Smart Business

Smart Business

More than half the population is excited for home technology

I want a smart home, but where do I start? As a security dealer, you might be starting to find this question popping up in multiple customer conversations. As more people learn about smart homes, those in the industry will get this question more often.

According to Icontrol Networks’ 2015 State of the Smart Home Report, over half of the population is excited about smart home technology, with millennials (79 percent) and parents (76 percent) leading the pack. Similarly, half of respondents said they plan to purchase at least one smart home product in the next year.

So, where do security dealers fit in? Security is still number one in driving mass-market adoption, with nine out of 10 consumers noting security remains one of the top reasons to purchase and use a smart home system.

What you’ll find most exciting is nearly seven out of ten (69 percent) said they would be hesitant to purchase a smart home system that didn’t include security and 35 percent said they absolutely wouldn’t consider it. One respondent in the survey said it best in an open-ended response saying: “security is what makes a smart home a smart home,” and we couldn’t agree more.

What’s more is that a security company ranked number one (21 percent) in consumer preferences for purchasing a smart home device. The opportunity is right in front of you, so take it and position yourself as an early adopter of smart home security and automation. With 52 percent of respondents saying they would like someone to do all of the installation and setup for them, the opportunities are endless and security dealers are well positioned to benefit from this phenomenon.

Dealers have the opportunity be the focus point of their customer’s home. Homeowners will start to connect more than just security to their system, making them more inclined to remain a loyal customer. A smart home enables home owners to connect their lighting, appliances, security and heat, among other things, and control them from a device, or multiple devices. Home automation can encompass a variety of features, depending on the homeowner’s needs and preferences.

The smart home continues to evolve, but is on the path to make consumers’ lives easier so that they can focus on other things, like enjoying time with family and friends or focusing on their professional life. For example, you can set your heating system to change to a certain temperature daily, like when everyone leaves your home to save on energy costs, and can automate your lights to make it look like someone is home while your family is away.

Having a smart home will not only benefit the customer, but also you as a security dealer. According to a recent survey by Parks Associates, 70 percent of security dealers currently install or plan to install interactive smart home devices or systems. The survey also found that nearly 40 percent of installs from 2015 had both system interactivity and enhanced smart home features, an increase from 31 percent in 2014. Additionally, dealers can increase monthly revenues by an average of $14 per subscriber, per month, by adding interactive services.

A great example of this is ADT, who recently reported that 21 percent of its customer base now has some Pulse feature.

When it comes to traditional home security, people want all the bells and whistles. And by offering interactive/HD video that can be monitored from a phone, laptop, or tablet, it can only be seen as a valueadd to customers. The smart home enables you to offer your customers a feeling of ease and relaxation, knowing that they can see their home from anywhere, anytime.

Peace of mind is not the only thing that home automation offers. According to Icontrol’s report, 70 percent said they are excited about the potential cost savings from energy efficiency and monitoring. The potential savings can offset the additional cost to the consumer, and over time, it would ultimately pay for their initial investment.

Service providers and home security companies remove the hard part of creating a smart home for consumers by taking the tinkering— setup, maintenance, updates— out of play entirely. Consumers are willing to pay monthly service fees for professional technicians to install systems and keep them in check, and the price feels small given the added ease.

In 2015, the hype of making your home smart started to appeal to consumers, but we didn’t see a lot of integration into the actual home until early 2016. Markets and Markets reported that the smart home market is expected to be worth $58.68 billion by 2020, so clearly smart home security is a smart business strategy.

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Security Today.

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