How to Utilize Security Apps to Optimize RMR

Discover the latest security app offerings and how to optimize them for end customers and recurring revenue, as well as enhancing operations.

How to Utilize Security Apps to Optimize RMR

For end users, accessing security and building control systems through smartphones or tablets has moved from wish list to expectation.

There are now myriad customized mobile applications (apps) on the market that allow consumers and security professionals to perform a variety of tasks and system interactions.

SSI tapped on the expertise of several leading industry suppliers to get a pulse on the latest in app offerings, what makes them noteworthy, and how dealers/integrators can deploy them for customers, their own recurring revenue interests and improving operational efficiencies.

All agree that as more remote access options have become available for homeowners and commercial end users via smartphones and tablets, the industry has seen a marked increase in demand for them.

“Absolutely, we definitely have. Everybody has,” says Amy Strickland, marketing manager with ELK Products. “Today, everyone’s walking around with this powerful device in their pocket and they want it to do more and more for them.”

Scott Fincher Sr., product manager, Inovonics, adds, “As a provider of hardware to integrators, the demand we’re seeing is from integrators who specify our wireless endpoints as components of larger security solutions. They expect smartphone-based tools to help them more accurately quote a job and make sure their installers have a good blueprint to work from to ensure a seamless installation. Having to requote a job or make on-the-fly adjustments during an installation can cost customers time and money.”

Anu Herranen, director of marketing and branding for Nortek Security & Control, concurs that access via smartphone or tablet apps has become table stakes for success today. These apps make it possible to control systems remotely, see notifications and even live video in many cases.

All of these are vital today for homeowners, she says, and business owners can now look in on their operations with Cloud-based, mobile-friendly apps to remotely monitor or manage multiple activities.


SLIDESHOW: 5 Security Apps & Their Benefits


App Necessities

Not surprisingly, remote video viewing and control of light, temps, locks, video doorbells, video cameras and, of course, a security system, are driving the deepest demand right now.

Wes Nicol, chief revenue officer, Deako Smart Lighting, reports a growing demand for lighting control via mobile apps. “We’re seeing an explosion in the demand for smart technology,” he states. “If you look at studies such as the recent one done by Coldwell Banker, 81% of new home buyers said they’d be more likely to buy a home if smart home technology was installed. And if you drill down on that, smart lighting is consistently one of the top three that people are asking for, along with smart door locks and thermostats.”

smartphone security apps

Experts says end users want to be able to control all their security and automation devices through an app.

But not all apps are created equal and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. As Strickland points out, in terms of capabilities it’s hard for her to choose only a few because what hits the market may be right for one client but not right for another, so it’s important to give them options.

“Residential customers want an integrated custom solution to fit their lifestyle and needs, while commercial is more focused on video and some access,” she notes. Herranen adds, “I really can’t pick a favorite [app] out of our partners, but each offers unique features that are popular with our customers,” she says.

“Alarm.com is very innovative in offering Crash & Smash coverage and geofencing features. SecureNet offers dealers the ability to customize the branding of their solution, as well as superfast response to commands. Both offer installation features that help make installing systems much easier.”

Keeping Security at the Core

Judy Jones-Shand, vice president of marketing, NAPCO Security Technologies, notes that “The app is a core part of any security system today. There’s the connected home and the IoT arena, but even if people just want a security system, they want to have control of it by an app.”

She views it as a good thing, as it’s helped move the security industry in a direction that makes products more routinely interactive and essential, as opposed to something users just engage on a rainy day to prevent a burglary.

She points out that while that presents a tremendous growth potential to increase market penetration of security systems in general, anytime there’s increased consumer demand, there are more competitors coming into the arena as well. In this case, Jones-Shand says, they include cable companies and telcos, which represent some serious competition.

“Fortunately, people like to know who is in charge of their security and are not interested in dealing with huge companies when it comes to their security, so the security dealer is still the preferred choice of provider,” says Jones-Shand. “Our dealers have the inside edge of knowing what it takes to secure a home or business. They’re known in the community, but they have to expand their offerings to a more modern consumer. Change can be tough but the benefit outweighs the potential learning curve for dealers in how they market their products and offerings.”

Herranen concurs that systems that offer both security and home automation versus security only lead to longer relationships and happier customers. It may not be increasing their RMR, as much as it is delaying or eliminating attrition by customers, she believes, because they value the control and the notifications that these apps supply.

“Although many of these dealers do charge incrementally more for control over home automation, it’s the convenience of control that keeps the RMR flowing,” she says. “As apps develop, there are more and more features that dealers can offer and unlock from the standard app and they can charge more RMR for that added value.”

Read on to learn how to implement these apps and boost RMR…

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