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Renters Deserve Alarm Systems, Too

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May 24, 2011
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Renters Deserve Alarm Systems, Too

When it comes to home security, renters have gotten the short end of the stick for a long time. Most alarm companies will not provide a system to renters - or if they do, it’s under pretty draconian terms. There is a reason for this phenomenon, and it’s probably not what you think. The sad truth is that in the eyes of the alarm industry, a “renter account” is perceived as having no value. Other alarm companies won’t buy the account, banks won’t lend an alarm company any money using renter accounts as collateral, and these potentially long-term and valuable consumer relationships have become the outcasts of the alarm industry. Some alarm company experts think that’s a shame - and I’m one of them.

It may not surprise you that most alarm companies, like other businesses, are built to be sold some day. One alarm company buys from another the portfolio of subscriber accounts paying a monthly monitoring fee: the more predictable the fees, and the longer the revenue stream will last, the more valuable the accounts are.  Now add in the practice of discounting the initial equipment purchase, so that the alarm company is investing in each customer - it takes time to make back that investment before an account becomes profitable. With renter accounts, the perception is that the subscriber may cancel alarm service before the account becomes profitable. The result: alarm companies just don’t buy renter accounts from each other.

So what’s the big problem with renter accounts? Conventional wisdom holds the following concerns - and I have provided an answer for each:

Yes, we gladly work with renters. FrontPoint recognized from the beginning that renters need peace of mind just as much as homeowners do, so we made it possible for anyone – that’s right, anyone – to get a FrontPoint system. What have we learned in the last several years about renters? They are as loyal, consistent, tech-savvy, and every bit as predictable as our homeowner customers. I admit that we may be a bit spoiled, since we do sell home alarm systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, and more affordable than the other companies. But the fact remains: a 100% wireless FrontPoint system with cellular monitoring and interactive features is a perfect solution for both homeowners and renters, whether you move annually, or once every twenty years. If you are a renter looking for peace of mind, give us a call.

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