exec Interview: How Post Alarm Set a High Bar in Security, Service & Growth

Siblings Rob and Gina Post grew up in the family business and now represent its third generation of leadership. (Image: Ben Gibbs Photography)

Beside WiFi networks, what other products or services have received heightened interest due to the pandemic?

Franco: If you were to look at just the growth of traditional security compared to video as itself, that’s where we’ve seen the biggest growth. Manufacturers and software companies are bringing to market cameras with smarter analytics, that are more intuitive and provide more of a seamless integration with the alarm system via apps. Being able to carry one app to control your thermostat, locks, lights, video, create smart rules to trigger lights or to push video into a central station. That’s where we saw the most growth and innovation. We have really seen great success with our Night Shield offering, which was launched two to three years ago.

There were a couple events that happened at Rob’s house where he had very clear video of somebody approaching his driveway and checking the car doors. He received the video, but his phone was in airplane mode and he didn’t get the notification until the next morning. That made him realize that was an issue and he said, “What can we do with this?” Thus we created Night Shield, which when appropriate and according to predetermined parameters, will take analytic video and forward it to our patrol officers and command center.

Rob Post: Basically at night when your system is on, whether you’re at home sleeping or away, your phone might be off. We’re monitoring for you. We’re seeing the video if a person comes on the property. When we see it, we can dispatch patrol or law enforcement and protect it before they even enter or break into your home. We charge the customer a recurring fee for that. As Anthony said, based on what happened at my house we dove in and got it to work. A year later, the same incident happened at my house, and thanks to Night Shield the police and patrol caught three of the four guys.

Franco: Not many companies can offer this service. It’s real easy to come in and talk with customers about this type of service because it’s very intriguing. It’s not anything that’s familiar to people. To be able to say this is all done in-house, we have a solution, we can more proactively protect you. It’s a win-win for everybody.

Gina Post: It’s a unique situation because we have our own patrol department. In areas like Los Angeles it’s really tough to have a quick police response because they’re overwhelmed. It’s of high value that our patrol can be enroute before police. We’ve had a lot of success in our patrol areas curbing mail theft, car burglaries and had multiple captures because we were able to get there so quickly. It’s all about fast response and Night Shield allows that to happen.

You mentioned a DIY offering. How does that fit into your overall mix?

Rob Post: We added it to show we’re setting up for the future. Our DIY offering can be purchased online and can either be self-installed or with us installing it for them. People still often-times prefer pro monitoring or pro installation. We like to be easy to work with, which is why we’ve always been a month-to-month company. Customers pay upfront and can cancel with 30 days’ notice.

Tell me a little bit more about how deep Post is into the smart home. What types of offerings are you putting out there and how’s the take on them?

Franco: We are very invested in the smart home. Alarm.com on the backend allows us to really create an ecosystem from security to lifestyle enhancement pieces, locks, lights, thermostats, setting schedules and rules, and having lights turn on at a certain time or be triggered by a video. Everything is moving that way. There are over 40 billion registered IoT devices and it’s growing. One of the biggest things with it is needing a solid WiFi connection. We try to solve everybody’s problems from security to WiFi.

Gina Post: The smart home model increases the chances of customers engaging with their systems every day, having it become part of their routine, becoming part of their life. Then to cancel, it’s like, “Oh, if I cancel security then I’m going to cancel all this other stuff I use daily.”

Rob Post: One of the challenges of the past five years with home automation is that you have installing technicians who are used to the old-school mentality of running wires, programming the panel, and today it is new and different. Although we help them train and learn it, we also have hired IT technicians who pitch in for the WiFi experience, bringing everything together, programming it for the client.

Gina Post: With that technology on the backend, we can also do a lot of diagnosis and tech support in-house, through remote support. It’s really helped us prevent truck rolls.

post patrol service

Armed patrol service is among Post’s differentiators, and the company says its response times outpace the competitors. Its personnel are in the field all hours of the day and night on patrol and on alert.

What your top two or three rules for delighting and holding onto customers?

Gina Post: We go back to that Golden Rule to treat every client like they’re your only client. We try to project that throughout the company. It’s about making clients feel valued, like we truly care about them and not just someone we get money from every month. It’s about listening to them and their concerns. We’re not always perfect, but it’s how you handle the mistakes that really matter. Those mistakes offer us opportunities to grow.

We also constantly want to show that they need our services, that those services are a value to them and encourage their daily use. If we succeed in that, why would they ever want to cancel? We try to keep in active communication with our clients. In our patrol areas, we try to let them know, “Hey, this is what our officers are doing,” so they know it’s a value. Otherwise, with budgets tight, they’re going to slice things where they do not see value.

Rob Post: Gina and I see every actual burglary that comes in. We look at those to see patterns or how crimes are happening, which helps us understand what the client might need and what they care about. We also try to use that to educate our customers. For example, in recent years we observed smarter intruders have realized some alarm companies don’t put security devices on the second floor so they were breaking in there knowing the alarm wouldn’t go off. Those types of things we teach to our sales reps, educating them to be experts based on what we see. Customers appreciate that.

Gina Post: As leaders of the company, we are all very involved with our customers. We hear feedback directly from our clients. We give out our personal information, our cellphone numbers and such in case have concerns or questions. We encourage them to reach out to us personally and we love to hear from them.

Franco: I think that falls in line with being a family-run business. We don’t ever want our clients to not understand how a system works or to not have that communication, good or bad. As a family business, it’s just the level of commitment we have to our clients.

About the Author

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Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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