Year over year, more security integrators are adding recurring monthly revenue (RMR) products and services to their mix of offerings — a trend that observers predict will continue to grow as tech-savvy customers demand more and better products without a big upfront capital investment.

While security dealers have been RMR-savvy from the beginning — due to their monitoring revenue component — integrators more recently discovered the benefits of courting more RMR: higher business valuations; predictable revenue streams; stickier customers; and more. But it isn’t as easy as just deciding to do it. It requires a mindset shift.

“RMR is so important when trying to grow your business, both in the long and short term, because it helps maintain consistent cash flow,” says Ryan Kaltenbaugh, senior vice president, sales, North America, at LenelS2, a Carrier company based in Pittsford, N.Y. “Having a stable, predictable cash flow provides assurances and flexibility for businesses they may otherwise not have. Our advice to integrators is to make recurring monthly services, and therefore RMR, a part of your business strategy now, if you have not already.”

The key to RMR success for integrators is to build it into your culture, says Chris Gilbert, president and founder of Security Pros LLC, an integrator based in Jeffersonville, Ind. “The entire organization needs to understand and champion the impact RMR has on the business, their daily work, and long-term goals to improve their position as the company grows.”

The RMR model produces a win-win-win for integrators, manufacturers, and end users, says consultant Bill Bozeman, president, Bozeman Strategic Solutions, New Orleans (and retired president and CEO for PSA Security Network). “It’s a smart business move to make, no matter what product or service,” he says. “An RMR base provides predictability, and your company is worth a lot more, so it’s easier to borrow money or sell your company for a higher value. Plus, the next generation demands these types of services.”

In the past, some integrators may have been slow to adopt an RMR model because of a “generational thing” that’s changing as a non-native tech generation ages out of the system. “Guys from my generation who were selling or passing the company down didn’t embrace changes; the new generation is,” Bozeman says. “Integrators who refuse to participate will not only hurt themselves from a cash flow standpoint, but also from just staying in business.”

Besides providing a steady revenue flow, RMR can also enhance an integrator’s business valuation, says Geoff Kohl, senior director of marketing for Security Industry Association (SIA), Silver Spring, Md. In researching its 2022 Security Megatrends report, SIA found a “striking difference” in valuations between integrators with RMR business models and those focused on the one-time installation model. “The example comparison was that a traditional integrator’s valuation may be just 0.5 to 1.5 times their annual revenue; but if they moved to recurring revenue, they were seeing valuations of between 3 and 5 times their annual recurring revenue,” he says.

This is primarily because an RMR-based business generates a predictable revenue stream for integrators, says Ken Francis, president, Eagle Eye Networks Inc., Austin, Texas. “The RMR generation possibilities are limitless,” he says. “When an existing customer adds cameras, a new location, additional retention time, or new features, the reseller derives additional revenue, every month. Innovation is constantly ongoing at our company, so resellers regularly have new features, products, and services to choose from and to offer their customers.”

RMR is great for customers, too, providing them with the latest security technology without the big upfront capital expenditure of a purchase. It also allows them to stabilize their monthly expenses with a flat monthly fee. Because customers are reducing their operating expenses, they don’t need staff to manage technology, as in a capital model where they’re buying their own equipment, explains Brent Duncan, president and chief operating officer, Interface Security Systems, Earth City, Mo. “It’s a predictable cost model that ties to tech platforms, maintenance, and licensing,” he adds.

A business model that lowers a customer’s upfront investment cost in exchange for longer-term commitment to services can be attractive to many end users, says Paul Garms, director of regional marketing, video systems, Bosch, Fairport, N.Y. “They’re outsourcing a lot of the risk as well with equipment features, and it’s only going to grow,” he says. “I see a lot of upside in the market with integrators increasing their RMR.”

