Loud Security acquires, gets new office, teams up with builders

New contracts signed with major builders won’t require expensive prewiring and will allow for wireless packages
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

KENNESAW, Ga.—In the past 30 days, Loud Security has closed on three local acquisitions, moved to a new corporate office almost three times the size of its old one, and signed new contracts with national homebuilders who expect to do nearly 3,000 closings during the next year.

John Loud, owner and president of the company, which is still based here, said signing contracts with the seven builders is particularly “exciting news” because only one of the builders is requiring Loud Security to do prewiring of the new homes they construct.

“We’re not prewiring,” he told Security Systems News. “We’re just having preclosing meetings, so we’re looking at doing wireless packages.”

That will save Loud Security—a Honeywell First Alert Professional dealer that serves Greater Atlanta and has nearly 6,000 customers—the upfront costs of prewiring homes where the owner may decide not to have a security system or sign up with another company, Loud said.

Also, he said, the builders “have committed to and are expecting over 2,700 closing in the next 12 months.” Loud Security will get first crack at selling the new owners on wireless packages that combine security and the latest in home automation.

“So the game changer is that I’m not prewiring that home, but guess who gets to have a meeting with that homeowner before they ever close?” Loud told SSN.

Loud has signed contracts with John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods; D.R. Horton; KB Home; Beazer Homes; Home; KM Homes; and Pulte Homes.

Loud said his company, now 17 years old, worked with as many as 50 builders before the economic recession. Now, he said, the home closings anticipated by these builders show the Atlanta home construction market “is about to take off. Our infrastructure is built to grow with these builders.”

He said the fact that the builder contracts and other new developments at Loud Security have come all at once has been a bit of a challenge for employees. “If my comptroller had a shotgun, I think I’d be dead,” he joked.

But Loud—who has been president of the Georgia Electronic Life Safety and Security Association (GELSSA) since January 2011 and said he recently agreed to serve another term starting in January 2013—said: “I’m having a ball. I’m excited because I can see down the road.”

He believes the changes will “significantly impact” the company’s current revenues of more than $3 million in a positive way.

“Certainly the builder part alone is going to drastically bump everything way up,” Loud said. “We haven’t done a projection yet, but my gut instinct is that’s going to add a few million in revenue from the gross aspect.”

The three new acquisitions brought in a total of 534 accounts, said Loud. He declined to discuss the RMR involved. The company also made two acquisitions in its backyard earlier this year.

Loud said two of the recent acquisitions also are in Loud Security’s footprint: Workman Security in Roswell, Ga., which had 190 mostly residential accounts; and L&B Commercial Security in Norcross, Ga., which had 217 primarily commercial accounts.

Loud Security also acquired AAC Security in Dalton, Ga., with 127 mainly residential accounts. “Dalton [about 40 miles north of Atlanta] is a little bit out of our normal footprint, but easily serviceable from our Kennesaw location,” Loud said.

He said all the owners of the companies just happened to have pressing personal and business reasons why they wanted to sell at this time. Although the companies are small, the acquisitions made sense for Loud Security, Loud said.

“It’s all just a little piece here and there,” he said. Loud Security’s business is about 70 percent residential and 30 percent commercial, and the addition of L&B Security helps it to continue to grow its commercial side, Loud said.

The company also recently hired nine new employees, three of them from the newly acquired companies, Loud said. He said Loud Security now has 41 employees.

All of its employees have moved into the company’s new 10,447-square-feet corporate office building that it purchased this year. It had outgrown its former 3,700-square-foot space about a mile away, a building that it also owns and now leases, Loud said.

Now, he said, not only does the company have plenty of room, but also “we’re right on a major four-lane road, so we’ve got tremendous street visibility.”