Residential Security Survey Zeroes In on Adjusting to COVID-19 Impacts

The Parks Associates report, commissioned by ESA, highlights facts and trends to help dealers make informed decisions in the current business climate.

DALLAS — Despite the potential for consumers to trim their household budgets where possible due to the COVID-19 crisis, residential security remains top of mind for many individuals, according to a new Parks Associates report commissioned by the Electronic Security Association (ESA).

The percentage of U.S. broadband households with professional security monitoring has remained stable since mid-2019. While new security and smart home installations have been challenged by the current climate, attrition rates remained steady through the second quarter of this year, according to Parks Associates.

Residential security’s status as an essential business has helped shore up its value during the pandemic. Yet while the full impact of COVID-19 on professional monitoring subscriptions is still to be determined, dealers will need to adjust their business strategies to account for the pandemic’s effects on the marketplace.

Given current challenges, including difficulty with in-home installations and social distancing, dealers should be working on retaining existing customers rather than gaining new customers, the report posits. The top reason subscribers cancel their subscription is high monthly fees. With disposable incomes diminishing, consumers will have to evaluate if they want to keep their contract after it is over due to costs.

This trend indicates a residential market ripe for DIY solutions at low costs, according to the report. Convenience and cost savings are drivers for these systems.

“This will be even more true during the economic turbulence of COVID-19. Dealers will need to evaluate their installation strategies — initiatives such as the do-it-with-me movement is innovative at dealing with the barrier in in-home installation for traditional pro-installers,” the report states.

Purchase intentions indicate the importance of interactive services, DIY and smart home devices. More than 3 in 4 (76%) of security system purchase intenders want interactive services, while 63% want a self-installed system.

Installing security contractors will need to evaluate their installation strategies moving forward. Though temporary for some dealers, this may further increase appeal of self-installation.

“By going through the process once with a professional, traditional pro-installer customers may find the confidence to install devices themselves in the future. Dealers will need to plan for the future after COVID-19 clears and evaluate how residential services will change in the long-term,” the report states.

The complete report, titled “Residential Security Market Trends: Competition, Attach Rates and COVID Impacts,” can be downloaded here.

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