Tech Advances Spurring the Change

Technology advances such as broadband and cloud have helped spur customer interest in products and services linked to an RMR model (see sidebar 1). “More technology will end up in the cloud, and more customers are going to be accepting of it,” says Tom Mechler, regional marketing manager, intrusion systems for Bosch. “We’re getting to the point where people are used to these services in paying for other things, so why not the security and control of their buildings? Where I see this going is that more equipment, more software, more things in their facility will be hosted in the cloud. That will provide them with a lower upfront cost and provide integrators with longer-term renewing revenue streams they don’t see today.”

A Menu of Products & Services

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Cloud-based solutions that offer customers a lower upfront cost to deploy with a monthly fee are a popular RMR service. // AQABIZ/ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS VIA GETTY IMAGES

Advances in technology and increased customer demand have opened the door for a rich menu of security-as-a-service options.

The two major products/services linked to RMR are video and access control as a service, says Bill Bozeman of Bozeman Strategic Solutions. However, add-ons can and do transcend simple crime deterrence. Branching out from these two broad categories are electronic security/fire alarm, keyless entry, CCTV, maintenance plans, monitoring, LTE signal and data transmission, mobile applications, weapons detection, visitor management systems, mobile credentials, touchless access, long-term storage, proactive video monitoring, environmental monitoring solutions — and pretty much anything else you can think of.

“No longer are security systems just used for calling the police or fire departments,” says Quentin Gunther of Resideo. “Systems are integrating light control, cameras, building temperature, and anything else that may go into a home or business. In the current environment, a seamless mobile experience drives value — and consumers and business owners are willing to pay for that convenience.”

Integrators are using both technology and business processes to drive RMR, with many new solutions like proactive video monitoring and remote guarding services leading the charge, says Mike Taylor of Identiv. Cloud-based solutions that offer customers a lower upfront cost to deploy with a monthly fee are popular, as are access control and video as a service solutions. “Companies with strong balance sheets are also deploying standard onsite systems and then just offering long-term financing to their customers,” he says. “After the pandemic, many companies wanted to hoard cash, so they moved toward offerings that had an OPEX (operating expense) solution.”

Recurring monthly revenue from cloud video is the perfect steady and sustainable business model for security integrators, says Anthony Novotne of CheckVideo. “A big benefit to integrators is the ability to offer enterprise-class functions without having to replace or install expensive servers and VMS systems.”

Chris Gilbert of Security Pros LLC says, “Since our inception, the goal has been recurring revenue. That vision led us to hosting services such as Brivo,, Netwatch proactive surveillance monitoring, service agreements, inspection services, and most recently, Eagle Eye Networks’ cloud video surveillance hosting. Over the past three years we have moved away from intrusion systems and focused our entire effort on access control, surveillance, service agreements, and proactive video monitoring.”

While hosted video and hosted access must be in the playbook, John Nemerofsky of SAGE says more customers are interested in add-ons like weapons detection, mobile credentialing, facial recognition, touchless access, and long-term storage.

“Facility and IT managers want to deal with the least amount of vendors possible, so our offerings try to accommodate that,” says Lawrence Coassin Jr., American Total Protection LLC. “If you have a security or life safety need, we want to be the one-stop shop.” American Total Protection offers electronic security/fire alarm, keyless entry, and CCTV. Add-ons include fire sprinkler, fire extinguisher, and electrical services, which allow the integrator to cross-sell across divisions.

Transitioning businesses from land phone lines to cellular and internet is another great way to generate RMR, says George Brody of Telguard, which specializes in this service. Security systems with landlines must maintain two dedicated phone lines, which can cost a business as much as $300 a month. Moving away from landlines provides the customer with reliable technology and a reduced monthly bill, and opens the door for the integrator to suggest added services like remotely arming and disarming access control. “By eliminating the funds that the end user would be paying to the telco, those funds will be transferred for the service to the dealer/integrator. …The dealer gets the RMR, the customer gets a lower cost and added services,” Brody says.

