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A Crash Course in Recurring Monthly Revenue

CE Pro 100 attendees squirm in their seats - in envy and in discomfort - as they hear from successful security companies earning recurring monthly revenue.


Though entry-level systems are not where most integrators play, this panel gave CE Pro 100 Summit attendees a glimpse of the enormous amounts of cash that can be made. From left are Tim McKinney of ADT, Pat Egan of Select Security, Alex Dunn of Vivint, and George Demarco, moderator.
Jason Knott · November 21, 2011

Starting from $0 in recurring monthly revenue (RMR) in 2003, Pat Egan of Select Security in central Pennsylvania now makes $400,000 per month from contracts in alarm monitoring, service and inspection.

“That’s a whole lot of money in the bank before I do a single installation,” says Egan, who was among a panel of RMR high achievers at the CE Pro 100 Summit. Alex Dunn, CEO of Vivint, and Tim McKinney, group director of residential Custom Home Services for ADT, were the other panelists.

The information from the panel was not something many integrators want to hear for several reasons. First, many do not delve in the world of recurring revenue at all, so the enormous revenues certainly bred some jealousy. Second, the entry-level systems, sometimes as low as $199, sit at price points that many integrators deem disdainful.

Egan, who previously had a successful alarm company he sold in 1997, says the number of alarm accounts being paid for is in the mid-40s, meaning he could sell Select for approximately $16 million. But he is not stopping there.

The RMR income has allowed Select to make several acquisitions, including a fire inspection firm and a fire extinguisher company, both of which earn RMR from code-required inspection fees. Select is also starting to sell PERS systems that use cellular networks for monitoring so users are not tethered to the homes from a monitoring standpoint.

“You guys can do this too. You can’t tell me you can’t sell PERS systems for $50,” he said to the audience, who are predominantly A/V-based contractors who have avoided the recurring revenue business.

Dunn talked about his company adding 100,000+ accounts in 2011 and its total RMR of $70 million annually. Vivint, which was formerly named APX Alarm, has recently added an entry-level home automation package to its offering that includes lighting control and HVAC control. Dunn says sales are “beyond expectations.” Vivint is No. 18 on the CE Pro 100 list.

McKinney described ADT’s entry-level play in the market and its hopes of partnering with A/V integrators through its custom home program. ADT was recently named No. 1 on the CE Pro 100 list.



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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


Security · Business · Service & Recurring Revenue · News · · ADT · CE Pro 100 Summit · Vivint · All Topics
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