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By Jeff Gardner
After the busy holiday season, January brings an opportunity to reflect. It’s a New Year and a new opportunity to say “thank you.” This is the perfect time to think about who is important to us and what’s coming up in 2017.
January has already presented us with “Thank Your Customers” week, an annual initiative that provides an opportunity to recognize some people who are very important to us. Customers are, understandably, extremely important to MONI. We have been putting our customers first for more than 20 years and thank our customers for helping fuel our success. We believe, though, that saying thank you shouldn’t be limited to one week. It’s something we should be saying again and again.
“Thank you” is a simple yet powerful phrase. It means something when you thank someone. It means you respect them and you are expressing your appreciation for them and their actions. You can thank people anytime, but it is most impactful in the moment. And MONI knows moments matter.
So, in this moment, we want to say “thank you.” To our customers, for whom we work tirelessly, every day, to protect and provide peace of mind. To our partners, who help support our customers and drive us to continually improve. To our employees, without whom MONI would not be the responsive and successful organization it is today.
Last year brought some big changes to MONI, and in 2017 we will be following through on our commitments to provide you with comprehensive security, faster response and greater customer intimacy. Every interaction, every day, is important to us. We will continue to put our customers first and exceed expectations.
So to our customers, partners, employees — and our families, who support our work every day — we say “thank you.” Thank you for choosing to work with us. Thank you for trusting us with your security needs. Thank you for helping us be better. We look forward to more opportunities and ways to thank you in the coming year. Thank you!
As part of our rebranding as MONI, we introduced a set of core values that guide what we do every day. One value in particular keeps bubbling to the surface: Every Moment Matters.
We know that a single moment can make all the difference, and that’s why we relate that value to everyone who trusts us with their home security. We understand that they’re more than just “customers.” They’re real people who depend on us to help make their lives more secure.
But we also have a responsibility that hits closer to home. This year, MONI team members and authorized dealers joined forces to help a food bank that’s based near our headquarters in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch. Working together, we gathered nearly 30,000 food items for the MetroCrest Services food bank to help local families in need. Through a spirited (but friendly) internal competition, MONI team members pushed each other to do just a little more to help the cause.
MONI sponsors or participates in charitable events through the year, whether it’s staging the MONI 5K fun run to benefit the humanitarian group Mission 500; providing free security equipment and monitoring services to Agape Resource and Assistance Center, a local group that helps single women and their children to escape homelessness, crisis or poverty; and other worthwhile local endeavors.
Because of the holiday season, though, the food drive resonated very deeply with our team members. One of our Customer Loyalty Specialists, Olivia Humphrey-Shead , summed it up nicely. “We’re in the business of saving lives,” she said. “This is just another way to save a life.”
This isn’t about patting ourselves on the back. We’re just fulfilling our role as a responsible presence in the community, with resources and dedication that have a positive impact.
But the holidays are a timely reminder that Every Moment Matters, and all it takes is a moment for you to make a difference.
Charitable organizations are working hard to help their communities, and little things can mean a lot. Virtually every grocery store is collecting food, so while you’re shopping, grab some extra items and pass them along. At the department store, take a moment to pick up a toy or a warm coat and donate it to a local drive. The opportunities are there, and they add up.
So here’s MONI’s holiday wish: Please make a moment matter and help someone in need this season.
Do a Google search for "hottest holiday gifts," and you'll inevitably run into the Amazon Echo. It has been a huge seller all year, and sales are expected to ramp up between now and the end of the giving season.
On the surface, it's a nifty hands-free speaker. But with Alexa, its voice-controlled assistant, it'll deliver information, news, sports scores, weather and more, as well as playing music. All you have to do is ask.
Homeowners are discovering that Echo is also a major first step toward home automation. Alexa can provide voice control for compatible smart-home products to let you control not just your home security system, but also thermostat, locks, lights, and even video cameras.
It normally costs $180, but MONI is offering a free Echo with any interactive system purchased by Jan. 13, 2017. You can find out more here.
Echo does a lot on its own, but MONI's mobile app extends Alexa's smart-home capability to home security and smart-home technology through compatible equipment.
Whether you get a free Echo as part of a MONI interactive system or already have one sitting in your living room, here are some ideas that will help Alexa make your life a little easier in 2017.
