Perhaps you’re moving to Nashville (in which case, excellent choice and welcome to Music City!). Perhaps you’re already living here, but you’re purchasing a new home or property for your business. Perhaps still you are fully-established where you are, but the unfortunate recent rise in crime has you considering investing in a security system. When it comes to picking a security provider, there’s no shortage of options to choose from – which is as advantageous as it is overwhelming! Manage the analysis paralysis by focusing your search based on the five crucial criteria below:

1) Reputation.

How comfortable are you with the idea of giving a complete stranger access to your home or business, without knowing the first thing about them? Probably not very comfortable at all! When it comes to hiring any type of professional, especially in the field of security, it’s crucial to begin your research with assessing a company’s reputation. Thanks to the Internet, it’s fairly easy to gauge how successful and trustworthy a provider is simply by looking at online reviews. Google Reviews, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau are great places to start. These reviews are managed by third parties so you can expect them to be authentic. This means if hundreds of other people had a great experience with a given provider, you can feel confident that you will too!

2) Professionalism of the Staff.

Again, if you’re going to entrust someone with protecting your assets, you can’t be too discerning in your evaluation. Learn more about the technicians who are actually going to be installing your system. How are they trained, credentialed, and vetted? Are they full-time team members who are fully invested in the company and the service they’re providing to you, or part-time subcontractors on a one-off gig? Ensure that employees are thoroughly background checked and drug tested. Your system will only be as effective as the person installing it, so when you’re doing your research and talking to consultants, ask questions about these standards!

Preventia technician Michael Fedders installs a security system in a customer's home. Ensure that you know your security provider well and hire knowledgable, high-integrity techs like Michael!

3) A Wide Range of Adaptable, Cutting-Edge Technology.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that our environment is constantly changing, and so do our needs. Who would have thought that we’d be spending so much time at home last year? Many of us started putting more effort into making our surroundings look nice and operate more flexibly so we could easily shift from a “work” mindset to a “home” mindset and back again. If your furniture layout is going to be so adaptable for you, so should your home technology! Many security providers nowadays include multiple user-friendly, cyber-secure options that are customizable to fit your lifestyle and needs.

Often times, these solutions serve multiple purposes outside of preventing break-ins: a door camera to see when your kids come home from school, the ability to change the thermostat from an app while you’re away, warnings that let you know of environmental dangers such as floods and carbon monoxide levels, etc. Keep an open mind when you’re searching for a security system, and place special emphasis on those which provide flexible offerings and are eager to customize them for you as an individual.

4) Values, Values, Values.

There’s no shortage of companies to choose from – and with the immense menu of varying sizes and specialties, the choice can seem a little daunting at first. A surefire method of selecting the right security system for you is to scrutinize the company’s core values. The overall integrity and values of a company has a direct impact on the kinds of people they hire, and in turn the caliber of the people who are installing your security system, managing your account, and troubleshooting any problems you have.

A good place to start is by going to their website – typically the “About Us” section – and reading their story and what they list their core beliefs and values to be. Why are they in the security business? What was the need the founder(s) saw and wanted to address? What are their promises to you, their customer, and how do they optimize their services and staffing to uphold those promises? Once you find a company whose intentions and core values align well with yours, the million dollar question is: do they practice what they preach? