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Niche dealer program helps make home automation affordable

Niche dealer program helps make home automation affordable Online Alarm Quotes has expanded its dealer funding, enabling homeowners to get home automation extras with no money down

YONKERS, N.Y.—Online Alarm Quotes, a niche dealer program based here, recently announced it has upped its funding to dealers. That allows dealers to offer customers the latest in home automation technology with no money down, said Tom Fowler, co-owner of the dealer program, which was launched early last year.

“We're allowing our dealers to go up to $250 a month. That allows dealers to offer products and services like [Honeywell's] Total Connect, the cameras that you need for Total Connect, home automation devices and more, for zero [dollars] down,” Fowler told Security Systems News. Prior to the increase, Fowler said, “we were kind of capping [dealers] at $60 a month.”

Online Alarm buys renter accounts and low-credit-score accounts and pays its dealers a multiple of the funding amount, up to 35 times based on customers' credit scores, Fowler said.

The funding announcement by Online Alarm, which last fall selected Honeywell as its exclusive supplier, came in early June, around the time that Honeywell announced the release of its LYNX Touch 5100, the latest version of the company's self-contained wireless touch-screen security system.

Fowler said the higher funding to dealers allows customers to take advantage of such new technology because they no longer have to pay out of pocket for it. Instead, dealers can now build the equipment cost into customers' higher monthly fees.

For example, he said, a dealer might have a customer who wants cameras with an alarm system. “With another dealer program, they can't do that unless they come out of pocket for the cameras, so you're talking $1,000 or more,” Fowler said.

But with Online Alarm, he said, a dealer “can go in and charge $120, $160 a month and he's going to get funded on that amount, and there will be no charge back.” Also, he said, “at the end of the term, when the initial contract is up, [the dealer] can solicit that customer again. You're not allowed to do that with any other program.”

Online Alarm now has more than 140 dealers in 46 states, Fowler said. Also, he said, “we have the ability to purchase over $100 million a month in contracts.”

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