Selecting the best security dealer program is an important decision for your alarm business. It’s a decision that will last for at least 3 years and could make or break your entire operation. Here are some things to consider.
Security Dealer Program Comparison Chart
What state or states do you plan to sell in? It’s not common for a security dealer program to have a true, national footprint; in fact only two do: ADT and Moni. Three others, SAFE, Dynamark, and Alarm Capital Alliance, accept alarm dealers nationwide but have minimal presence in many areas. This means that the dealer will have to service accounts indefinitely. The alarm dealer program may also be more selective about who they bring on and where they buy accounts since they will have to find an alternate service provider if the dealer can’t or won’t take care of the call.
You can pick just about any security dealer program if you are in a large market in Texas or Florida. If you want to operate in other markets your choices could be limited. See the map below for the coverage areas of the 3 regional programs.
What other alarm companies have a strong presence in your market area? Differentiating yourself is important and that will be tough if your chosen security dealer program has saturated the market. ADT has a couple of massive dealers that really saturate the market with flyers and mailers. If you choose ADT you will be competing with their other large dealers and offers you can’t match.
Some companies require minimum production to join their alarm dealer program. If you can produce more than 10-15 accounts each month you will have your choice of programs. Under that and a few programs, like ADT, Dynamark, Guardian, and Vector will be less likely to approve you.
Managing the backend of the business always takes more time and effort than new alarm dealers expect . A security dealer program expects dealers to handle this without any additional training. As a result few offer initial training to help new dealers learn to run an alarm company. They all provide some kind of account manger, sales training, and marketing materials meant to enhance your efforts, but they are not designed to help you start from scratch. If you need more help initially, ADT and Moni offer the best initial and comprehensive training program.
Control and Branding
How much control do you want? ADT has set price points that you can charge customers and very specific equipment requirements. Generally a security dealer program offers a lot of flexibility on equipment and price points.
Do you want to brand yourself with your own yard signs and window stickers? You have very limited options if that is important to you. Monitronics, Dynamark, and Alarm Capital Alliance are the only alarm dealer programs that will allow you to brand your own company. You can also get this benefit by using a funding company. If you need your own yard signs, J.C. Gury is a well established and reputable sign manufacturer for the security industry.
How you Plan to Sell
If you cover a small, well populated area around your office you can select from any security dealer program. If you want to cover an entire state or sparsely populated area you will need to select a larger alarm dealer program that has an established service technician presence. These programs must provide service or lose the customer, so they only purchase accounts they can service long term.
Technology, Ease of Use
When it comes to getting accounts on board, the process and technology make a big difference. For small companies this may not be a big deal since the owner does everything anyway. But if you plan to do large volume or hire a sales team, the extra time and work can be a deal breaker. I know of several companies that chose a security dealer program and quickly regretted it because of how difficult it was to onboard accounts.
Moni and SAFE are the leaders when it comes to ease of getting accounts on board. Their automated processes and apps make on boarding very smooth. Moni also has a reputation of a program that will go out of their way to buy accounts. Others like CSG can be very picky and have been known to decline accounts. Some alarm dealer programs, like CSG and Safe Home, are improving but have struggled to truly implement an automated system.