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Smart Home

Serious Emergencies and the Role of Professional Response

Security systems with 24/7 professional monitoring are the foundation of consumer familiarity with home monitoring services. These traditional services set the standard for safety, theft prevention, and detection for homes and businesses and have a straightforward and robust value proposition that resonates with consumers and companies. Currently, Parks Associates’ research reveals that 36% of broadband households have professional security monitoring.

Further, new options allow consumers to add a professional monitoring service to a specific device, rather than to a full security system. Over one-half of smart home device owners believe there is value in paying for specific devices to be connected to a professional monitoring station. Particularly viable devices include network cameras, smart door locks, smart garage doors, or a combination of these devices. These devices represent the heart of access control for the home and complement the core pro-monitored security offering: premise security.

New research released from Parks Associates reveals US broadband households are split nearly 50/50 between a customized and highly controlled app and a simple and automated experience when asked about their ideal app experience for smart home devices. Tech-enthusiast consumers and smart home device owners want control, while older consumers and those not yet using smart home devices want automation. These findings underscore the need for a broad approach in smart home app development, with in-depth knowledge of the preferences within each consumer segment.

In recent years, service providers have driven new revenue by converting legacy security system customers to interactive services and adding sales of connected devices such as networked cameras, smart doorbells, and smart door locks. In many instances, standalone smart home devices and services offer solutions to these same areas, enabling users to self-monitor conditions with mobile, automated alerts.

The use of an app that controls multiple products increases with the number of devices owned. Security system owners are far more likely to own smart home devices, but many smart home solution providers are vying to provide a unified point of control to the smart home and thus ‘own’ the relationship with the consumer.

However, consumers aren't always available to respond, or want the assurance of professional medical or safety to arrive and thus see the value of a full professional monitoring service. Our consumer survey data of 10,000 households shows that broadband households with safety concerns are much more likely than all broadband households to have a professionally monitored security system; this is especially true among households concerned for their vacation or rental property safety.

House monitoring, emergency response, and smoke/ fire monitoring are the most appealing features of home security systems by current owners. These also align with the strongest value proposition for professional monitoring — serious emergencies demand professional response.

Professional monitoring providers continue to push the envelope and broaden their value proposition by adding new lines of service:

  • Energy usage monitoring
  • Risk mitigation from flood and fire
  • Tracking of valuables
  •  Appliance maintenance monitoring
  • Monitoring the safety and health of aging relatives
  • Vehicle monitoring

As aspects of daily life get more connected, remote work continues on for many, and new technologies enable advanced applications, consumers’ interest in smart home devices and expanded professional monitoring services will continue.

This research excerpt is from Parks Associates’ recent whitepaper in collaboration with Xfinity Home which has a wealth of research focused on the market trends specific to the role of the security provider. For more information about our work visit

I love feedback and comments about our data and insights. Please reach out to me or any team members if you would like to share your solution with our team or have questions about our research.

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© 2022 Parks Associates

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