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Dealer Perspective… #40

Have you forgotten to say thank you?

The Security Alarm Industry has been very good to most of us.  It has allowed us to build our businesses, feed and house our families, and educate our children.  You have provided protective services to your friends and neighbors.  And, helped to build an industry that has become very important to our country.

In my case, this will be my last article for The Mirror. After 43 years it is time to move on to some new venues, but I am not retiring and will continue to be an active part of this wonderful industry.

As I think back to my early years, I must say thank you to George Weinstock and Bob Jennison.  George provided the leadership as we reconstructed the WBFAA into the California Alarm Association with 11 chapters.  He clearly had a vision, and along with others made it happen.  Bob Jennison was my partner; someone I had known since we were youngsters.  He helped me to develop confidence and capability, while we and Fred Dunner built our company during the early 1980s. Further, I must thank Les Gold and Charles Schwager, who have provided professional leadership and expertise to all of us both individually and as part of the CAA.  They are clearly “Best in Class”.

Some of my fondest memories are being a CAA Board member Treasurer, and eventually President.  During that early period, George Gunning and Frank Burke made sure that I learned the drill, or I heard about it.  Others who influenced and schooled me on the Association were John Sargent, Patty Hartman, Rod Uffindell, Kirk MacDowell, David Morgan, and Matt Westphal.

While President of CAA, I was also on the Board of NBFAA (now ESA) where I developed a longer view of our industry with good friends and mentors like Mike Miller, Ralph Sevinor, and many others.

A special thank you to Jerry Lenander, who produces this magazine, and has been the silent, yet steady hand behind many of us who were chosen to be President.  After a 23-year term as Executive Director of CAA, he is leaving for a larger position in our industry. He will also be remembered for his strong role in the development of the WBFAA national technical training program, an industry first. It is thanks to his expertise and innovation skills that the CAA has now arguably become the most successful state alarm association. 

Did you know that there is a new dealer program in town?

Yes, it is finally time.  Small—Medium sized security companies have earned the right to another option besides selling 100% of their newly created monitoring contracts to several large companies with big Private Equity investors.

A recent announcement, this month, from Security Funding Associates and two partners who have announced their new program for the residential and small commercial space. Unlike other Dealer Programs, they will share revenues equally from the three revenue sources available to each monitoring contract.  The first is the installation fee; the second is the monthly monitoring fee; and the third is the equity in the sale of the contract sometime in the future. 

Audrey Pierson, a leading industry educator for sales personnel, will be a principal in this venture.  Aabo Home will also be a principal and the data/operations, and central station manager.  We have contracted with several banks to provide various levels of consumer financing, which enables us to pay our dealers significantly more than competitive programs over the life of the monitoring contract.  This program has been designed to provide a low attrition impact performance for the participating financial institutions.

SFA and the other two principals recognize that small—medium sized dealers have a difficult time creating the working capital they need to grow and accumulate equity.  Too often they must resort to selling their accounts monthly to fund that growth, and then discover they have little, or no equity left.

Now they have a new option that allows them to fund that equity growth, have the customer pay back their consumer loan, minimize attrition and eventually retire with their future assured. This program has been tested over the last several years and is now ready to roll out nationally. 

Tony Smith is a past president of the California Alarm Association and a former Board member of ESA. He is the Founder-President and CEO of Security Funding Associates, a leading industry financial services firm.  They are focused on financing for small-medium-sized alarm companies.  He may be reached at (626) 795-9199 or TSmith@securityfundingsolutions.com 

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