Interface Security Systems is constantly researching and testing the latest technology to see how it fits with its other products and services, says Brent Duncan. This can be challenging because they’re dealing with dozens of vendors, each with their own niche products that fit different requirements for different customers. “You have to be flexible and willing to work with customers on hardware they’ve invested in or have some particular preference for,” he says. “It’s much more difficult to go to market with a single piece of hardware. Customers want to follow our guidance on new implementation, but if they already invested in a platform, we want them to leverage that.”

Building an RMR business can be rewarding for integrators if they are consistent about pursuing these service offerings to their customers, says Anthony Novotne, marketing manager at CheckVideo, Falls Church, Va. “Over time, adding cloud-based security services can help integrators grow their business year over year from existing customers and continue to build with money coming in from new customers.”

The electronic security industry is at an inflection point because of increased adoption of cloud-based as-a-service offerings for video, access control, and proactive video monitoring, says Justin Wilmas, president of Netwatch North America, Lake Forest, Calif.

“My advice to integrators, especially those who are looking to diversify their solution offerings, is to start with a top-down approach in adopting some of these higher-value RMR type solutions,” he says. “Look for solutions that allow you to scale effectively and offer high margins with low attrition, meaning you are providing a higher value solution at a lower impact to your business and are able to scale effectively.”

Security Pro employees

The key to RMR success is to build it into your culture, says Chris Gilbert of Security Pros LLC. “The entire organization needs to understand and champion the impact RMR has on the business, their daily work, and long-term goals to improve their position as the company grows.” // IMAGE COURTESY OF SECURITY PROS LLC

Putting the Client First

Integrators that succeed with an RMR strategy understand their customers’ operations and provide them with the products and services they need — and everything flows from there. “We standardize on solutions that solve real issues that the client requires to be solved,” says Gilbert of Security Pros. “Your client base, when analyzed, will show the way forward and what services to offer. Again, you must stand behind the reasons for your solutions and fully understand the impact they are having on your client.”

The key to RMR success is to establish clear value for the customer, communicate that value to them, and deliver an exceptional customer experience so that value translates for the life of the customer relationship, says Duncan of Interface. “It’s what we strive for,” he adds. “It’s absolutely doable; and like it or not, this is the direction the market is going and a preferred way for most buyers to purchase in a predictable RMR structure.”

Founded in the 1990s, Interface was originally a rollup of alarm providers, Duncan says. “So the business has always been focused on becoming a broad provider of technologies to distributed enterprise and large multisite national organizations. We have evolved the business since then, but (RMR) has always been in our core.”

Interface provides three broad categories of products and services tied to RMR: managed network and communication services (connectivity, voice services, and securing all of that); physical security (from alarm to video and all enhanced services around it); and business intelligence and analytics (delivered through all the devices on a customer’s premises, used to leverage insight on operations, staffing, customer service, and more).

Interface’s business is a mix of traditional installations and RMR. The mix can vary by the year, depending on the size of the installation projects taken on. Typical RMR ranges from 70 percent to 85 percent of annual revenue; in 2021, it was 79 percent, representing a 37 percent growth in sales bookings over 2020.

“RMR should be a part of any business with a monitoring element,” Duncan says. “We are a different animal because we’re a managed service partner delivering integrated, flat rating RMR bundles. … Almost everything we sell has an RMR element to it.”

Rethinking Your Sales Structure

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A shift to RMR requires integrators to totally rethink and restructure their sales process. // NICOLASMCCOMBER/E+ VIA GETTY IMAGES

A shift to RMR requires integrators to totally rethink and restructure their sales process.

“Moving from primarily one-time, project-based work to recurring, constant service-based work represents a significant change in cash flow dynamics,” says Ryan Kaltenbaugh of LenelS2. “Compensation of sales team members is a major issue within many organizations, as many integrators do not understand how to, or will not want to, pay their salespeople for RMR contracts that are sold.” For example, integrators must decide whether to pay the salesperson all commissions up front, based on the full value of the software over time, or a piece of the recurring revenue.

