Garage door gives dealer entrée into home security

A LiftMaster dealer creates security division based on the ability to integrate garage doors into the connected home
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Va.—Alarm Pro America entered the home security market through the garage door—with help from LiftMaster and Alarm.com, according to Dylan McGreevy, VP of sales and operations for the full service security company, based here.

Alarm Pro America was created a few years ago as the security division of Door Pro America, a garage door services company that’s one of LiftMaster’s largest dealers. Door Pro saw an opportunity to expand into home security after new automation technology allowed the integration of garage doors into the connected home.

And Jay Kenny, VP of marketing at Alarm.com, a Vienna, Va.-based provider of connected home services, told Security Systems News that the opportunity to integrate garage doors with home security has been dramatically expanded for dealers since Alarm.com and LiftMaster announced the integration of the MyQ Universal Garage Door Controller at the ISC West show in April.

“With the addition of the MyQ Garage controller, Alarm.com’s technology platform now connects with all major garage door opener brands [manufactured after 1993],” the company said.

As McGreevy explained, “The new universal [controller] doesn’t restrict homeowners just to LiftMaster. It allows security companies out there to offer it to every homeowner out there, regardless of their opener.”

He said the fact that the new universal controller works with most garage door brands “opens up even more of an opportunity for us and other security dealers out there to mention to our homeowners, ‘Hey, since we’re already in your home, we’re giving you the capability to know your front door is open, how about the door you actually use the most [the garage door]? You don’t need to change anything; we can put in a MyQ Universal Technology and operate your garage door.”

The garage door actually is the main entrance in 70 percent of homes, according to Alarm.com. That number comes from research done by the company, according to Matthew Zartman, Alarm.com’s director of communications.

Or, as McGreevy put it, “I don’t even know where my home key is; I rely on my garage door so much.”

Recognizing that the garage door is a key entry point for many homeowners, other products, such as Honeywell’s LYNX Touch 5100 and ADT Pulse, also offer garage door automation and control services.

Kenny told SSN: “We think garage doors and door locks, this concept of access control, is a really, really natural extension of security in the home.”

That “natural extension” led to Door Pro creating its Alarm Pro home security division.

McGreevy said that Door Pro, which was founded 40 years ago, decided to create its security division after LiftMaster, a manufacturer of garage door openers and other access control products, developed its patented MyQ Technology, which allows homeowners to open and close garage doors using smartphones and Internet-enabled devices. Then LiftMaster entered into an exclusive partnership with Alarm.com, the provider of connected home services.

McGreevy said Alarm Pro has 35 employees and operates in the 10 major markets coast to coast in which Door Pro does business. It does some cross selling, he said. “I have salesmen on the garage door side that are able to cross over to this product,” he said.

The integration of Alarm.com’s interactive features and LiftMaster’s technology allows homeowners to control their garage doors from anywhere and do such things as automatically close the garage door when arming the security system and receive instant notifications on a mobile device if the garage door is open too long or if they forgot to close it when leaving home, Alarm.com said.

Kenny said, “I would call it really a gateway product into a more connected home experience.” He said it “enables the dealers to really expand their offering so they can increase their RMR.”

And Zartman said having the garage door integrated into home security/home automation also reduces attrition by fostering customer stickiness. “We’ve done research into attrition and the data really bears it out: … The more items that you have connected in a customer’s home, the less likely they are to attrit.”

Zartman said the reason is “all about user engagement. If you give them something they’re going to use a lot, they’re not going to forget about it, they’re going to keep using it, they’re going to get value from it and they’re going to pay for it.”