Summertime is ripe for home automation

July 1, 2013
Dealers should focus on emphasizing the cost-saving benefits of having a 'smart home'

Statistics say crime in the U.S. rises each summer. So do energy bills for homeowners living through a recovering economy. It’s a double threat to their wallet and their peace of mind.

For security dealers, there’s no more appropriate time to emphasize the importance of a “smart home” – not just an alarm system.

The industry has changed more in the last two years than in the last 20 years combined. Interactive services – the ability for consumers to manage their system from anywhere on a computer, smartphone or tablet – add a new level of comfort. Traveling or working parents can know whether their child returned home at a certain time. They can watch live or recorded video of their home from virtually anywhere.

And, they can adjust home temperature and lights during the hot summer when electricity bills can swell to hundreds of dollars in one month. Door-to-door salespeople should now lead with “home automation,” not just “security.” After all, they’re equipped with a more comprehensive presentation in the field than ever before.

Some customers must be convinced that they need an alarm system in their neighborhood, but everyone wants to save money. Dealers can stress that a $50-60 monthly monitoring rate is a practical exchange for lower, “greener” energy bills, along with 24/7 monitored protection of their property. And, of course, there’s no price on knowing that their loved ones are safe.

Sales reps are pitching to a new type of customer who may enjoy the idea of having daily interaction with their system on a web-enabled device, just as they would with Facebook or Twitter. It’s a great opportunity for increased RMR, but it’s critical that the customer understands home automation at the time of sale.

Walking the homeowner through a triggered remote event that fits their lifestyle will prevent future dissatisfaction with their system – and it’s that extra touch of customer service that can net referrals.