My Alarm Center's new business model driving success

Organic growth strategy, new DIY division paying dividends
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.—My Alarm Center, a super-regional security company with a rapidly evolving national presence, is coming off an impressive year of organic growth, complemented by the success of its new DIY division, LivSecure.

“Both 2015 and 2016 have been really great years for us and signify a big shift in our business model to be more flexible and capital efficient in terms of having options for growth,” Amy Kothari, My Alarm Center’s president and CEO, told Security Systems News. “More than 80 percent of our growth in 2015, for example, came organically—selling directly to the consumer—and that is a big shift in our model, which used to be primarily just acquisitions.”

Kothari said that since the company was founded in 2000, it has experienced 15 consecutive years of growth. “We ended 2015 at about $7 million in RMR and we expect to be close to $7.5 million at the end of 2016,” she said. 

Contributing to My Alarm Center’s growth is the launch of LivSecure, a direct-to-consumer division focused on DIY-installed equipment paired with professional monitoring. Megan MacDonald, VP of strategy and business development at My Alarm Center, leads the division and was instrumental in launching the product. LivSecure uses Qolsys equipment, Alarm.com for home connectivity, and Rapid Response for its monitoring.

MacDonald said LivSecure had a soft launch in the fourth quarter last year, to work through the customer experience, make sure that everything was working as expected and ensure that the company was delivering on what it promised—such as easy set-up in less than an hour.

“We had some really positive feedback from our customers over the course of the first six months of the launch, which went smoother than we expected,” she explained. “So we started to trickle the LivSecure product out and so far traction has been very good. We found it to be an excellent complement to the existing My Alarm Center branch offerings within our portfolio and we see a ton of opportunity with the product moving forward.”

LivSecure has three packages available, from a basic package to a mid-level package to one that includes home automation options. Each package comes with fire and CO monitoring devices, which “is one of the big things we value—the life safety piece,” said MacDonald.

Overall, MacDonald said the goal with the DIY packages is to make the process as customer-friendly as possible. “We have never rolled a truck to a DIY customer and with any of the issues that we have had, we have been able to handle and support them remotely over the phone and specifically through support from Alarm.com and Qolsys.”

Kothari said that in addition to the positive launch of LivSecure, My Alarm Center is having great success marketing and promoting interactive services in the home.

“It is one of our more successful marketing campaigns and consumers are very responsive to it and are interested in adding on those smart home and home automation services,” she said. “That shift from being protected to being connected is alive and well, and consumers want to add the video doorbells, and the smart thermostats and the light control and cameras. And as a result, customer engagement and usage of their product goes up significantly we find.”

My Alarm Center has 180,000 customers (85 percent residential), six offices and 583 employees.