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11.6.20- SSI

COVID-19 has dramatically increased the time consumers are spending at home. These changes are driving new investments in their property as they evaluate the performance and functionality of their smart home

Success in business often comes down to knowing the customer, and this is especially true during pivotal times when consumer needs and priorities are changing quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic — which has caused fundamental changes to the way the world lives and works — is a pivotal moment for the security industry.

The lives and the expectations of our customers are undergoing a sea-change, and so the life of the security professional is also changing. That statement is not meant to ring an alarm bell, but rather to alert the integrator to the fact that a change in consumer expectations can open a world of new opportunities.

Customers today want to extend their security systems to include their entire property, and they want cameras to identify strangers long before they even reach the front porch. They want algorithms to quickly tell the difference between a burglar and a raccoon, and they want sensors to more smartly detect which motion is of interest and what’s just a passing school bus.

Working from home, distance learning and sheltering in place have dramatically increased the time consumers are spending at home. These changes are driving new investments in their property as they evaluate the performance and functionality of their smart home security systems.

If you are an installer, now is the time to understand what is driving changes to consumer behavior. Those who understand it — and respond by offering the right technology solutions — can maximize recurring revenue and boost customer retention while reducing attrition.

At Alula, a leading developer of professional smart home security solutions, we partner with security pros who can provide consumers the sense of comfort and confidence they need. These security professionals tell us what customers are asking for as they extend their secure perimeters beyond the front porch and to the edge of the property line.

Video doorbell cameras have been a popular option in the past few years, as homeowners are well aware that most burglars actually knock before breaking into a home to test if anyone is there, and deliveries from online retailers often sit on front porches for hours inviting “porch pirates” before being brought inside.

But the pandemic has turned an already popular feature into a must-have. All the time spent at home has led consumers to want more visibility into what is going on around their properties, including in the front yard and the backyard. This means they want to add more cameras.

Contact sensors, another popular feature, are beginning to branch out from sliding glass doors and windows to other parts of the house, the porch and the yard. And when consumers extend their deployment of sensors, they want the kind that won’t raise an alarm over a small creature, but rather a dual beam to identify human-size threats.

With kids spending more time at home, many consumers want to secure the pool and other play areas with outdoor door and window sensors. Touchpads with views of all sensors and cameras help the homeowner keep an eye on what’s happening outside — and what the kids are up to — even when he or she might be stuck behind a desk, working from home.

Consumers are also keeping an eye on news reports about social unrest. That is why many are opting for a wireless outdoor siren that connects to their control panel. Home security sirens not only work as a deterrent for intruders, but they can save valuable, life-saving seconds for first responders.

The goal of the security pro in 2020 should be to offer early warning that a problem could develop in the future, so the customer has plenty of time to react. People want to use new technologies to get ahead of problems before they happen.

With the pandemic keeping millions of people in their homes, consumers have plenty of time to consider whether their smart home security systems are offering the same kind of advanced functionality and convenience that their smart watches and other technologies are.

Security installers should be answering that question in the affirmative.

Brad LaRock is vice president of marketing at Alula. Connect with Brad via LinkedIn here.