Does anyone know whats going on with Brinks Security and Jim Rojas?
Angry Man In Gauteng
Does anyone know whats going on with Brinks Security and Jim Rojas?
Angry Man In Gauteng
Actually, I don't want most of the customers that buy into that to begin with.
Yeah. They want better service, a reliable alarm system, and...they still want it for nothing. js
Brinks is huge around here and I have seen countless excellent installations by them, can't stand their panels but the installs are very good
It's all a matter of perspective.
Yeah, me too. Although I still do a few takeovers, Brinks is not very popular here. I'd assume that Slomins/ADT so dominates the area, for so long in that market, that Brinks doesn't think the marketing effort would be worth it.
But, when/if I do come upon a Brinks/ADT/Slomins job, I never even try to take over the equipment. I simply tell the customer it's locked and I have to replace it. If they're not looking to upgrade, I tell them they should stick with the company with that equipment. Usually, they don't want the National, company but then, again, they're usually coming to me by referral from my existing customer, so they have reason to go with me instead. The system I install is always upgraded to new equipment and includes doors and windows.
Here's one for you. I just took over a job that was installed about 10 years ago. A Radionics panel, three keypads, full house wiring with both glass break and PIR's. Nice system. The people said that they hadn't used the system for about 3 or 4 years. I asked why. Get this. The guy they had install it was a "friend" who did the pre-wire while the house was being built. He worked for a "big" company as an installer. ( later the client remembered that it was Diebold) He installed the system and I guess hooked to to Diebolds central station, "off the record"and was charging them $10.00 a month, paid annually, for monitoring. Then one day the system tripped and no call from central. Called the "friend" and he was no where to be found. No record at central of them being an account.Seems "friend" no longer worked for the company and no one even knows who he is. ( I'd guess, that central had no official agreement to monitor the account and just shut it down.) He wasn't responding to letters sent to the billing address which was a PO box in NYC. They have no idea how long they were paying him without monitoring. They also had no idea how to use the system execpt to arm and disarm it.
Turned out to be a nice take over though. "Friend" did a pretty good install, everything labled, aux power distribution was done right. He just forgot to hook up the skylights. "Friends" are sometimes your worst enemy.
Damn Radionics panel weighs about 40 freekin pounds. It'll make a great anchor.
But typically the above isn't the kind of take over one usually finds. The better installed jobs are usually retained by the original installer I'd imagine. So I too don't consider people who want these mimimum kind of installs to be my clients, when they're first in the market for a system. But it seems that once many of them have experienced what a lick and stick company "isn't" doing for them, they are willing to pay for a better system. So I always go and give a look- see, to test the waters, even though I know it's a lick and stick original install.
If they still want cheap, I give a quote and don't follow up. I can usually tell.
As I'm writing this it occurs to me that most of the takeovers I do are people who have older systems that haven't been used and who now want to use the system and are looking to restart the system or upgrade.
Hard to imagine anyone trying to make a living on doing takeovers, in my area, like Bob in Canada. But it could be I'm insulated from the real market by my total dependence on referral work.
"It's good to be King" Quote: Mel Brooks
i've seen some diy installs that makes binks look good.
If all you have to judge from is three doors and a motion then I guess everything looks about the same, good or bad. Let me say then that I have never seen one that I would call very good, or good or acceptable. Barely adequate is about tops for them.
What I have seen of DIYs is mostly a DIYer wanting to show off their install and waste my time. Usually they tried to over do a lot of things and have stuf that is just plane dumb or clearly indicates they didn't know what they were doing, but the stuff they did is "over" done. If 22ga is good 18 is better kind of thinking. LOL.
18ga wire, looped in the walls, 15+ windows, 1/4 recessed switches, open circuit switches...fxxk. Main panel 12' high in MBR closet within built in shelving cubby hole.
Why do people install systems like they never will have to service it ever?!!
and motion sensors covering every square inch of interior space instead of just doing perimeter coverage which is cheaper and more reliable.