Lights are possibly the easiest way to get started on the path to a smart home with Echo. Alexa comes with the ability to control bulbs from Philips, TP-Link, Lutron and Insteon, among other companies.
Lights are probably the least expensive and easiest smart-home devices to set up, and they're incredibly useful. They're a perfect gift for anyone who has gone to bed upstairs only to forget that the kitchen light is still on downstairs.
Echo also is compatible with plugs and switches from WeMo, TP-Link, Insteon and other brands. It's a great way to control lamps, space heaters, fans and other small appliances. Some plugs require an external hub, while some are controlled directly through Echo, so check before you buy.
Smart plugs are also affordable, with some devices starting at $30 during holiday sales. They might not be at the top of an Echo owner's holiday wish list, but it'll be fun to explore the possibilities.
The smart thermostat domain used to be controlled by Nest, with its learning capabilities and sleek design. The playing field has gotten considerably wider, with offerings from Honeywell, Ecobee, Sensi and other manufacturers that can all be controlled through Echo. Prices during the holidays start at around $100 and range upwards of $250.
While that seems expensive, consider the potential for energy savings. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates savings of between 5% to 15% a year with efficient heating and cooling.
Alexa is starting to make her way out of the house and on to the highway. She'll soon be able to interact with Ford's SYNC and Hyundai's Blue Link car apps, starting the car, adjusting the temperature or checking the fuel level from the comfort of the living room. Ford says its functionality will work both ways: Drivers will be able to control smart home devices from the car.
There are a number of reasons why Echo has been a hot-selling item, not just during the holidays but the rest of the year as well. More "skills" are being added all the time, and MONI is keeping up with the pace by increasing smart-home interaction between Echo and our mobile app.
When we introduced our new MONI brand in September, it was more than just a name change. We also committed to our three “brand pillars” of customer intimacy, faster response and comprehensive security.
Comprehensive security is our promise to offer the products and services you need, whether it’s standard home security or high-end home automation. That’s why we’re so excited about our new partnership with August Home, a leading provider of smart locks and other devices for today’s smart home.
The August Smart Lock and August Connect Wi-Fi bridge let MONI customers securely manage their front door from anywhere with a smartphone app for Android or iOS. It’s more than just being able to lock or unlock your door remotely:
Here’s a practical look at comprehensive security: The doorbell rings when you’re not home. Your smartphone connects to a video doorbell that lets you see and talk to whoever’s at the door. Use your phone to unlock the door and disarm your home security system. Once they’re in, track their activity with a live feed from home video surveillance cameras. Lock the door behind them once they’re gone, and re-arm your system.
It’s that simple. Comprehensive smart-home security starts with protection, but goes so much deeper with devices that work together to make your life easier.
The only thing you should have to be concerned about when you're traveling for the holidays is making it safely to your destination. You shouldn't have to worry about whether your home is protected while you're gone. A home security system is a great start, but MONI Smart Security recommends some steps you can take to help make sure that everything's OK when you return.
It’s fun to let everyone know on social media that you’ll be traveling. But posting status updates or photos can be a signal to potential burglars that they’ll have a successful trip through your home if they stop by. Save it for when you get home.
Encourage your neighbors to keep an eye out for anything unusual. Tell them who might be coming by to feed the pets or water the plants. But also let them know that nobody has your permission to climb through a window.
You’ve always known that your smartphone is versatile, but it will do more than just arm or disarm your home alarm system. When someone needs access to the house, use smart-home technology to unlock the door, and then lock it again when they’re gone.
Don’t give out spare keys. Instead, provide access codes and alerts that are specific to an individual, such as a pet caregiver or a housekeeper. That way, you can track their arrival and departure, making sure that everybody’s following the routine.
In a 2013 survey of more than 400 incarcerated burglars by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, nearly 55 percent said that if a house appears to be occupied – such as when lights were on inside – they would likely reconsider it as a potential target. That’s because burglars hate it when someone’s home.
Old-school timers are the traditional way to control lights, but they typically require a pre-set schedule. It’s easier to manage lights remotely with your smartphone from almost anywhere, turning them off and on whenever you want. You can keep burglars off-balance, and it comes in handy even when you’re not on the road.
Video may be the most useful tool of all for reassuring you that everything’s OK. There’s nothing like being able to check out your home in real-time with home video surveillance cameras. With cameras placed at strategic locations inside and outside the house, you can easily use the MONI mobile app to make your smartphone a window into your home.
