I read with interest your remarks about contract term/length and wanted to comment. My experience (while employed at ADT in Oregon for 7 years) was that when a consumer desired a shorter contract term, if I didn't provide it, another alarm company would. I must remind everyone that the salesperson has power of the pen. For instance, when I would write in the body of ADT's 3-year residential OUTRIGHT SALE contract that the term would be only 1 year, the customer had to pay an additional minimum consideration of $300 on a basic $249, 2-door, 1-motion hardwired system. 
     Using their OUTRIGHT SALE contract meant the customer owned the system outright since they paid full price, without a discount for a longer term contract. When the customer wanted a larger system, (say a wireless 6-door, 12-windows) the consideration would be higher. I would explain that ADT installed the basic system for less than cost, in consideration for a 3 or 5 year monitoring term.  (Residential terms are 3 years, business terms are 5 years).  ADT had to make a profit either upfront or over a term, so the longer the term, the less up front they had to pay. The customer(s) understood and would agree to pay the higher price for a shorter term.  
     I was scolded by the installation manager more than once for converting a term contract into an outright sale contract and remember being told "ADT's not in the alarm business! We're in the monitoring business!"  Not to mention, as a 100% commissioned salesperson, I was paid less for doing so because some of my pay was based on contract length.  However, satisfying the customer and getting their business was more important to me than missing a few dollars on my pay check.  I knew I'd make it up in referral and repeat business. 
    Fast forward: a year later when the customer wanted to cancel the monitoring service, all he/she had to do was present copy of the contract with the remarks written in the body of the contract.  Putting it (the altered monitoring term) on a separate page (like a rider) didn't work well because it got separated from the contract. So long as the altered term was in the body, on the front page, in plain sight, easy to read & understand, there was no issue in cancelling. 
     This method earned the customer's business and chances were very good they would be a repeat customer; especially if they were a home builder/remodeler, only wanting protection for a short period. If the premise sold sooner, and the new owners signed up for monitoring, the original 1-year term would cancel automatically. If the new owners didn't want monitoring, the remainder of the contract term owed was factored into the sale and the 1-year term got paid off early. Bottom line is, where there is a will, there is a way and not all customers are keen on long term contracts. If you want their business, you have to be flexible. Just charge more upfront. 
Cynthia Hart
Retired Security Consultant
    It's not fair to say that ADT isn't in the alarm business, but that scratches the surface.  It is a professional alarm company, but it's real business is recurring revenue.  Installations are essentially free and profit is anticipated from continuous monitoring revenue.  The RMR business model is not unique to the alarm business, but the alarm industry has embraced that model and made it work.  ADT is the industry's best example and certainly Vivint is the up and comer.  Those who are making it in the alarm industry and those that aspire to make it in this industry already know the long term benefit of RMR growth.  Not only will positive cash flow eventually be available but business equity will skyrocket.  
    So, yes, the goal is increasing the RMR, each month, each year.  Longer term contracts help stabilize the RMR stream, but healthy customer relations, generally achieved by latest and greatest products and service, will ultimately be the most important ingredient for success.  You have to ensure the products and service; I'll provide the contracts.  Use the All in One forms that address your customer base and services.  Your choices are Residential, Commercial and Commercial Fire.  For those of you in the fire suppression business we offer the Fire Suppression All in One.  Order the forms at www.alarmcontacts.com