The Trick to Earning Smart-Home RMR: Get Out of Your Own Way

A true lack of commitment is the primary reason most integrators struggle to earn recurring monthly revenue (RMR) for smart home projects.


I've been personally involved with recurring monthly revenue (RMR) around the smart home for more than a decade, and over that time have continued to learn not only what makes dealers successful, but where they consistently struggle. Believe it or not, the biggest hurdle is actually not the hardest to conquer — you simply need to get out of your own way!

Granted, there are some real challenges in bringing RMR to your business. However, after ten years and countless hours working with dealers, we’ve developed a number of resources so dealers don't have to reinvent the wheel.

Common dealer struggles include:

  • Defining service plans
  • Successfully selling service plans
  • Marketing service plans
  • Tracking service agreements
  • Billing and capturing payments
  • Delivering agreed-upon service levels (KPIs)

You can easily overcome any of these obstacles by getting involved with peer groups, industry associations, and by working closely with vendor partners.

For example, Ihiji offers pricing calculators, marketing collateral, custom e-commerce dealer sites, and email templates, along with webinars and training sessions during regional and major industry.

The point is, RMR can be easy when you take advantage of the tools available and take time to learn from others. All the information you need to succeed is out there.

RELATED: Check out our online workshop designed to build your managed service practice.

How to Get RMR Done

So now you know the answers are out there. What’s next?

Where dealers truly struggle is in making the commitment and actually getting it done.

To be fair, most integrators are genuinely busy and RMR is typically relegated to a very long and seemingly always-growing list of things to do. But if you believe RMR is good for your business and you want to find success, you're going to have to break head-first through this wall. Like all things, when you wholeheartedly commit, you’re far more likely to succeed.

“If [integrators are] still running around back and forth to clients’ houses to reboot the network or answering the phone at all hours of the night without getting paid for it—that’s not the way to run a business.”

— Kevin Hourihan, Cyber Technologies

Speaking from personal experience, establishing a successful recurring revenue stream is easier than you think. Once you commit the time and resources and put a plan in place, you'll be surprised how simple it can be.

First things first, remove distractions. For example, I have learned that to write this content I need to block out my calendar, close my email, close my chat, put my phone on vibrate, go to a coffee shop, and throw on my headphones.

Once I make that commitment and eliminate the distractions, things get done. And it feels great! So, remove any distractions that are preventing progress and get a move-on, already. Make today the day you start your RMR plan.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are dozens of case studies about integrators making the run to RMR, and each illustrates and reinforces the value of commitment, as well as sharing insights that help integrators understand commitment and execution are common hurdles and some of the hardest obstacles to overcome.

Kevin Hourihan of Cyber Technologies in New York, notes “If [integrators are] still running around back and forth to clients’ houses to reboot the network or answering the phone at all hours of the night without getting paid for it—that’s not the way to run a business. I can definitely thank Ihiji for taking us to another level.”

More on service and recurring revenue from CE Pro.

About the Author

Michael Maniscalco:

A former integrator, Michael Maniscalco is co-founder and vice president of technical operations for ihiji. He served as one of the principal architects of invision, the company’s cloud-based, real-time remote systems monitoring and servicing solution. For more information contact or visit


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