It’s not just a great way to deter – and possibly identify – burglars. Sometimes it’s just nice to make sure the cats haven’t clawed up the couch.
Video, locks, lights and other smart-home devices are a valuable addition to any home security system. They’ll help keep you secure at home, and also let you enjoy a worry-free holiday if you’re out of town.
By Frank Guido
Chief Marketing Officer
The MONI brand has been live for more than a month now, and has created a tremendous amount of positive buzz. Team members throughout the company played major roles in the rebranding, but MONI’s Marketing team has been the hub for the project since it began early this year.
That’s why it’s gratifying – and fitting – that our Marketing team has been recognized as a 2016 Gold MarCom award winner in the “Branding Refresh” category for its work during the MONI rebranding.
Marketing worked closely with internal team members and external creative consultants to examine every aspect of the Monitronics brand, determine the best way forward as part of our business strategy, and then execute the plan successfully.
But the scope went far beyond the new name, tagline, website, and internal branding materials. There also was extensive development of national marketing, sales and promotional collateral to reach customers and prospects, and also support our network of independent dealers. It’s a never-ending task, and our Marketing team continues to deliver exceptional results.
It’s difficult to keep a low profile for a long-term project as extensive as a rebranding initiative. Yet Marketing managed to quietly coordinate efforts from other departments to create a sense of excitement and surprise among our team members for the official brand launch on Sept. 29.
Since then, everyone at MONI has embraced our new brand pillars – Customer Intimacy, Faster Response and Comprehensive Security – and made the commitment to our customers to deliver on those principles. Marketing got things rolling, and everyone is working to build momentum that will carry us into the New Year and beyond.
The MarCom Awards are a creative competition for marketing and communications professionals around the world. This year, there were 6,000 entries from 34 countries, and winners included highly respected brands like Hilton, Honda, IBM, Cisco, Nissan and PepsiCo. It’s an impressive list, and everyone at MONI is proud to be counted among the award-winners.
Our Marketing team has always been known for excellence; it’s not the first time they’ve won a MarCom. In previous years, they have been recognized for best-in-class direct mail pieces, trade show exhibits, training videos, and The Monitor, our dealer magazine.
But this year’s MarCom is especially significant because of what it represents to us as the new MONI. We’re being honored as a fresh new brand with a modernized look and an aggressive, forward-thinking public image. That’s exactly where we want to be.
Congratulations to our Marketing team for earning this well-deserved award. They’ve got the trophy, and everyone at MONI deserves to share the spotlight.
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about our three brand pillars: Faster Response, Comprehensive Security, and Customer Intimacy. As part of our new brand identity, we’re working particularly hard in our Customer Care department, making our customers’ experience great every time. After months of hard work, it’s hard not to notice.
J.D. Power has released the results of their in-depth study on the importance of Customer Service for home security companies, and MONI was rated “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Security Systems.”
Poor customer service can quickly send home security system customers to another provider regardless of their overall satisfaction level, according to the inaugural J.D. Power 2016 Home Security Satisfaction Report, released today.
While the study shows that 31% of customers have considered switching providers, those who indicate they will change providers in the next 12 months are doing so predominantly because of a lack of available features/options, price or poor customer service.
“It’s such a basic principle—provide good customer service—but it requires a commitment throughout an organization,” said Greg Truex, senior director at J.D. Power. “Spending time and money on designing, building and selling a product is great, but if the execution of the customer experience is lacking, it can all be for naught.”
The customer service experience is significant because 40% of all customers contact their provider at some point with a question, problem or request. Satisfaction is significantly higher among customers who say the response was helpful (869 on a 1,000-point scale) than among those who didn’t find the response helpful (655). Satisfaction also is higher among customers who don’t contact their provider (867) than among those who do (850).
Following are additional findings of the report:
Following are loyalty findings related to delighted customers:
MONI ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction, performing particularly well in six of the 12 factors: reliability of the system; system installation and setup; ease of using the system; clarity of owner’s manual; effectiveness of securing my home; and speed of monitoring response.
STANLEY Security ranks second, performing particularly well in helpfulness of online support documents; price paid for products/services received; variety of payment options; and contact with customer service.
The overall satisfaction among home security customers is 860.
