DIY security products have become a challenge for physical security systems integrators who focus on residential projects.
DIY security products that come under the umbrella term of smart home solutions have become popular among consumers worldwide. This has become a challenge for physical security systems integrators who focus on residential projects.
COVID-19 amplified this challenge. While more people were at home after the pandemic struck, health care guidelines limited any professional work. Does this mean that systems integration for residential security is no longer a viable business?
Asmag.com recently spoke to Blake Kozak, Senior Principal Analyst for Smart Home at Omdia, to understand how security systems integrators (SI) can overcome this challenge.
Focus on professional solutions alone
This is the most obvious solution to the problem – focus on security systems that require the assistance of a professional. Although many devices available in the market are easy to install for customers, things get difficult in large residences and when the risks are high.
“Security systems integrators could mitigate the expansion of DIY by focusing on the solutions that require a professional,” Kozak said. “Solutions from the likes of Schneider’s Wiser offering Trane, Honeywell/Resideo or Flo by Moen are focused on pro-channels and often aren’t available directly to consumers. Plus, these solutions are on track to provide more insights to consumers.
“Like with Nest Renew, the smart thermostat from Google Nest is finally doing more than integrating with the time of use (TOU) with utilities or monitoring for occupancy. Moreover, these solutions, like from 2GIG and Resideo, are offering products that are designed to be placed front and center in the home through their panels that use facial recognition to portable keypads.”
This is a straightforward strategy because there will always be customers who want professional devices or who are not interested in going through the hassles of DIY.
Don’t just offer security - offer peace of mind
The DIY market is highly fragmented, and consumers must be more engaged with their home to keep it running smoothly. With a professional solution, there is peace of mind for the consumer that it will work, and if it doesn’t, someone will take care of it.
“With DIY, some brands are starting to charge for advanced customer support, like Arlo requiring a monthly subscription for telephone support,” Kozak said. “Professionals should point out how fragmented the smart home market is for DIY solutions and the effort required to keep things running. Matter could have a positive impact on this DIY challenge, but tangible results likely won’t be seen until 2023.”
Sell DIY solutions too
Professionals could also look to start selling more DIY solutions. Countless brands now offer smart home solutions with professional alarm monitoring.
“While Nest, Ring, and Arlo have their professional solutions, others should be on the radar as well, like Abode or even Ecobee, which now offers professional alarm monitoring for its sensors and cameras,” Kozak added. “In other cases, Ring is offering video monitoring services, on par with what consumers could get from traditional services. Although there hasn’t been much to show for it so far, the ADT and Google partnership is still presumably moving forward, meaning a very traditional brand is partnering closely with a DIY/IoT brand.”
Integrators needn’t dismiss DIY entirely and instead should focus on offerings that require professional support or should find DIY brands to partner with. This would allow them to remain a part of the customer journey from the moment they decide to adopt security solutions. While providing them DIY solutions, you can give them a glimpse of what professional solutions offer, helping them understand the benefits better.
There are several ways through which security systems integrators can overcome the challenge of DIY solutions. The potential of the home automation sector cannot be denied but navigating through the countless devices in the market is tough. Of course, there will always be customers who want professional service. But an ideal way to go forward maybe a mix of offering DIY and professional service to offer complete peace of mind.