RHC: I would hardly say that I make my living from doing takeovers, but lately anyway they do comprise a lot of incoming systems. After 15 years in the alarm business, mostly I work as you do by referral - I'd say 70% from referral and 30% directly from my website. Other than the website, I don't do any advertising at all.
I believe I experience pretty much the same things you do in your area. A lot of takeovers are people moving into a new home with an alarm installed already, and when they do their shopping, end up at my website, and from there to me. A lot are takeovers from high priced systems put in by ADT and others, who have paid off their systems, and instead of staying with the high priced status quo, decide to go elsewhere. I also get people calling with systems installed by a lot of the "little guys", but these I ALWAYS inspect before taking them over. Alarm installations are totally unregulated up here, and as a result, we depend upon market forces to drive out the poor companies, but unfortunately, not before they end up doing a lot of damage in the process. Most of the bigger companies put in a decently installed system, and don't lock their boards either. I also get a few systems coming from Alarmforce, after the customer realizes how useless his system really is, and has them remove it, then opts for a proper system.
Overall, takeovers now represent about 30 to 40% of our new business. It wasn't always that way, but seems to have increased greatly over the last couple of years. I know you and I don't agree about long term contracts; however, a lot of the large companies shoot themselves in the foot by insisting on a second contract after the first one is finished, and they won't lower the rate at all (or if they do, only by a dollar or so a month). So the customers shop around and inevitably find someone else to do the monitoring.
As you say, the customers shopping around who want everything for nothing, or who won't pay a penny to upgrade a 15 year old clunker, I don't want either. After awhile, you can smell these guys.......
I do believe you have a larger percentage of the large Nationals in your area than we do in ours. Brinks is almost non existent and ADT is the most prevalent, and generally the most expensive. By my informal calculations, once the ADT salesman gets in the door, the $149 special ends up costing the client about $1100 on average. This is almost double what any other dealer up here will install the usual system sold here .....2 to 4 hardwired doors, 2 hardwired pet motions, hardwired basement windows, and maybe a smoke.
Like everything I guess, it's up to the consumer to do his shopping before they sign on the dotted line.....
I was just picking up what you seem to imply about your business. Taking over systems just seemed to be what you were talking about mostly..
I seem to remember that you were just starting out about 7 or so years ago in the actual installation of alarm system. You were talking about limiting the size of your account base to 300, 500, 700, etc along the way. (Which, if you remember .... I told you that wouldn't happen .... I'm sure your happy I was right ;-) You've said you were doing physical security prior to that (?) or am I mistaken?
I'd thought about having someone do a website for me but .... ya know .... I got more than I can keep up with as it is ...... and I'm supposed to be thinking about retirement .... not how to increase business. Sometimes I find my self pulling into a new strip mall, with the intention of laying cards on doors or trying to meet new tenants. And before you know it, I've got two or three jobs that I don't have the time to do and they've no-less got a deadline to be in before they open the new shop. So after working all day on one job, I wind up working a night shift till 10 or 11pm just to get it in on time.
It's just hard to turn off, after so many years.
I don't get too much in the way of takeovers, I'd say about 10% if that much. Most of mine is new work .... either retrofit or new construction. But the new construction is usually the big jobs. Mega million dollar homes, on the water, high end stuff. It's just an evolution thing. The longer you're around the better the reputation, the more willing the people with the money are willing to pay for the expertise and knowledge and the fact that you did their friends mega million dollar home too. I don't do the low installation price with the high monthly. But of course I have to stay competitive so my monitoring fee has to jive with what the market will bear. So I guess, in some respects I do subsidize my installations somewhat with future income from monitoring. But it's easily absorbed at this stage.
Yeah, but it's always a chore in diplomacy trying to tell them nicely that they got ripped off and their system isn't worth a damn.
That happens here also, but I think it may happen over a shorter period of time. Newbies don't last very long around here. Nowdays it takes some pretty substatial backing or wifey has got to be making a damn good salary with medical, for some one to last long enough to build up to the magical number of accounts.