MONI Smart Security (formerly Monitronics) received the highest numerical score among 6 brands in the J.D. Power 2016 Home Security Satisfaction Report, based on 2,282 total responses, measuring the opinions of customers who purchased a home security system in the previous 12 months, surveyed August-September 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.
Satisfaction is examined across 12 factors (listed in order of importance): price paid for products/services received; reliability of the system; helpfulness of online support documents; variety of payment options; effectiveness of securing my home; ability to control from various devices (e.g., smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop); speed of monitoring response; system installation and setup; clarity of owner’s manual; contact with customer service; ease of using the system; and variety of features. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
The selection of MONI as our new brand – as well as the style and selection of colors for our new logo – didn’t happen by accident. A great deal of research, thought and introspection took place as part of their creation.
MONI was a good place to start since it’s commonly how we’re referred to both internally and externally. It will be an easy transition for virtually everyone who has used “Monitronics,” and a catchy name that will help us build brand awareness.
Research tells us that our customers don’t just demand professional, friendly service and the latest technology. They want fast response to their emergencies, as well as quick resolution of their questions and issues. Today, it’s all about speed and simplicity; MONI is a reflection of their needs because it’s concise, fast and simple. Our new name matches our goal of providing the quickest and most efficient customer service in the industry.
Finally, MONI represents a name and a mission that will serve our dealers well. It’s not just an easy brand to present to potential customers, but also a promise that we’ll provide the products, services and offerings to position them for success.
Besides being unique from other companies in our industry, the choice of purple and green for our logo comes from the principles of color theory.
Purple is traditionally considered to be the color of royalty, but it’s also commonly known as a color of imagination. The color is actually created from a blend of red (energy) and blue (stability). Taken together, purple is a perfect choice for MONI’s mission of being forward-thinking, fast and dependable.
Green was an easy choice, since it is well known for safety, growth and health. It’s an emotionally positive color, and also a perfect fit for MONI’s mission.
Finally, two triangular shapes overlap to form the intersection of all of these values. That’s our core. It’s what we stand for, and it’s what we want to represent to our customers.
They are at the center of all we do, so it’s only natural that they’re at the center of our logo.
Here’s an eye-opening statistic: There were more than 500,000 structural fires in 2015, a rate of about one per minute. Keeping your property and loved ones safe from fire and smoke is always a priority at MONI, but October is an especially good time to focus on the topic. It’s National Fire Prevention Month, which is highlighted by National Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 9-15.
This year the National Fire Protection Association is highlighting the importance of smoke alarms, with the theme “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” The choice of theme isn’t surprising; the NFPA has made home smoke alarms the centerpiece of Fire Prevention Week for the past three years. Fire protection is always important, but next week is a good time to remember that smoke alarms are the first line of defense against fire-related tragedies.
Even though smoke detectors don’t have any moving parts, they still have a limited life-span. They’re based on sensors that can eventually lose their sensitivity. The test button tells you that the alarm itself is working, but it doesn’t indicate whether the smoke sensor is still functioning properly. By replacing your smoke alarms every 10 years – or even sooner if you can’t remember how old they are – you know that you’ve got equipment that will be ready when you need it.
Think of it this way: Nobody ever regretted changing a smoke alarm too soon.
Smoke alarms alert you to danger, letting you get family and pets to safety. It’s important not just to install new smoke alarms every 10 years, but also to replace the battery at least once a year. Test your alarms at least once a month; you don’t want to find out about a faulty alarm when it fails during an emergency.
That’s a twist on the traditional saying, because fire isn’t the only thing that threatens lives. A home can quickly fill with smoke, even from a small fire. It can incapacitate anyone in the home, making it difficult to get out safely. It isn’t just the potential for smoke inhalation; a fire needs oxygen to burn, and it will quickly consume breathable air.
The source of the fire is another complicating factor. For example, plastic is everywhere you look inside the home, and if it burns it can create toxic gases. Even small quantities of these gases can be deadly or cause severe damage to lungs or eyes.
Cold weather is on its way, and there’s nothing better than burning some logs (or lighting a gas fireplace) on a chilly fall or winter evening. But remember that fireplaces and chimneys are involved in 42 percent of all home heating fires. They’re also one of the leading sources of carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a deadly gas that is odorless and colorless, and can quickly overcome anyone who breathes it.
That’s why an effective fire protection strategy should include carbon monoxide detectors, particularly near potential sources like fireplaces, space heaters, gas furnaces and gas water heaters. An authorized MONI dealer will stress a strategy that includes carbon monoxide alarms.
