On the Move
Mobile apps for the dealer and the customer
- By Rob Phillips
- Jun 01, 2013
The story of British 17-year-old Nick
D’Aloisio offers an entirely new spin on
the word, “security.”
Barely old enough to take a driving
test in the United Kingdom, D’Aloisio is financially
secure for life after selling his iPhone application,
“Summly,” which gives readers shortened summaries
of online content. He sold the app to Yahoo in
March for $30 million. That’s quite a few pounds.
“The Justin Bieber of iPhone app development”—
as Gawker.com labels him—D’Aloisio’s
astounding teenage entrepreneurship reflects the
world’s app revolution. According to a study by
Flurry, American consumers spend 80 percent of
their daily smartphone time using apps over mobile
Web (on average, 2 hours 7 minutes vs. 31 minutes).
Apps are more prevalent than ever. The best
ones are clean, fast and easily navigable for all ages,
not just the world’s youngest millionaires.
In the security industry, companies can pitch
and suggest various apps to customers to keep
their homes safer and greener. Others can be used
by dealers themselves for better business. Here are
a few examples.
For the Dealer: eContract
Brian Fabiano, chief operating officer at Rhode Island-
based Alliance, says his company was spending
more than $4,000 per week in shipping charges
sending paper contracts to multiple locations. That
money is now saved through the use of eContract,
Monitronics International’s Web-based app for
iPad or Android tablets that enables sales reps to
complete an electronic version of each contract in
the customer’s home.
Designed to eliminate the hard-copy paperwork
traditionally filled out for a new customer
contract, eContract is now widely available for
dealers after its successful pilot phase. eContract
walks a salesperson through the required steps to
fill out all paperwork. Once the customer has confirmed
the information and acknowledged an understanding
of it, the salesperson simply hits submit.
A PDF copy is sent instantly to the company
and the customer.
Dealers can use an electronic contract app to
promote a “go green” initiative throughout their
company, while simultaneously reallocating their
shipping funds. A lot of iPads can be bought for
$4,000 a month.
Curtis Kindred, owner and president of Texasbased
American Defense Systems, immediately
noticed savings in time and money with eContract.
“It’s been working great,” Kindred said. “Our
sales reps find it a lot easier. They don’t have to carry
around as much paper. We don’t lose as many contracts,
and it helps us save money on not having to
purchase as many contracts.
“We have some remote markets, so it helps out
quite a bit with getting contracts back faster, getting
funding back faster, not having to spend as much
on FedEx charges getting contracts back and forth.
It looks a lot more professional.
“(The customers) like it. Who really keeps
papers anymore? If they get a phone contract or
something, it’s usually in e-mail now. From a consumer
standpoint, it’s much easier to find paperwork
and things within an e-mail rather than have
to go file it, organize it and then go dig for it whenever
it’s time to change it or go through it.”
Reps also can integrate electronic credit-card processing
apps, such as Square and PayPal Here as a
logical partner for electronic contracts.
This technology features a card-swiping device
that plugs into the smartphone and syncs with the
app for immediate transactions. Processing fees
Alarm.com’s updated mobile Website for installing
dealers now includes a native mobile app for
iPhone and Android.
MobileTech gives dealers immediate online
access to system information and troubleshooting
support. It is designed to save time and reduce
the need for call support, creating a more efficient
process for the technician and the customer.
MobileTech’s second phase—released in March 2013—offers support for emPower
The purpose of LOCATE is all in its
name. Door knockers can pound the
pavement with a purpose.
Just as technology is smartening
up security systems with interactive
and automated capabilities, Monitronics’
exclusive app tells dealers
plenty about prospective customers
before meeting them. Now available
for free download in the App Store,
it helps sales reps efficiently target the
most eligible prospects.
Web and iOS versions of LOCATE
sync together so managers can assign
geographical areas to agents with a
simple click-and-drag motion. Agents
on the road pull up the homeowner
information for their assigned area,
address potential customers by name
with instant rapport, track their progress
and record results of each potential
customer interaction—all using
an iPhone or iPad.
Information recorded and saved by
a salesperson can be accessed by their
manager and corporate office to track
progress and record for historical use.
The software’s digital tracker lets a
sales team make notes on each home
and share information instantly with
the entire organization. Follow-up appointments
can also be scheduled and
synched on their calendar.
“LOCATE has gained positive
feedback from select Monitronics
dealers during its pilot phase,” said
Bruce Mungiguerra, vice president
of operations at Monitronics. “As
home automation and interactive
services make home security easier
for our customers, we’re excited
about the online convenience and
efficiency LOCATE provides our
dealers as they go to market.”
For the Customer:
When balancing family and a hectic
work/travel schedule, many customers
can easily forget about setting
and maintaining their alarm system.
They should know that home security
is now advanced enough to feature
remote management from their
This app-based offer is a winwin
for dealers. It’s a major upsell
opportunity, particularly if HD
video cameras and image sensors
are added to the customer’s security
package. Plus, any type of interactivity—
from remote simple arm/
disarm to complete home automation
of lights, locks and windows—
keeps a customer more “sticky”
with their system use. It reinforces
their daily need for home security.
A helpful suggestion from dealer
to customer is the importance of
crime education in their neighborhood.
Apps such as Crimemapping
provide geographical crime data, including
crime type and history in a
This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of Security Today.
Rob Phillips is a communications specialist at Monitronics.