“It’s certainly a transition,” says Brett Duncan of Interface, which pays its sales staff a base salary and a percentage of the customers’ monthly fees. “The challenge is getting the sales force to shift the way they sell,” he says. “In RMR models, a big component is how you map out the ROI for customers; we go through a process of analyzing that for them and [helping them] understand how they’re offsetting other costs. There is less risk for customers in this type of model, less exposure; it’s more of an insurance model that covers all aspects of the service. But it’s certainly a change for sales organizations if they have traditionally been IR (invoice receipt) driven.”

This change can be jarring for some organizations, says Laurent Villeneuve, product marketing manager, Genetec, Montreal. Using the analogy of a business migrating from on-premises to cloud technology, for some it makes sense to transition gradually to an RMR business model, just as businesses may develop a hybrid model between on-premises to cloud technology. “Make sure your sales team understands the benefits and drawbacks of RMR business and that you have their buy in,” he says. It’s also essential to have a sales structure that provides good training and understanding of how to sell and support RMR services, he adds.

Traditional sales compensation plans drive the business in the direction of the commissionable opportunity, says Jonathan Frase of Frase Protection Inc. “When a salesperson is commissioned primarily on job profit, for example, that’s exactly where they will focus.” Frase has been successful in paying on job profit as well as commissions on RMR generated. “In some cases, you may find that your existing salespeople struggle to adapt to a new organizational focus, such as selling RMR. In that case it may help to add to your sales team.”

The sales team also needs to learn how to ask the right questions to get customers thinking about RMR services, says Lawrence Coassin Jr. of American Total Protection LLC. “You cannot be afraid to ask for the sale,” he says. “American Total Protection got its start in the alarm business, so we come from the world of recurring monthly revenue. … Salespeople can be hesitant to ask for a monthly fee for a product that does not necessarily require it. For example, our sales team is supposed to give our CCTV customers with local recorders the option of an annual camera cleaning, annual preventative maintenance agreement, and remote search support. They are often very hesitant to ask for an additional monthly fee, even though there is value associated to it. If I am proposing a solution to the customer, I am proposing every possible value add that I can — printing of ID cards, cleaning of equipment, hosting, remote support, etc.”

This change of mindset goes for services, as well. In the traditional integrator sales model, “A truck roll was sometimes seen as an opportunity to bill, unless it was a warranty service,” says Geoff Kohl of SIA. “But in the as-a-service technology delivery model, the profitability comes when you’re not having to roll a truck — and given today’s workforce shortages, that’s probably a good thing. But this shift also means you have to set up your support team to better be able to resolve problems remotely, and that will likely require some investment and training of your people.”

Interface starts by offering customers physical security solutions, then giving them the option to add on features such as data analytics or network management for a fixed monthly fee, which includes access to Interface’s technical expertise. “Plus, we’re constantly upgrading the platform, so that’s baked into the RMR structure,” Duncan adds. “Our other mantra is delivering fantastic customer support and a fantastic experience for our customers so they know when they’re paying this monthly fee, it’s all-encompassing and they won’t get hit with hidden fees. That’s allowed us to grow our RMR business.”

Educating the customer on how a monthly security service can help their business is essential for RMR growth, says Lawrence Coassin Jr., CEO at American Total Protection LLC, Hamden, Conn. “It is our job as the integrator to know our customers’ pain points and point those out during the sales process,” he says. “Unless our customer has an in-house IT department and facilities dedicated to managing the systems, it is in their best interest to pay us to help manage their security systems.”

Recognizing the ideal client for managed services is one of the essential steps of building an RMR business. “It’s essential to know the target market for these solutions,” says Eric Widlitz, vice president product management at ACRE Americas, Las Vegas. “Cloud-based access control services are ideal for smaller retail properties and property management companies. The ideal customers for this type of solution are small and mid-sized businesses, and we are starting to see greater adoption with enterprise-type customers.”

