Smart Homes: The New Paradigm – SecurityInfoWatch

When it comes to the smart home, all of the naysayers who once greeted it with contempt have faded into the background, as the technology gains more and more momentum among consumers, security vendors, and yes, even security dealers as well.

“This is a really exciting time for the security industry,” says Donald Gantt Jr., president of Integrated Electronic Technologies of Mobile, Ala. “Smart home technologies are finally gaining universal acceptance, and advancements in mobile technologies are creating solutions straight out of science fiction.”

The beauty and allure of the smart home market for us is of course the fact that it centers around security, as countless research reports and surveys have confirmed. Furthermore, the smart home market is still in its infancy; in fact, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted by NextMarket Insights on behalf of August Home and Xfinity Home, smart home market penetration as of April 2016 was less than 14 percent — that gives our industry a lot of potential new customers.

For the first time this year, a residential-focused security dealer sat atop the SD&I Fast50. That dealer — NorthStar Home of Utah — is certainly not focusing on traditional alarm installations. Of course, they are laser-focused on the connected home. Straight out of NorthStar’s marketing materials: “A smart home is a NorthStar home. It’s revolutionary technology that puts your home at your fingertips, making it more secure, convenient and comfortable. You’ll be surprised how affordable it can be.”

Our Fast50 also revealed a major spike in interest in smart homes, specifically among security dealers and integrators. Our 2015 market research revealed that just over 3 percent of surveyed companies viewed smart homes as a security trend that concerned them most. This year, that number leaped to nearly 25 percent. Our 2015 survey also revealed that only about 4 percent of security dealers and integrators were interested in adding home automation and lifestyle technologies to their offerings. This year that number surged to 27 percent. Even panic alarms and mobile PERS devices jumped from less than 2 percent to 10 percent.

Clearly, manufacturers are helping this trend push forward as well, thanks to new offerings. All of the top residential security providers — from ADT to Alarm.com, Honeywell, UTC, Resolution Products and beyond — now have a smart home platform that dealers can leverage among its customers.

 

Purchasing Motivations 

The first step to selling smart homes is understanding the smart home users and their motivations. While it is true that the Millennial generation are the leading adopters of the technology, there are still plenty of consumers who are interested.

According to the August Home/Xfinity Home survey, there are two dominating factors among consumers that lead to smart home product adoption. The first will obviously ring true with security dealers, as 46 percent said a break-in or related crime in their neighborhood would most likely inspire them to purchase a smart home product — further cementing the importance of security when it comes to smart home purchasing decisions. The second factor reveals an interesting sales opportunity, and 26 percent said moving into a new home would prompt the purchasing decision.

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