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Some things to think about
December 3,  2019
Some things to think about
            Time moves along and presents new challenges as technology and society norms evolve and change.  You see it more easily when you look back years and take it all in from that perspective.  While a change from 2019 to 2020 may not be readily apparent, a change from 1990 to 2020 makes all the difference.  And yet some things remain a constant.
            The alarm industry, if that is still the appropriate way to refer to alarm integration professionals, is still a Recurring Monthly Revenue model business.  Its customers remain residential and commercial.  Its services still revolve around intrusion security and fire for the most part.  Of course you didn’t see remote access to systems, particularly cameras, years ago, but no new unrecognizable technology just yet.  I’m far from technical but I’ll venture to say that 5G is around the corner and will begin making headway this year or next.  
            The security and fire alarm industry continues to grow beyond smaller mom and pop operations and we see a good deal of consolidation in the industry.  There is still plenty of room for the smaller operations, and I think there always will be, but giant alarm companies, some with outside money, continue to grow by acquisition and aggressive sales campaigns.  Monitoring Centers also have come into their own and are certainly going to continue to thrive as an essential service to the alarm industry.  Efforts by municipalities to usurp the private monitoring centers will probably continue, and will likely fail.  
            Manufacturers are likely to continue trying to figure out how to get into the RMR game and we may see more dealer or distributor programs.  Just be careful to retain your own RMR on your own contracts.  The name of the game in the alarm industry is still building equity through proper contracts with RMR and cashing in with a sale of accounts either as a structured plan to continue operations or retirement plan.  
            We will continue to see greater scrutiny of your operation by insurance carriers before they commit to writing your E&O insurance coverage.  There is a good reason for that.  The trend of greater scrutiny of your contract will continue.  We are seeing more and more subscriber challenges to more provisions of the alarm contract, and a disturbing trend by certain categories of subscribers are demanding that their agreement be signed, sometimes refusing to sign or incorporate the alarm contract.  Couple this with the greater scrutiny courts are giving to enforcing alarm contract provisions that preclude or limit common law remedies and rights, and we are likely to see more exposure and liability for alarm companies, especially those too sloppy to keep their business practices and their contracts up to date.
            The law in all jurisdictions continues to enforce the alarm contracts and it’s important to be mindful that the alarm contract [and I use that term to include all the types of security and fire, including  non-alarm electronic systems such as access control and cameras] provides the first layer of protection.  The contract is also the single most significant criteria for creating equity – value of your business.  Keeping your contract updated is just as important as keeping your license current because ignoring either one will jeopardize your business and livelihood.
            There’s going to be plenty of same old same old in 2020.  But change is coming.  If you can’t imagine it, think about the changes from 1920 to later years.  We know that technology is moving much faster today so how can we even conjure up what 2050 or 2090 will look like.  It just occurred to me that we may not need to be concerned that far out, but if your goal is to build your business and create your legacy, those dates will arrive for you and your family sooner than you can imagine. 

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301