Last week, we examined the growing trend of DIY home security and looked at the reasons why it is such a popular option with consumers. If you missed the article, you can read it here. To summarize, the cost and flexibility of DIY are a big part of what makes it appealing. It is a practical choice for lower-income families who tend to live in higher crime areas and the younger generation who embraces the home automation features that often work in conjunction with DIY home security.
Because of this, DIY is looked at as an alarm industry problem; one that is negatively affecting RMR and shows no signs of letting up. But it’s not infallible, and its weaknesses are the very things that monitored security systems count as strengths. Armed with the right knowledge, you can show your customers how to get the best of both worlds.
- The biggest benefit of a monitored system is just that: the monitoring. While getting a text about a security breach is helpful, it does nothing if you aren’t available to receive the text. People tend to think their phones are with them at all times, but the reality is, there are situations where a phone may be unavailable for extended periods, including business meetings, plane rides, social situations, and more. A monitored system fills the gap during those times.
- Monitored security systems give you leverage with emergency response. The unfortunate fact is years of false alarms have made police more selective about the alarm calls they answer. Quite often, an alarm must be verified in order to receive a response. Alarm companies can provide that verification, and their notifications are given higher priority.
- While most DIY products promote an easy installation, things can go wrong. There are guidelines and best practices which security professionals have been trained to employ when installing sensors, motion detectors, and other security devices. But these best practices aren’t always obvious, or even included, in DIY instructions. An improperly installed device can cause issues for the consumer by triggering an alarm when it shouldn’t, or worse, failing to activate when it should.
- When a professional security system encounters technical issues, there is a level of support immediately accessible, at little or no cost, to troubleshoot and fix the problem or replace defective equipment. This support is not available for DIY security, leaving the consumer to determine the cause of the malfunction and repair it themselves. Faulty equipment may not be warrantied, thus necessitating a costly replacement.
- Home automation is becoming an increasingly popular feature for homeowners; however, because it is mostly marketed and sold through retail channels, an alarm dealer isn’t always the first place consumers will think to look for it. But security-minded home automation products, such as automatic door locks, garage door controls, doorbell cameras, and even lighting control, can be a huge draw for prospective customers. Offering smart home features in addition to the benefits provided by professional, monitored security systems will often help customers see the value of your company over a DIY option.
DIY does not have to be a threat to traditional alarm companies; in fact, it’s a fantastic “gateway security system” for new consumers. Once they’ve tried one form of home security, they may be more inclined to see the value of professional, monitored security systems. DIY has opened the door to helping consumers see the link between security and a connected home. When security dealers recognize and integrate the smart home features which are becoming a mainstream part of security into their package, it becomes a more lucrative and long-term investment for consumers.