Home Surveillance

Oct. 9, 2014
Adding video monitoring to residential security is a win-win for dealers and homeowners

Video monitoring has long been a staple of the commercial security solution, and today it is also one of the fastest-growing add-on services to a core residential security package. Video has always been a natural addition to home security and a great fit for dealers, and new technology is making it more valuable and affordable than ever — driving mainstream adoption in the home. From the dealer’s perspective, video is becoming easier to install, support and manage, enabling you to deliver a great customer experience.

Market research firm Parks Associates forecasts continued expansion in video surveillance in the residential space over the coming years. This is being driven by increased consumer interest and demand for the connected home, as well as by new technologies like mobile devices and cloud services.

Tightly integrating video into the connected home enables unique features that can give security dealers a strong advantage in this rapidly evolving space. Understanding how video and security work together, as well as the market dynamics and consumer expectations for video solutions will help you capitalize on this growing opportunity and build your business through increased RMR and lower account attrition.

Evolving Features and Capabilities

In the past, video has been an expensive option for most residential applications; however, today’s wireless cameras, cloud technology and mobile apps enable cost-effective Video as a Service. It is widely accessible to consumers and easier to install than older security systems. With new features and capabilities along with anywhere access through mobile apps, the service is also more relevant and useful to a wider set of consumers.

The features and capabilities of residential video monitoring have also dramatically changed. The old process of sifting through an endless stream of recordings to find an important clip, along with the limited access to video feeds on a DVR at home, are gone. Today, users can check in on their property with live, streaming HD video and receive alerts with video clips of activity around their home, from anywhere.

Leading connected home solutions integrate video with the security system to enable unique features that address today’s full range of residential applications. The security sensors and persistent monitoring enhance the video experience. Recordings can be triggered not only when the alarm goes off, but also when a specific door opens or a particular person disarms the security system. Real-time alerts notify the homeowner about the activity that matters most to them and allows them to view the associated video clips instantly from their smart phone. This highly personalized user experience keeps the homeowner informed about important activity without being bothered by every innocuous or routine event around their property.

We have also seen a dramatic change in the way consumers use video monitoring solutions in their homes. Thanks to the amount of video available online and the ease of creating them on our smartphones, video has become a part of a consumer’s everyday experience, and this has created new expectations. Consumers now view video as a lifestyle product rather than just a security enhancement. They want the ability to check in on family pets, make sure their kids are doing homework when they get home from school or just look in to see what’s going on.

Adding it to Your Offering

With the right technology partner, security dealers can offer a flexible suite of fully integrated connected home solutions. Adding video monitoring is seamless for both the installer and the customer — wireless cameras connect through the home’s broadband connection to a cloud service, which enables secure storage and any-time access, as well as all the advanced connected home features like clip recordings and instant alerting. The cloud gives customers access to their video solution through the same app they use for their security system, making it possible to use all the other connected devices to intelligently trigger video recordings.

In addition to enabling unique features, an integrated connected home solution also protects a dealers’ core service of professional monitoring. This is particularly important when adding a video solution, because many new offerings question the value of “traditional” security services and market themselves as alternatives to monitored security. Instead of introducing a standalone video product that may end up competing for your customer, a connected home solution that’s built on a platform designed around security lets you add enhancements that actually protect your core business. At the same time, adding integrated services makes the entire solution stickier and generates more RMR.

Video can also dramatically increase user engagement with their system. This is a key factor for lowering attrition. The more value and daily use your customer gets from the service you provide, the more likely they are to keep it. Helping your customer always stay connected to their home with video is deeply engaging and highly valued.

Video can also be a useful tool to drive false alarm reduction and improve overall customer satisfaction. A customer can see instantly into their home from anywhere to confirm an actual or false alarm event. New visual verification services for central stations also allow monitoring professionals to instantly view video from the home so they can streamline their response. With some municipalities now charging homeowners for responding to false alarms, these new capabilities are an important new way to address an industry problem.

Jay Kenny is Vice President of Marketing for Alarm.com. To request more info about the company, please visit www.securityinfowatch.com/10216128.