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by: Amy Canfield - Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MADISON, N.J—Question: Who is most willing to spend money on smart home technology?

Answer: The Millennials, those consumers born between 1982 and 2000. That’s according to a recent survey conducted by ERA Real Estate and HGTV.

Overall, 2,437 consumers participated in the survey this past August.

Forty-six percent of the respondents said they believe it is important that their current home or the next home they buy be equipped with smart home technology; 51 percent said they would consider installing such technology to make their house have a higher resale value.

Millennials were 10 times more likely than Gen Xers, those born after post-WWII Baby Boomers, to make the smart home investment, the survey showed.

"While still a growing trend, smart home enhancements have the potential to increase savings, safety and resale value," Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate, said in a prepared statement. "As we have seen through this survey and (through) our one-on-one interactions with buyers and sellers, a smart home is one that is well-positioned for the future and aligns with a growing reliance on mobile technology."

Mobile technology and control are rising to the top, particularly with Millennials, the survey found. Seven in 10 Millennials believe it is important that smart home technology integrates with their smartphones.

Five in 10 survey respondents reported having a security system in their current home. Demonstrating consumers' practical preferences, the most commonly found technologies were those that could help homeowners save money, including automated climate control, energy management, remote home monitoring and lighting control systems, the survey said.

For more findings from the survey, go here.

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by: Amy Canfield - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Protection 1, responding to consumer demand to combine home security, home automation and energy efficiency, has added central alarm operator video alarm verification and other features to its HALO home automation platform.

Using a mobile app, residential users can control and manage interactive security, video monitoring and energy management solutions along with other connected devices. It’s powered by Alarm.com’s cloud-based software platform.

To reduce energy costs, sensor information learns a home’s activity patterns and creates “Smart Schedules” for efficient energy management, Protection 1 said in a prepared statement. That includes adjusting the thermostat to save energy when the customer is not at home and turns the heat back up when the customer is on the way home.

Customers also have the option of integrating solar energy into the system.

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by: Amy Canfield - Monday, October 27, 2014

LONGVIEW, Wash.—Aaron Wenner, the owner of Universal Security and Alarm Inc., which got up and running here in April as an authorized Monitronics dealer, is looking to the Southern California market to expand, primarily because of “its nice, big retirement community.”

“Those door-knocking companies only work four to five months out of the year, but we need to work year round, especially when it gets darker earlier; these (retirees) are home during the day,” he said during an introductory phone call with Security Systems News.

Universal “doesn’t do a whole lot” of door-knocking,” although Wenner did when he worked for Utah-based NorthStar. He got tired of coming in “behind others who had totally ripped off customers,” he said.

The company, which promises “no sneaky fees,” has been doing well since its start-up, he said.

“We have a unique opportunity with Monitronics. We can sell our contracts to them or keep them for ourselves—it’s totally up to us which ones we keep,” he said. So far he has kept 200.

The company offers residential and commercial alarm systems, medical alert buttons and fire monitors to customers in Washington, Oregon and California. The wireless systems also provide remote access.

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by: Amy Canfield - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Honeywell’s Connect 2014 is coming up next month, and I’m happy to say I’ll be in attendance.

Best-selling author and syndicated columnist Jeffrey Gitomer will keynote the event, an annual gathering of independent dealers, which is scheduled for Nov. 13-16 in Orlando. Gitomer is a sales and customer service expert who will speak on his unique approach to driving sales.

More than 60 educational sessions aimed at residential, commercial and enterprise installers are scheduled. I’ve been looking at the list trying to plan a strategy to get to as many as I can.

Honeywell will be showing off its award-wining LYNX Touch 7000 and its High Definition IP Video Kits, and will be giving demos in its Connected Home Room—and that’s something I’m looking forward to as well.

If you’ll be there, let me know so we can meet up!

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