Alarm Funding Associates, a security funding and acquisition company based out of West Chester, Pa., has rebranded as Alarm Connections.

“We’ve evolved from a bulk acquisition company to one that’s focused on customer experience and synergy with our partners to deliver that customer experience,” said Alarm Connections CEO Sean Forrest.

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Watch this video about AFA’s rebrand to Alarm Connections where Alarm Connections CEO Sean Forrest chats with SDM Staff Editor Amanda Reed.

Aside from the name change, operational changes include dividing partners into regions, each with a regional relationship manager to increase communication between the partner and Alarm Connections; access to a partner equipment program that allows partners to buy products at national level pricing and thus be more competitive; and providing them with marketing materials so end customers know they are part of a larger network, but with their known dealer.

The latter was previously not clear before. According to Forrest, this allows Alarm Connections partners to generate add-on sales to customers that didn’t exist previously.

“When we acquire accounts and bulk acquisitions, our dealer becomes an Alarm Connections partner, but the partner maintains their own business identity, their name brand, and they continue to serve the customers at a local level,” Forrest said.

Additionally, partner benefits include free access to an annual partner conference Alarm Connections partners can attend to share best practices, and access to a call center with technical support.

During COVID-19 — and even beyond — Forrest says providing lightning quick service is essential, especially when most security companies are considered essential businesses.

“We answer the phone 90 percent of the time in 30 seconds or less,” Forrest said. “Our average speed is around 20 seconds. That’s what customers are looking for in the pandemic.”

With Amazon and Google’s DIY solutions becoming more popular and prominent, Alarm Connections’ investment in smaller brands is contrarian to industry trends.

“Our bet is that the local guy is a survivor and a competitor in whatever comes through technology and do-it-yourself options,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that there is a large market for people that want expertise from someone they trust rather than buying off the internet.”

Between lenders leaving the space and the security industry falling out of favor with the financial community, Alarm Connections is there to help and support that “local guy,” according to Forrest.

“We have funding for substantial growth in the future, and will provide that funding gap that occurs with local alarm companies not being able to access financing,” Forrest said.