Consumers Choosing DIY Security Over Professional Monitoring

Mandee Thomas
Mar 18, 2019 10:57:31 AM

When it comes to residential security, a new study has found that consumers are twice as likely to purchase stand-alone smart locks, doorbells, and security cameras than have a monitored system professionally installed. While it’s no surprise that DIY security is seeing an uptick in popularity, the information found in this report can go a long way to helping dealers better understand what today’s homeowners are looking for in a security system.

The Residential Security Study

These findings come from a study conducted by research firm Parks Associates, “360 Deep Dive: Pricing Strategies for Residential Security.” According the the report, 16% of U.S. households said that they intended to buy a connected security product within the next 12 months, including video doorbells, smart cameras, and locks. Just 8% of those surveyed stated that they had plans to purchase a professionally monitored home security system.

Dina Abdelrazik, senior analyst from Parks Associates believes that DIY security products meet the expectations of buyers and simply do what they are looking for them to do.

“These smart products address the same core needs of consumers — to feel safe and secure in their home, having peace of mind that all is well and knowing they will be alerted of potential dangers,” says Abdelrazik. “Only 28% of security intenders plan to subscribe to long-term professional monitoring, illustrating competition from alternative business models and standalone security products that have entered the market.”

Pricing, Pricing, Pricing

The study also found that finances played a large role in customer’s decision-making process. Of those who reported interest in buying security products, 61% said that they "prefer to finance the hardware," instead of paying for the devices upfront. With the rate that technology is advancing at, it makes sense that consumers would be hesitant to invest a lot of money in a system that could potentially seem dated in just a matter of years.

“Price sensitivity is likely the major reason that intentions to buy additional control devices are unfulfilled,” Abdelrazik says. “The lack of interest in the smart home bundle also indicates that pricing is an obstacle. Therefore, dealers need to consider a strategy that offers the most desired products at the point-of-sale and then provides upgrade options over the life of the customer.”

Additional Findings

Another noteworthy find from this study, is that 67% of customers looking to purchase security in the next year wanted to make sure that they would have video verification abilities. This is a common feature in many smart security products, and one that offers a lot of peace of mind to property owners—especially when updates can be sent directly to a mobile device.

While it’s no surprise that smart security is on the rise—particularly in the residential space, it’s good for dealers to know just how important flexibility, pricing, and video verification capabilities are to potential customers. And maybe these stats can help dealers evaluate their offering: whether they include smart security in what they provide, or are looking to compete with the DIY market.

Selling Professional Monitoring

As a dealer, these findings are a good source of information about what residential customers are looking for in a security platform. And many of them may not know all the benefits that come with professional monitoring. When faced with the option “having subscription fees/contracts” vs “no subscription fees/contracts” on a survey, without very much context, it’s easy to see why more people would lean toward the latter.

And with the constant reports of smart camera breaches making headlines, the data privacy afforded to professional security systems is no small selling point either.

The important thing is to get the information in front of the consumer. Having a professionally installed/monitored security system in their home can provide them with many advantages and protections compared to a DIY system, but they need to know what those benefits are in order to understand why it is worth the investment.

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