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For example, if you have mobility issues, you will probably want as many home automation features as you can get your hands on. These will allow you to remotely access, monitor, and control your entire home security system and much of your home’s equipment such as door locks, window blinds, small appliances, thermostat, garage door, and more. Having such features will enable you more flexibility with remote or voice controls and without having to physically handle these systems manually. Perhaps you have been exposed to a traumatic event such as being stalked, attacked, or cyber bullied, etc. at some point in your life and you just want something to make you feel more secure. In this case, you will probably want a security system that has a quality control panel with a panic button, loud siren, two way talk feature, high quality surveillance cameras with real time recordings and cloud storage, a doorbell camera, and some home automation features that will enable you to monitor and control your system remotely.

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A service without a long term contract was the most appealing to this group, with other features such as the ability to monitor a system using a smartphone or one that includes control of the thermostat scoring between 23 percent and 29 percent. Most alarming is that half of those without systems just aren’t interested — today or under any offered conditions. This creates added importance to maintaining existing customers, and Parks Associates research shows these customers largely value price savings. When those who terminated service in the past year were asked the reason for terminating their service, 36 percent said they didn’t feel the service was worth what they were paying for it. This is why smart home kit vendors offering self monitoring have the potential to grow more quickly by addressing the needs of non traditional security customers. These customers are increasingly interested in home control and potentially security but not in professional monitoring fees. — Contributed by Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, Parks AssociatesAs Managing Editor, Karyn Hodgson writes exclusive cover stories, such as SDM’s State of the Market series, as well as other feature length articles and case studies. She manages SDM’s Monitoring Today supplement, an annual supplement devoted to central stations and the business of monitoring. She also manages SDM’s Dealer of the Year and Systems Integrator of the Year Award programs. Systems integration is one of Karyn’s “beats”; she manages Today’s Systems Integrator e newsletter from SDM. Karyn has an MSJ in Journalism magazine publishing degree from Northwestern University, and more than 20 years’ experience writing for and about the security industry.