You’re not always going to be home when fire starts. Your family might thankfully be out of harm’s way, but your property is still at risk. Early detection and fast response can make the difference between minor damage and catastrophic loss. MONI is dedicated to providing fast response when you need it with 24-hour monitoring for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Even if you’re not home, we can still summon the help you need.
A new name, cool logo and aggressive attitude have put our old brand in the rear-view mirror
We’ve been protecting customers with outstanding home security for more than 20 years. That kind of track record is a good thing, but the time has come to shake things up. Especially in today’s disruptive security industry – with its increasing emphasis on home automation and the “Internet of Things” – no company can afford to stand still.
That’s why we have introduced MONI as our new brand, along with a new logo. We went through hundreds of options, and came up with a catchy, easy-to-remember name and an attractive, updated look. The fact that “Moni” has always been a sort of shorthand version of our name made the choice that much easier. It also helps to reassure everyone that our ownership is the same: We’re still the same company that more than 1 million customers trust with their security.
Look behind the name and logo, though, and you’ll see profound change.
MONI resulted from extensive collaboration with marketing, digital, and public relations partners to understand how our company was positioned in the market, and perceived by our customers. Among other things, we discovered that consumers want more than just “good.” They want “great.” That led us to create MONI’s three “Brand Pillars” as a commitment to our customers:
Even though many of the changes have been in place for months, MONI marks a new chapter of our company’s story. We’re proud of what we have achieved in the past 20 years, and now we’re excited about the potential.
We protect the well-being of our customers, and it’s not a responsibility we take lightly. But they will be able to depend on MONI for more than just security. We will be their source for technology solutions that can secure and enhance their lives. We will deliver customer satisfaction that they will tell their friends about. And we will dedicate ourselves to setting an industry standard for alarm response.
It’s an ambitious journey, but we won’t be satisfied until we get there.
At MONI, we make it our business to help make people safer, whether it’s in their homes or in crisis situations. We’re proud to call the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex our home, and that’s why we partner with Agape Resource and Assistance Center, based in Plano, Texas. The program’s mission is to provide critical housing and life skills that empower single women and their children to transform from homelessness, crisis and poverty to self-sustaining, fulfilling lives.
As a corporate sponsor, MONI has dedicated time, money and resources to the program’s shelter, helping women in dire need of safety and security to get the peace of mind they deserve. Our commitment continues on Thursday, Sept. 22 in conjunction with this year’s North Texas Giving Day.
North Texas Giving Day is the nation’s largest online donation day, organized by the Communities Foundation, a Dallas-based philanthropic organization. In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has raised $119 million for the North Texas community.
For those interested in learning more or contributing to Agape, other businesses and residents can donate online at hope4agape.com/online-donation/.
“Security is a vital part of these women’s recovery and their abilities to overcome their violent experiences of the past,” said Stacy Young, Monitronics Director of Human Resources, who is leading the effort on Monitronics’ behalf. “Many of the affected women are victims of abuse and human trafficking, and we are determined to help them move forward. It is a shame these crimes happen in our own backyard, and I am proud of our community for coming together to help our fellow residents in need.”
Recently, Young spearheaded a donation by Monitronics, Alarm.com and Nortek of $20,000 in security hardware and monitoring to the Agape Resource and Assistance Center, including new professionally-installed, monitored security systems throughout the shelter and its three residences.
The upcoming campaign is focused on the importance of security in keeping out the “Big Bad Wolf” and fostering the recovery of the women while rebuilding their lives and the lives of their children.
“We are humbled to help the women of Agape, and to make a difference in the lives of our fellow Dallas-area residents,” said Bruce Mungiguerra, Monitronics Senior Vice President of Operations. “These women often face unimaginable struggles on a daily basis. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring safety and security back to their lives.”
Monitronics customers enjoy being able to control their security and home automation systems with a touchscreen panel, as well as remotely through their smartphones and tablets. Whatever the use, touchscreens have become the standard for security systems because of their reliability, ease-of-use, and ability to create intuitive user interfaces.
Although scientists and engineers were working on touchscreen technology in the late 1960s and early 70s, widespread adoption did not occur until the introduction of the smartphone in early 2007. Prior to Apple’s iPhone, the touchscreens that did exist were limited to airline and military applications, and a small selection of video game consoles. Now they are everywhere.