While small- to mid-sized businesses that lack a security director or IT manager are logical candidates — such as in the senior living space, property management, and multifamily housing — enterprise-level customers can also benefit from RMR services, says John Nemerofsky, chief operating officer at SAGE Integration, Kent, Ohio. For example, enterprise businesses are deploying more visitor systems as they get back to work in a post-pandemic world, which are a natural fit for RMR. Integrators targeting these businesses should establish best practices in advising them, including selecting the most appropriate products, evaluating their current technology, and more, he adds.

There are many benefits to creating RMR activities for integrators, including new revenue streams, cash flow benefits, and “stickiness” when it comes to customer retention, says John Becker, global vice president of sales, AMAG Technology Inc., Hawthorne, Calif. “However, the service that creates RMR for an integrator has to provide a measurable benefit to their customers,” he says. “Otherwise, it just looks like a cash grab.”

This means providing customers with some kind of measurables to gauge the add-on products’ effectiveness and prove return on equity.

“Ultimately, customers want outcomes,” says Ted Wilkinson, national sales director, Axis Communications, Chelmsford, Mass. “It’s important to determine key metrics and share them in easy-to-digest dashboards. Customer retention, repeat business, and recurring revenue are all about adding value — so integrators should seek to become a trusted advisor and an indispensable business partner.”

A Totally Different Mindset

Switching to RMR requires a major mindset change, Gilbert says. “There are perceived barriers that limit an organization from going forward with an RMR model. They are just that: perceived barriers that limit one’s ability. Many times, a company believes so strongly in a project/bid type business that they simply cannot grasp the culture changes necessary to execute the RMR-based business. In this instance I feel they need a champion or a division to drive the message forward, versus trying to change an already working business model.”

Probably the biggest shift integrators must make in increasing RMR is to transition away from a business model that’s solely based on big, one-time installations. Staff buy-in is essential, especially from the sales and service side of the business.

Comparing the process to a hardware provider like IBM morphing into a software company, an integrator’s entire enterprise must get behind the RMR model, says George Brody, president of Telguard, Atlanta. “It’s not a short term or one-off initiative, but a long-term commitment to develop, engage, and maintain an RMR business model.” A key challenge is managing customer “churn,” he adds. “Once you have the customer, make sure you keep them engaged. Communicate, support, and service them. Having added value that you’re providing to them is very important. The cost of acquiring a new customer is so high; once you have them, you want to maintain it.”

SIA’s Kohl adds: “There is a psychological change in how you sell security as a service, and that can be difficult for some businesses that have worked purely in a project or job model.”

Jonathan Frase, president of Frase Protection Inc., an integrator based in Memphis, Tenn., made the decision five years ago to add an RMR service with every sale, “no exceptions,” he says. “At the time, our team was concerned that the RMR requirement would slow our growth. But our growth has continued at or above our previous pace. We see very little resistance when selling RMR.” Frase Protection offers maintenance plans, monitoring, LTE signal and data transmission, and mobile applications on an RMR basis. In 2021, more than 70 percent of Frase’s annual revenue was attributable to RMR, up almost 5 percent from 2020.

Along with a change in business philosophy, integrators focusing on RMR must also change their sales structure, legal approach, contract and terms of service, post-installation service, and more. Key to the process is a finance team that’s equipped to handle the bookkeeping related to changes in revenue stream and billing.

“Allocating resources to support an RMR business model is key, depending on the type of business model, products, and technology the dealer will be offering,” Brody says. “You must have the working capital, support structure, and a clear definition for outlining the added services you’ll be offering.”

Integrators can overcome these challenges by using service and payment processing that is electronic and auto-renewable, Becker says. “RMR does not require increased sales or technician resources, but some of the back-office support will be taxed such as finance, customer support, and administration of a program.”

They also need to be staffed with the appropriate employees to address any technical issues that might arise from delivering security as a service.

Growing RMR: Two Different Approaches

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Chris Gilbert’s career launch at ADT provided him with foundational experience in installation, sales, and management — and positioned Security Pros LLC for RMR growth. // IMAGE COURTESY OF SECURITY PROS LLC

When it comes to nurturing an RMR business model, there are two approaches: growing your own, or acquiring a business that specializes in RMR.

