Since arriving on the scene several years ago, DIY security systems have caused a certain amount of consternation in the alarm installation industry. How would this new wave of small, battery powered DIY devices be received by the market? What sort of challenges would it create for the installation side of the industry?
Some predicted a serious contraction and long-term woes ahead for alarm installation services, certain that they would be able to compete with the DIY side of the market. This hasn’t exactly come to pass: In fact, here we are in 2020 and the installation business is still going strong. So, what exactly has happened with DIY security and installation? Here’s where it stands.
The Installation Home Security Market is Still Going Strong
Security and smart home system installers have a lot to look forward to. Reports from AG Monitoring, for example, have the industry set to grow to $74.75 billion, with a CAGR of 8.7% through at least 2020. Globally, the entire burglar alarm market is expected to show a CAGR of 5.8% through 2023.
There are several reasons for that growth, and we’ll touch on some of the most important below. But it’s important to note here that the installation business often does well as new housing starts do well. Housing developments have proven to be a strong mover for encouraging growth in the security installation market – although retrofits also have their place, of course.
We’ll also point out that installation companies tend to have several reliable sources for ongoing income, usually in the form of contracts and monthly fee plans for specific alarm services, which helps the industry continue to develop even during periodic ups and downs. Third party monitoring is rarer among the DIY market, and the benefits less obvious, so this remains a successful tactic for installation businesses.
The Consumer Security Market Continues to Grow
The DIY home security market has also done well for itself, although it remains a smaller market that professional installation survives. Reports show that it’s expected to reach $42.4 billion by 2025, with a slow but steady growth rate to that point.
This indicates that the two sides of the market have co-existed surprisingly well. Buyers have shown the ability to know the difference between wanting to add a security device to their home automation plans, and when they need a larger security system where professional installation may be a better idea.
Finally, M&A activity and DIY division growth have also helped the market here. In otherwise, alarm installation companies have compromised by adopting DIY alarms as part of their product offerings, satisfying that part of the market while still focusing on installation services. Reports indicate around 25% of businesses in the industry sell on both sides, but we’re expecting that number to grow over time. Installation companies are also becoming skilled at marketing a professional installation as worth the value compared to DIY options.
Commercial Companies See the Value in Professional Installation
Alarm installation remains easy and effective. This is especially attractive to businesses, which tend to have a lot of area to cover with a security system, and not a lot of time to plan one out on their own. As a result, businesses are happy to hire experts that 1) know where to install security devices and 2) can install them quickly while the business gets on with its own goals. This has made the commercial market very reliable for alarm installation services, and certainly a target market for those looking to expand their businesses or marketing efforts.
Authorization Programs Appear to Be on The Rise
Authorization programs refer to specific certifications that installers can earn from brands, including instruction on how to install their products properly. These types of programs are becoming more common (or are expanding) for a variety of popular brands, including even DIY security brands! Some people prefer an authorized installer even with DIY products.
Amazon, as an excellent example, offers a program for companies to become certified Amazon installers for a number of security products. In turn, companies get some free advertising from Amazon (often locally based, triggered when people purchase qualifying products), which can help increase their leads and improve business. Such authorization partnerships have helped the continued growth of the market!
Security Systems Are Generally More Affordable
We want to draw particular attention to this point: Research indicates that a significant amount of market growth is caused by greater accessibility to alarm systems. Basically, more disposable income and better profit margins for small businesses have allowed buyers in recent years to adopt security systems, where once there wouldn’t be enough room in their budgets. People have more money to spend on security, and installation services are benefiting as a result.
Obviously, this will eventually reach a saturation point as everyone who wants a security system installed starts getting one. When this happens, the market will probably start depending more on new housing developments and occasional retrofits of old systems. But for now, greater accessibility is a key driver of the market and something all companies should be taking advantage of while they can.
Where does this research leave today’s alarm installation companies? With good news and plenty of options for the next few years! Currently there’s room for both DIY and installation options in a growing market, with room for expansion on either side. The growing smart home industry is likely to have an increased future impact on both sides, so make sure you keep an eye on trends. For now, however, DIY and installation markets are succeeding alongside each other.