Honeywell First Alert enhances opportunities for NC dealer

Sonitrol Security Services says becoming an FAP dealer gives it an edge in high-end resi
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Sonitrol Security Services recently became a Honeywell First Alert Professional (FAP) dealer, a move that will help the company “take it to the next level” in the high-end residential market, said Sonitrol Security CEO and President William Price.

“For years, we’ve never really had a product that could get us in the residential or the low-end retail market and the Honeywell product line allows us to do that, not only with the LYNX product but also with their Vista product,” Price told Security Systems News.

Sonitrol Security, with an office here and in Greer, S.C. is celebrating its 40th year in business this year. It’s a Sonitrol dealer and that hasn’t changed since it became an FAP dealer, Price said.

“We’re still a Sonitrol dealer and we still lead with Sonitrol in certain markets [high-end retail and commercial and industrial] but this allows us to open up in the markets [high-end residential and low-end retail] we’ve not had before,” he said.

Sonitrol Security is a company with about 50 employees, its own monitoring station and about 5,000 customers throughout North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. It also has some monitoring customers in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Buffalo, N.Y., Price said.

Its services had always included residential security but previously, “we had to sort of force fit the Sonitrol product [for] that high- end residential customer,” he explained.

He continued, “Before, we never really had a good answer and now we’ve got an answer [with the Honeywell product line] and not only do we have an answer, but we have a product and a service that we think is actually better than anything else out there in the marketplace.”

Why does Sonitrol Security target high-end homes?

“I think there’s less competition in high-end residential, believe it or not,” Price said. “Everybody is selling the $99 alarm systems but the guy that’s got a 3,000-, 4,000 or 5,000-sqare-foot house, that customer is smart enough to know that $99 isn’t going to cover his house. He’s probably doing it more for life safety than asset protection and if you’re in it for life safety you’re more into customizing security systems.”

And that’s the kind of security Sonitrol Security offers, he said.

“We were tired of seeing the residential marketplace, particularly in our major markets, getting destroyed by these very unprofessional selling and service organizations that are really into unit sales and not into protecting their customers. Our typical sales call takes two to three hours. And we don’t hard sell. We don't push them, there’s no arm twisting; we go in as consultants,” Price said.

Price said that after several meetings with Honeywell, “both of our visions really lined up with each other and it was the easiest partnership we’ve ever gotten ourselves into.”

He said other benefits of the FAP program include lots of training and literature and “being able to call up other First Alert dealers that are non-competing” for information.

He praised Honeywell’s commitment to the program. “Not only did they just say they’re going to support you, they have supported us and they’ve gone out of their way to make sure the communications lines are kept open and they approach us rather than us having to approach them. It’s quite refreshing.”

Honeywell said its FAP program “provides support in sales techniques and marketing strategies [for] dealers offering both commercial and residential systems. … It is the largest independent security dealer network in North America, with more than 500 participating security contractors.”