Succeeding in the Houses of Worship Market

Remote Protection Systems, a commercial systems integrator serving the metro Atlanta area, has carved out a successful niche in the houses of worship market. Starting out about five years ago helping a small church with a simple DVR installation, Remote has since grown its client list to about 25 large churches with congregations ranging from 2,000 to 15,000 members.

“We have found there are quite a few houses of worship that don’t have any security today and they are often the victims of crime. They need help,” says Remote Protection Systems President Scott Hightower.  “Typically they all need security systems; most of them want some sort of video surveillance and a majority of them want some type of access control to secure certain areas of the church. Most, if not all, require fire alarm systems.”

Eschewing hard sales tactics, Hightower instead pursues a consultative approach and customer service excellence that has resulted in netting several projects through direct referrals. The emphasis is on building a trusted, long-term customer relationship. “We spend a lot of time trying to educate and assist. We make ourselves available to answer a lot of questions and guide them along,” Hightower says.

About two years ago, Remote partnered with Honeywell to host a free seminar with about 50 attendees from houses of worship in the area.  Presentations were given to discuss various security systems and services tailored for the market. The event proved fruitful, helping the firm sign up several new customers. Remote continues to host occasional sessions as a result to market its services. It has also built up a sizeable mailing list, which it uses for sending educational newsletters and E-mail blasts on such topics as how to combat copper theft.

Installing security contractors considering the market niche will need to be prepared to deal with some of the hurdles common to the client type. For instance, some cash-strapped houses of worship may only seek the lowest bid. Others are oftentimes run by committees and there is no clear decision-maker to deal with directly. “We’ve had projects where we’ve had to go in the evenings and present to a committee of 25 people. They deliberate over two or three weeks and finally come back with a decision. It’s not like your typical sale,” Hightower says.

Still, the market is ripe for projects that offer one-time installation revenue, as well as recurring revenues for monitoring and other services. “We find the houses of worship really like to have service agreements. It makes it easy for them. They can budget the amount every month,” Hightower says. “A lot of businesses are Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, but churches are there Saturdays and Sundays too. You have to be ready to provide that support. We can build a service agreement with them and say we’ll be available by phone or send a technician on a weekend.”



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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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