Security industry weighs in on role of DIY

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

YARMOUTH, Maine—Interest in DIY security systems is on the rise with 52 percent of households that are highly likely to purchase a security system in the next 12 months planning to buy a system that is self-installed, according to new research from Parks Associates. With this month’s News Poll, we focus on DIY’s impact on security overall.

As one respondent so succinctly put it, “Self install is so easy, the services are vast and the pricing is cheap. Of course it will have an impact.”

Looking at how many offer, or plan on offering a DIY security system, responses were mixed, with 39 percent saying they have “no plans to offer it,” 34 percent saying they “are considering” offering it and another 27 percent saying “they already offer that option.”

“We used to install 30 a month,” said Mike Crouse, Total Security Inc. “Now we install 15 a month.”

Another respondent said: “The DIY market is not part of our offerings. We concentrate on people who want a more robust, professionally installed system that is properly maintained and functional.”

When asked if DIY raises awareness, or brings new customers to traditional dealers, almost half, or 45 percent, said, “Yes we get customers who say, ‘Do it for me,’ with 30 percent saying, “not sure,” and the remaining 25 percent saying, “no, we do not see this happening.”

“DIY advertising is raising the awareness of the technology advances in our industry,” noted one respondent. “Before the launch of the 2gig, our industry technology was static for nearly 30 years. The 2gig was the iPhone of our industry.”

DIY is introducing new customers to the security industry, “but many times leaving a bad taste in their mouths,” said one respondent. “Look at SimpliSafe's Facebook page reviews.”

Respondents agreed most on the threat that DIY with self-monitoring poses to professional monitoring, with 59 percent saying, “Yes, the lower pricing options are disrupting the market,” and 23 percent disagreeing, saying, “no, it is raising awareness,” and the remaining 18 percent saying, “only time will tell.”

“Customers see the cost of dealer installation as being too high,” said one respondent. “We are also seeing pressure on monitoring rates from those offered by DIY dealers.”

Another added: “DIY as presented by large players with big advertising budgets are re-setting consumer price expectations for monthly cost. There will be downward price pressure on dealers and monitoring and cell transport service providers. No contract offers are now common and expected.”