Those with a background in the alarm business have a strong RMR basis and understand how it works. That was the case for Chris Gilbert of Security Pros. He began his career in 1997 working for ADT, which provided him with foundational experience in installation, sales, and management. Gilbert founded Security Pros in 2009 and from the beginning, focused on hosted services, working primarily in the municipal space with large camera deployments. “Everything we do has been RMR-focused since our inception,” he says.

In 2021, 35 percent of Security Pros’ revenue was attributable to RMR, a 73 percent overall increase from 2020. Gilbert attributes this growth to Security Pros’ addition of hosted video surveillance, expanded use of its access control platforms, and a stronger approach to its service agreements.

“Honestly, the products are secondary,” he says. “By only choosing products that are RMR-centric and by putting your clients’ trust in your brand first, your move to RMR creation will happen organically. Clients choose your company based on your understanding of the impact your solutions have on their operation.”

Security Pros’ customer base in the United States and Mexico is expanding: the integrator currently has customers in 12 states and three sites in Mexico, as well as opportunities in Europe and Australia. Markets include municipalities, parks and recreation, police departments, trucking and transfer companies, warehousing, and fitness centers.

Security Pros still does plenty of traditional installations, with $100,000,000 jobs not unusual. While the average project is in the $35,000 to $40,000 range, a big chunk of that is also RMR, he adds.

Gilbert attributes the shift in his clients’ mindset to RMR products to Security Pros’ service department, which is laser-focused on teaching customers about such add-ons. “It’s a big initiative for us in 2022 to make our service department more profitable by educating customers about new services,” he adds.

His advice to integrators looking to grow their RMR: “Lead with RMR services. They are the lifeblood of the business and they are not optional. Understand the impact they have on the client’s operation and the ROI they will see from your services. When you’re confident in the solution, the client will be, too.”

In contrast to integrators that were RMR focused from inception, SAGE Integration got into RMR by acquisition, says John Nemerofsky. In 2021, 18 percent of SAGE’s revenue came from RMR, in areas including hosted access, video, mobile credentialing, service contracts, software support agreements, and more. SAGE’s goal for 2022 is to grow that to 25 percent.

“There were multiple reasons why we wanted to build the RMR, including the health and valuation of the business, best services for clients and markets we call on,” he says. In 2019, SAGE acquired AYSCO Security Consultants and DTS Security, both of which already had embedded service contracts and the employees to generate RMR.

It was a prescient move: when the COVID-19 pandemic snowballed, SAGE’s traditional business took a hit, while those service contracts kept generating revenue. “How nice it was to have 18 percent of revenue still rolling through the door when capital projects slowed down,” he says. “That helped us take a step back and analyze programs and accelerate growth and services around RMR.”

Today, SAGE offers hosted access, hosted video, facial recognition, and long-term video storage as its menu of services. To help grow this segment, SAGE has prioritized developing a managed service culture, from sales to finances, to ensure that it can handle RMR. “It’s challenging for a traditional integrator to shift business. …We had been built to handle construction projects for so long, but it’s a different world for RMR,” he says.

That’s why it’s important for integrators to train every aspect of the organization — sales, operations, and finance — to understand how RMR services work for the customer, how they’re deployed, and how they’re billed, Nemerofsky says.

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SAGE Integration’s RMR growth strategy was rooted in two strategic acquisitions of businesses that already had embedded service contracts and the employees to generate RMR, says Chief Operating Officer John Nemerofsky. // IMAGE COURTESY OF SAGE INTEGRATION

“Typically, integrators do not have someone on staff that is available daily to manage software-as-a-service (SaaS) systems,” says Kaltenbaugh of LenelS2. “Staff is required to perform configurations, credentialing, and software maintenance on a timely basis. Integrators should be prepared for these needs when moving to an RMR model.”

