News Poll: Security and smart home spaces see a range of customers

Most respondents indicate cameras and video doorbells as the hottest smart home device
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—The smart home is a strong force in the industry, leading Security Systems News to ask its readers how the technology fits into customers’ priorities. Responses were pretty evenly split between whether customers prioritize security, the smart home, or a mix of both.

“While we will always be a security and life safety company at our core, we have adapted the way we go to market for residential and small business clients,” Nick McAmis, president of Sentry Security Solutions, wrote in. “Our promotional offers in these verticals have gravitated to video and business intelligence offerings, which has resulted in more referrals and a longer term client.”

At 35 percent, the largest share of respondents said that they see a variety of customers. “It's not an either-or question—consumers want a security system they can control with their smart phone, and they like to add automation devices like locks and video as well,” one respondent said, referring to the question of consumers’ priorities.

Thirty-two percent of poll respondents said their customers want security first, and see smart home functionality as a bonus. For at least one reader, it depends on location. “We are based in a farming community. Most are after security. Interactive services have been a hard sell,” the respondent said.

An additional 32 percent said that consumers like having a smart home, and get security bundled in. One reader said that smart phone apps are now more important to consumers than security.

“In our high-end markets, we partner with one of the largest custom integrators in the nation,” Peter Goldring, executive VP and COO for ADR Security, wrote in. “For lower markets, we install the security system, then demo our app. When a new buyer sees the features of Z-Wave, lights, door locks, garage doors, thermostats, after the fact, it's a much easier sale. The app, coupled with these features definitely makes the customer relationship much stickier.”

A sizable majority of respondents—74 percent—said that the biggest smart home feature is cameras and video doorbells. “There is a lot of interest in cameras for homes and they have real value for things like alarm verification, but cost is still a major obstacle. Cameras and recorders have become more affordable, but labor is still expensive and installation in old construction slow and difficult,” Goldring said.

Eighteen percent pointed to automation and artificial intelligence as the biggest technology in the home, and 9 percent said it was voice integration.

Respondents were also reasonably divided on the primary benefits to offering smart home products. Forty-four percent said that offering smart home products now helps their company stay current. Twenty-nine percent said smart home offerings bring in new customers. Twenty-six percent said customers with home automation incorporated are more loyal.

The above figures may not add up to 100 percent as a result of rounding.