Secrets to Selling More Monitored Security Services
Experts from select wholesale monitoring providers assess the marketplace and lend direction on how security dealers can expand their RMR-generating portfolio.
Changes continue to define the security industry, and the last several years have been chockfull of them. Technological advances, like the transformation to all things IP and the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), are impacting every aspect of the industry. While savvy dealers and integrators are leveraging these advances to stay competitive, there is one thing they do not want to change and that’s a steady stream of recurring monthly revenue (RMR).
Installing security contractors can look optimistically to the future as customer demand is actually broadening and deepening monitored services opportunities and the RMR they facilitate. Case in point: Research firm Strategy Analytics reported in its latest Smart Home Strategies forecast that spending on smart home systems and services in the United States hit $18 billion in 2014 and will more than double to $39 billion by 2019.
Let’s hear from executives from select wholesale monitoring providers, known for their progressive offerings and effective marketing strategies, to assess the marketplace and the prospects to increase RMR-generating services. The end game is to create a stickier customer base with commercial and residential services that also builds measurable dealer company value.
Mobile Connectivity Is Driving New Services
Jim McMullen, president and COO of COPS Monitoring, emphasizes the popularity of smartphones and the burgeoning IoT movement have fueled an explosive demand for connectivity, convenience and control. Smart hardware for items like lighting, thermostat, locking and video cameras, as well as apps to manage these components, are the types of services customers want, he says. In fact, many of today’s modern security systems have proven to be a viable platform for a more comprehensive connected-home solution.
“Dealers who understand and embrace these new services can leverage the growing demand by integrating home automation and lifestyle services with security,” McMullen says. “In many cases, it equates to additional recurring revenue and a stickier customer.”
Working with a central station that can stay ahead of the technology curve and has the ability to quickly support the best emerging technology is important for dealers, McMullen explains, so they can provide the products and services their customers demand.
Rapid Response Monitoring Services (RRMS) reports they are seeing significant growth opportunities in three main areas. The first is in mobile deployment, which includes opportunities in mobile personal emergency response systems (mPERS), lone worker applications, and in mobile apps that are used to manage accounts, home security and automation and account testing.
“We’re also seeing an increase in the use of comfort apps,” says Morgan Hertel, vice president of operations for Rapid Response. “These apps are providing whole ecosystems to subscribers that enable them to not only control their alarms remotely but also manage home energy, irrigation, home entertainment and more. These systems are some-times bundled with alarm service and other times are standalone.”
The third area of opportunity Hertel points to for dealers is contending with the sunset of POTS and 2G networks. Many installing security contractors are successfully using this shift to sell new technology and services to legacy subscribers.
Ron Bowden, director of dealer services for United Central Control (UCC), echoes this fact. He notes that thousands of alarm customers out there need to update their older systems with the new interactive, home automation conversion of their older platform from 2G to a 3G or 4G system. UCC has been a strong proponent in supporting dealers through this transition.
“Towers are coming down and they can’t procrastinate on this,” Bowden says. “The PERS opportunity is also huge, so in addition to new people coming into market, dealers have a tremendous opportunity to remarket to existing customers to upgrade their systems, renew contracts and get additional revenue from new installations.”
Hertel agrees. The most notable mistake occurring currently amongst dealers and integrators is not addressing the elimination of POTS, 2G and related legacy technologies. “These will not be supported indefinitely,” he says. “If upgrade options are not presented at the time of sale or to current customers, the risk of losing them to the competition grows exponentially.”
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