Probably the biggest change integrators need to make to succeed at RMR is in the category of sales. “The biggest challenge facing dealers is the focus of their sales teams,” says Mike Taylor, vice president, global sales, Identiv, Fremont, Calif. “Too many integrators tend to pay their sales reps on margin; that means the sales rep is financially encouraged to sell stand-alone, large systems. If you do not compensate properly for long-term agreements, they will not be sold”

See Sidebar 2).

It’s also important to recognize what is and isn’t true RMR. “Many integrators think they generate RMR via SSAs (subscriber service agreements) and maintenance contracts,” says Mike Taylor, vice president, global sales, at Identiv. While they can be recurring fees, they are also year-to-year agreements that any other competitor can offer, he says. “There is no true value for these types of agreements. It is important for [integrators] to understand what doing a long-term, recurring agreement looks like.”

CheckVideo’s Novotne agrees. “Spreading out payment for installation over multiple months is not true RMR,” he says. “Fortunately, there are multiple solutions available that enable you to deliver software updates, security patches, and cloud recording, taking this burden off the client and the integrator. Make sure the vendor is willing to back it up with a service guarantee and that there is no lock-in. In other words, the equipment would be usable without using the service.”

Many vendors are more than happy to help dealers and integrators get started on growing their RMR business. Kohl says integrators should ask their vendor partners how they can help transition to a recurring revenue model. “I think some integrators will be shocked to find out that many vendors they may not think of as RMR-centric vendors are actually now offering cloud access and RMR types of solutions and are in a good position to help advise their integrator partners on how to make that transition,” he says. “Most of these firms have had the same realizations about the benefits of as-a-service, recurring revenue business models and know that for them to transition their own businesses, they need to help you, the integrator, make that transition, too.”

For example, Austin, Texas-based Resideo has a premier security dealer program that offers training for integrators on how to ask the right questions, introduce new products and services to the end user that help create more engaged customers, win more business, and drive higher RMR, says Quentin Gunther, Resideo premier security dealer program leader.

“When considering manufacturers to partner with for this kind of solution, it’s essential to choose those that understand the industry and provide comprehensive guidance in modifying this model to be successful,” Widlitz says. “It’s also important to note that the selected system should be simple to install with quick and efficient management, offering the modern features critical to a wide range of consumers.”

Integrators can set up AMAG Technology’s Symmetry access control system as an RMR solution through its SSA program and through its hosted solutions such as Symmetry CONNECT, GUEST, and mobile, Becker says. “Some of our integrators have partnered their sale of Symmetry solutions with service contracts and warranties that are sold as monthly costs. These monthly costs make it more palatable for customers, even if they pay it annually.”

Carefully researching the right vendor to help with RMR can also help integrators select the right technology. One of the biggest challenges to growing RMR is finding RMR technology that actually does what it is supposed to do, says Louis Boulgarides, CPP, president and CEO at Ollivier Corporation, Los Angeles. “There are multiple products and companies out there, and the trick is to find the right partners to support your customers,” he says. “Nothing will derail an RMR program faster than installing a product that doesn’t work. It creates a bad relationship with the customer, and makes salespeople leery of selling RMR going forward.” Ollivier grew its RMR by $400,000 in 2021, representing 15 percent of the company’s annual revenue, and a 30 percent increase from 2020. Boulgarides attributes this growth to partnering with reputable vendors with a strong cyber-secure environment, which allows the integrator to focus on the customer, while the manufacturer takes care of the back end.

“Selling RMR takes commitment from the highest levels of the organization and consistency,” Boulgarides says. “You have to be willing to make the investment to see the returns in the future.”

Once that commitment is made, however, RMR is one of those rare “win-win-win” type deals, Bozeman says. “Why should you do it? Three big reasons: it’s more convenient, efficient, and cost effective for the customer. … It’s really good for the integrators — for their cash flow, company valuation. And it’s also good for manufacturers. ... The only person who doesn’t win is the criminal.”