Video verification is an opportunity to differentiate your alarm company from your competitors and create additional recurring revenue. For my commercially oriented alarm company, for example, the number-one source of new RMR is video verification. If you want to gain additional RMR from the work you are already doing, then include video verification in your proposals and sales presentations every time.
How do you get started? Simple — get focused. Pick a specific market segment, with a specific assembly, and go to work. You can stand out in your market by including video verification.
Barriers to Widespread Adoption
One factor that has been presented as a major barrier to adopting video verification is that we could be creating two tiers of customers with this type of service. I do not think this is an effective argument because we all have many tiers of customers and service offerings. At my alarm company, we overcame this by presenting video verification as an enhancement or add-on to our existing and new clients.
Another barrier is that video verification has been hard to provide — it required expensive gear, lots of bandwidth, and the central stations did not easily integrate with the offerings. This is no longer true and the dealer has many opportunities to add video verification to the work they are already doing for their clients. Whether it is a dedicated video verification system, such as Videofied (easy to install and to add to existing installations) or adding video verification services to DVRs, NVRs or IP cameras, it is now simple to add, is bandwidth friendly and is cost-effective to provide.
I think the more complex barrier to adoption has been the mindset of our industry. As I have attended industry meetings over the years, you could almost see the imaginary pitchforks as people described their feelings on this topic in the past; however, I no longer experience this in my travels and I think that our industry is on the verge of a new era of alarm verification. I believe this will lead to more RMR for the dealer, faster alarm response, less property loss and safer clients.
How to Sell Video Verification
Whether you have been selling some version of video verification (mostly outdoors, right?) or just beginning, my strongest suggestion is to get focused bypicking a market or market segment. We have focused on small businesses and indoors with my alarm company, but we offer and add video verification to all of our proposals.
Once you have picked your market, the next step is to pick your assembly. This can be influenced by your current video and intrusion offering, or you can design the offering specifically for your chosen segment. Either way, you need to work out the assembly, customer pricing and creation cost. With large systems, we mark up the system design the way we traditionally have and add the monthly fee for video verification. With small systems, we have a three-camera package or assembly that we lose money on and it takes about 12 months to recover our direct costs.
I am seeing dealers across the country add between $35 to $50 per month on top of traditional alarm monitoring for commercial indoor video verification. We have focused on indoor installations because it is controllable and repeatable. If a salesperson wants to sell an outdoor system, they have to get our GM’s approval of the design before they submit it to the client. We are happy to go outdoors, we just need to ensure that the system is designed well and that we charge enough because you will get more activations outdoors than indoors. Indoor systems are very straightforward and our sales team designs and proposes them on their own.