SSN News Poll: New companies in DIY space to change the market

Most respondents say these entrants will benefit the industry through increased awareness
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—On Sept. 20, Nest announced a DIY-installed security system with monitoring from MONI Smart Security, on Oct. 2, Samsung announced a DIY system backed by ADT’s monitoring capabilities and Ring announced its Ring Protect DIY system. Security Systems News asked its readership for their thoughts on how these announcements could affect the industry.

“Each alarm company must be able to offer various levels of security to meet the growing demand and stay competitive, but what alarm companies should do is present themselves as the local, licensed and informed security company so the end user is not only satisfied financially but has a sense the alarm system is adequate to meet the changing advancements of electronics,” said Stephen R. Aquino, president of S.R. Aquino Electric & Alarm Co. based in Columbia, Md.

More than three-quarters of respondents—77 percent—said that these announcements mean a change for the DIY market. Thirteen percent of respondents said that DIY market won’t be significantly impacted, as these are simply additional players in the space. Lastly, 10 percent said they have other opinions.

When asked which announcement, among these three, stands to most impact the market, the Nest and MONI partnership received the most votes at 38 percent, followed by Samsung and ADT with 36 percent of responses and Ring with 26 percent of responses.

Most respondents—53 percent—said that these potential entrants can benefit the industry through increased awareness; a rising tide lifts all ships. “The DIY market adds new customers that would not be buyers of professionally installed systems. Increases awareness and will contribute to growth of the pro market,” said Neal Scott, Internet marketing consultant and owner of Neal Scott Marketing.

“I think more players creates more awareness & will eventually create more demand from established companies within the security industry,” said one reader.

“It will help bring attention to the market. When people get frustrated trying it themselves, they will turn to the professionals to help,” said another respondent.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said that this news won’t benefit the industry, that more market value is lost. “This will continue to deflate the residential and small commercial markets even more than the damage caused by the free or $99 systems sold by the nationwide vendors. The greatest impact will be felt by the existing manufacturers to innovate their products into the IoT by spending more on R&D or shift focus to large commercial or industrial applications,” one response read.

Ten percent of those filling out the poll reported having another opinion on the potential impact of these new market players.

There could be a couple of negative results from more DIY-installed security systems, according to one respondent. “There will be too many customers that lack the technical background to properly install the equipment. That will lead to two outcomes 1) a false sense of security when the customers think the system is operating correctly or 2) a loss of trust in the industry due to bad experiences.”

The potential for increased false alarms from DIY systems will increase penalties for the industry, wrote another reader. “I believe the ultimate outcome will be non-response from law enforcement and security systems will lose their deterrent effect and consumer confidence,” they said.

“The value of full service companies, that require maintaining a qualified and expensive sales force, installation techs and product and service support is being eroded by these companies,” said one respondent. “Expect monthly monitoring rates to fall, and consumers will play each of these offers against each other to get the best deal.”

Another reader said, “I think the DIY market will frustrate consumers as they will expect something that will not meet their expectations. … The benefit to the industry is that professional services will be needed to fix this mess!”