Like other sophisticated technology, we use touchscreen devices so much that we take them for granted. You don’t need to know how it works in order to use it to protect your home or monitor your video, but it’s kind of fun to look beneath the surface (excuse the pun).
Believe it or not, there are no fewer than 18 different touchscreen technologies. Device manufacturers can choose just one or combine multiple technologies for specific applications. The three most commonly used today are known as resistive, capacitive, and surface acoustic wave.
A resistive touchscreen is used on devices like home security panels, ATMs and in-flight entertainment screens. It monitors electrical current that flows between two panels. Imagine a single glass panel that is covered with a conductive layer with just enough space in-between for an electric current. Using pressure to touch the screen with your finger causes the conductive layer to make contact with the glass, interrupting the current in that one spot. That communicates the position of your finger on the panel to perform the appropriate command.
You’re probably carrying a capacitive touchscreen in your purse or pocket – on your smartphone. It works by reducing electrical current rather than interrupting it. A capacitive touchscreen consists of a glass panel and a second layer that stores the electrical current needed to detect movement. Touching the screen – without applying any special amount of pressure – causes a small amount of electricity to transfer into your finger, reducing the amount still in the device. Software can then pinpoint exactly where current is escaping.
Finally, surface acoustic wave technology utilizes sending and receiving transducers to measure an electrical signal that travels just underneath the glass panel. There are also reflectors in the glass that help keep track of the signal. Placing your finger on the glass interrupts the electrical signal; the interruption is detected and measured in an instant thanks to all of the reflectors in play. SAW technology is typically used for large-sized applications such as kiosks or medical equipment.
MONI is thrilled to be able to offer the latest home security and automation devices with touchscreen technology. Touchscreens are making the traditional “keypad” obsolete, increasing the adoption of home security and automation by making programming and modifying equipment easier than it has ever been before. Operating your system with the smartphone is a useful bonus.
If you would like more information about any of our touchscreen devices – or how to use your smartphone to control your system – contact us directly or get in touch with your local Monitronics authorized dealer. Find out how our technology can make your home safer and more efficient.
In 2007, the state of Texas embarked on an ambitious plan to reduce crime rates by reforming the criminal justice system. As a result, crime throughout the state has dropped by more than 20 percent, according to data from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Writing in a recent Lufkin Daily News column, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that rethinking how the state looks at crime and sentencing has enabled lawmakers to find better ways to reduce crime and put fewer people in jail.
Texas legislators developed their new approach to crime by first taking a look at mental health, drug treatment, and parole and probation policies, Cornyn said. The thinking was that since the drug trade plays a huge role in fueling crime, addressing drug use would be a far better way to spend tax money designated for crime prevention.
They came up with a plan to invest in drug courts and treatment strategies instead of building new prisons with more beds. They began adopting improvements to the state corrections system that were based on verifiable evidence rather than conjecture. They found ways to integrate rehabilitation, restitution and reintegration strategies so that those in prison would have a greater chance of succeeding once they got out.
Other states have adopted similar measures with varying levels of success. For example, Pew data showed that Georgia and South Carolina have crime reductions of 11 percent and 14 percent respectively, along with North Carolina at 20 percent.
We imagine the significant reduction in crime in Texas goes a long way toward making state residents feel a lot safer. The same goes for Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Whenever crime rates go down, people tend to be less fearful that they will eventually become victims themselves.
Lower crime rates are always welcome news, but even the best-laid plans for criminal justice reform can only go so far. There will always be people who choose to engage in criminal activity, so individual citizens must still do their part by taking every step they can to protect themselves.
It all starts with a home security system that includes 24-hour live monitoring. Statistics show that monitored home security acts as a deterrent, since studies show that houses with monitored alarm systems are less likely to be targets of property crimes.
Homeowners can also increase their home security by installing heavy-duty door and window locks, making sure their homes have adequate lighting, and keeping exteriors well-maintained in order to provide a good view from the street.
Crime in Texas and a few other states is falling significantly thanks to a new approach to criminal justice. Hopefully that will continue across the country in the years ahead. In the meantime, Monitronics is committed to keeping our customers safe with the latest in home security equipment and monitoring packages.
