On the surface, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security sure seems like something alarm dealers should fear, doesn’t it? The recent flood of DIY security systems to the market just makes the battle for RMR that much harder for your business. There are multitudes of devices available now which are affordable, easy to install, require no contract, and often, have no monthly fees. It’s not going away either… back in 2014, NextMarket was already forecasting DIY security would be a $1.5 billion market by 2020.
Who is purchasing DIY? Ironically, the very people who have been traditionally overlooked by the security industry are the ones who’ve always needed it most: renters and lower income consumers who live in higher crime rate areas. The DIY trend, along with the mainstream use of smartphones, has given this demographic the opportunity to finally have a form of security. While it is admittedly not the same as a professionally installed system, it is definitely an improvement over no security at all. So, in order to attract these potential customers, you must first understand the reasons why DIY is so appealing to them.
- Price is the often the number one reason a DIY security system is chosen. Most systems include the basic features necessary to build the system, for around $200. After the upfront cost, the consumer is free to use the system however they choose without the constraints of a contract or a monthly fee.
- Flexibility is a big asset. DIY systems are wireless, making them fairly easy to install, but also easy to remove. This is a great benefit to renters who don’t have the option to add security wiring to their residence, or simply don’t want to pay an installation expense for something they won’t be able to keep when they move.
- The simplicity is another benefit. Most DIY security systems require very little technical knowledge and can be a fairly simple project for resourceful consumers. Put up some door/window sensors, a couple of motion detectors, and a keypad, and you’re pretty much set.
- The smartphone connection which ties the whole system together is another appealing feature for consumers. When the security system is activated, the user receives a text or some other signal to alert them to the breach. Some DIY systems have surveillance camera options, which can be accessed through the phone to determine the validity of the alarm. The user can then contact the police and report the intrusion.
- Many DIY security systems have already integrated home automation into their features. Since the connected home trend is rapidly growing, this is an attractive bonus for young consumers. DIY systems often use a cell phone application to include smart home device control, giving consumers the ability to adjust thermostats, control lights, lock doors, and other actions. The smart home market is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade, and become even more integrated with security features.
On paper, it sounds pretty good, and it’s done a good job of making dealers uncomfortable. All those benefits for a manageable upfront cost and no monthly fee? How do you compete with that type of system? The answer lies in educating your customer about things they may not realize when considering DIY security, or believe it or not, embracing the technology and using it as leverage. Next week, we will take a closer look at the cons, and discuss how you can work with your customer to incorporate the best of both worlds.