Never came across and alarm system that wasn't locked. I assume everyone does it here.
It's not the disagreement about the pros and cons of long term contracts.
You have your way and others have theirs.
Maybe this will explain it. When an end user or newbie alarm company comes to ASA, I don't promote one year, two year, 5 year or any amount of time contract. I don't ever remember anyone in ASA EVER telling an end user to sign a long term contract here. Or to steer clear of anyone trying to give you a month to month contract.
Thats just something that doens't effect me. My monitoring price is my monitoring price. If it's higher then someone else and a client wants to quibble over a dollar or two a month. He's not my customer. When the original 5 year term is up, the amount stays the same. I'm required by law to notify them via certified letter and they've got time to cancel. The next time I vist on service, I ask them to sign a new agreement for 5 years and they do. If they don't it remains at one year or they always have the option to cancel without penalty. I prefer the 5 year because it's worth more in the market.
Same thing here. I can beat them out ...... every time.
As I said before, it's all a matter of perspective. To a dwarf even a midget looks tall.
Yeah, dem binks guys nos what dey's doin'
RHC: Not quite, I started in this business in 1983 doing locksmithing and other physical security work, and started in the alarm side of my business in 1994 when I took my buyout from full time middle management work at Bell Canada....that's 13 years actually.
RHC: I know where you are coming from. I see so much business that I could literally walk right in to, but choose not to because I'm trying to slow down not speed up. But old habits die hard, and it's hard not to take on that one extra job (like you say, the one that stretches the time budget just to get it done...). I do "cherry pick" my jobs now, but still fall victim to taking on the occasional alarm system that needs a lot of repair work, because the new home owner was a previous customer of mine....how do you say no????
RHC: Yeah, that's the tough one. I usually tell them on the phone that there are a lot of systems out there that are poorly installed, or have been let go, and that I always inspect them before accepting responsibility for their system. That way, they are only disappointed, and not offended when I say no. But it's still kinda tough, and especially so if it's second time around for these folks.
RHC: I wish I could say the same about here. While a lot go quickly, there are some "dogs" that remain, and even seem to prosper. I guess while there are a large number of people "looking for something for nothing", this will always be the case...
RHC: Locking boards is the exception rather than the rule here and is primarily the domain of the "little guys". Big nationals rarely do it, and if you find it so, it's generally because the panel was installed by a subcontractor.
RHC: It seems that the security market can vary a lot from region to region and depends a lot on the demographics of the area. Our area is relatively rich, with loads of high tech folks who don't mind spending the money for a decent system. One new trend that I am seeing is a growing request from customers to be able to dial in to there panels and access the event log. I don't allow that for all the usual and legitimate reasons, but primarily I don't want them to be able to mess with critical settings, and there seems to be no way to do this without allowing "all or nothing" access. The older Paradox panels used to allow the client to have a restricted version of the software which only allowed them to dial in and access the two pages covering the event log and the user codes, but this never caught on. And the newer panels don't have it.
I have one client who is adamant that I allow him this and I've suggested a combination of the auto arm feature and monthly uploads by me, sent to him by email. I've also offered him the Central Station option to email him (or cell phone him with a text message) on openings and closing. However, he is still not satisfied with that, and bottom line, I've suggested he look at other dealers who can install either the Omni or HAI systems which might do this for him.
This seems to be a growing demand by the high tech types who have come to expect this sort of instant access via the internet, even though it really doesn't seem to offer much real advantage to them. At the moment, I have only limited answers for them.
HAI does indeed have two tier software that meets this need. Now if only their panels were more reasonably priced...
ALARM.COM will give them access they need for only a few bucks a month.>
RHC: Thanks, I have sent them a dealer request for more information. If this truly does all that it promises, and does it at a reasonable price, it should fit the bill. But after so many years in the business, I remain suspicious about these "miracle cures". Nor do I like the idea of using what looks like on their website an "all in one box" keypad / alarm solution...sounds kinds "mickey mouse". But we'll see that they say about compatibility with existing hardware....
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