Sources: Lufkin Daily News – http://lufkindailynews.com/news/community/article_f51ea710-3990-11e6-8d6b-7b18e7ca1d9a.html
Dallas-based Parks Associates, a research and consulting firm that keeps a finger of the pulse of the home security and smart-home industry, has collaborated once more with Coldwell Banker Real Estate on another study examining the growing connection between home buyers and the demand for the best smart-home technology
The latest research shows that out of 1,250 U.S. adults who have home broadband Internet access, 71 percent want a move-in ready home. But that’s not all: While the definition of “move-in ready” has traditionally included updated kitchens and bathrooms, new appliances and other improvements, 44 percent said they believe that home automation equipment should already be installed.
The lesson from the Parks/Coldwell Banker research is clear: Home automation is likely to get the attention of potential buyers, particularly in markets like Florida and Texas where homes are in heavy demand. Investing in the best smart-home technology is likely to be money well spent.
“We have entered a realm where home buyers are demanding smart homes,” said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker. “This is a shift from the previous thinking about what constitutes a move-in ready home. It’s a defining moment for real estate.”
Peter Tonti, Monitronics’ vice president of Product Marketing, said the research confirms why we have become more than just a security provider.
“Consumers want the best home automation technology to make their homes more secure and also make their lives easier,” he said. “Security is the centerpiece, but we’re seeing more demand for things like voice-activated systems like Amazon’s Echo, or easy-to-use devices that address specific needs instead of just being cool gadgets. That’s why our systems integrate with Echo, and also why devices like the SkyBell HD video doorbell are popular with many of our customers.”
The research also underscores that home buyers are starting to turn their attention away from homes that require a little TLC, and make the move-in as easy as possible. The main objective now is trying to keep the to-do list as short as possible.
At Monitronics, we do our part by offering a free “Move program” for our customers, installing a security system in your new home at no charge to you. If your home is move-in ready and already has a home security system, we can also work with you to get service started, and bring your system up to date if necessary.
Other than mortgage payments, heating and cooling are the largest monthly expense for most homeowners. That’s why we constantly balance the need to keep our homes at a comfortable temperature with the need to keep our household budget at a comfortable level. Now you can take advantage of home automation technology to easily control your thermostat, keep things comfortable, and potentially save money all at the same time.
Programmable thermostats have been around for decades, but they don’t always save money. One major reason is that can be too complicated to program. Rather than work through an endless number of non-intuitive menus only to find they can only set a limited number of temperature changes, consumers often just give up and operate their thermostats manually. That leads to less control and virtually no savings. With home automation from Monitronics, that all changes.
Thermostat control through our HomeTouch home automation package is easy. You can program your thermostat for every day of the week directly from your wall-mounted control panel or by using our home automation app on your mobile device or computer. Programming your thermostat is no different than doing just about anything else on your smartphone or tablet: It’s intuitive, fast, and effective.
Home automation also allows you to adjust your program on the fly. You don’t even have to be home to do it. For example, if you normally have your thermostat set higher when you’re home in the evening and you forget to adjust it before you go on vacation, you can easily fix the situation with your smartphone.
A lot of companies claim big savings through the use of programmable thermostats and home automation. The amount depends on how far you set your thermostat back and for how long, but as a general rule, the U.S. Department of Energy says consumers save about 1 percent for every degree of change over an eight-hour period.
That means that if you reduced your heating by 5 degrees during the nine hours you are away for work, you would save just over 5 percent on heating costs that day. Savings on cooling are slightly higher. Either way, the farther you set your thermostat back, and the longer you keep it set back, the more money you save.
There is a persistent myth that says you should leave your thermostat at a constant temperature to prevent your furnace or air conditioning from having to work harder than normal when it’s time to return to a comfortable level. However, the Department of Energy says you save more money by dialing the thermostat back; you actually use less energy returning your house to a comfortable temperature than you do to maintain that temperature throughout the day.
The Department of Energy explains the science behind it on the Energy.gov website, and many people are surprised to find out how much better (and cheaper) it is to automatically set the thermostat appropriately at various times of the day, and adjust that routine when necessary, wherever you might be. Home automation makes that level of control a reality.
Remotely controlling your thermostat is one way to save a significant amount of money while still maintaining the comfort of your home. With home automation from Monitronics, the task is easy and efficient, and the savings can be significant.
US Department of Energy– http://energy.gov/energysaver/thermostats
JD Power has ranked MONI “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Security Systems”
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