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GuardMe expands into Midwest and Maine

GuardMe expands into Midwest and Maine The New Jersey-based home security/home automation provider sees opportunities in the diverse regions

OLD BRIDGE, N.J.—GuardMe Security, based here, has expanded into Ohio and Indiana and also plans to offer home security in Maine by the end of May, according to company President Craig Metzger.

The 80-employee company, which has more than 40,000 customers, intends to grow even more, Metzger told Security Systems News. “We're going to continue to look at other opportunities in other markets,” he said. “We have a few on the radar. 2013 is already shaping up to be an excellent year, one of the best we've had.”

GuardMe, founded in 1997, bills itself as “a leading provider of home automation solutions in New Jersey.” It also provides security to commercial and industrial clients, Metzger said.

The company also operates in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Delaware is serviced by GuardMe's New Jersey office and the company has another office in Pittsburgh, Metzger said.

And now it also has brick-and-mortar offices in the Midwest—in Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; and in Indianapolis, he said.

Metzger said the company started providing home security/home automation services in Indiana in April and then in Ohio in May.

“We see the economic condition of Ohio is improving. However, crime continues to be at an all-time high in Ohio at this time, so there's an immediate need,” Metzger said.

He said the company faces competition in the Midwest, but he's confident GuardMe will succeed because of its high level of customer service.

“We feel the way that the residential market has been expanding and being sold is mostly by high-volume type of door knockers where it's a kind of a hit-and-run type of sale: They knock the door, they sell the system, they install, they walk away and you never see the salesperson again or the technician either because they're off to another area in a couple of weeks,” Metzger said.

In addition to door knockers, DIY systems also are big in that area, he said. That's why GuardMe stands out, he said. “We want to give an alternative for customers who are really looking for a high level of hand-holding and the exceptional customer service we're known for.”

GuardMe also plans to offer its services in the southern part of Maine by the end of May, he said. That low-crime state doesn't have a big market for home security, but Metzger said, “We see some opportunity … where people seem to be more from Massachusetts or have a summer home in Maine.”

He said he sees Maine as a “little ancillary market with good opportunity, so we probably won't open an office.” Instead, he said, GuardMe will “probably do teleselling and subcontract for installation.”

Metzger said that teleselling is a big part of GuardMe's business. “That's what facilitates our ability to expand,” he said.

He said teleselling differs from telemarketing. “We don't do telemarketing. We do teleselling,” he explained. “We have interested parties, people that have become interested in our products and services, and we sell it to them over the telephone.”

He said a key way to find interested parties is through the Internet. “A lot of the initial contact is through the Internet. The Internet has been big for us as far as lead generation,” Metzger said.


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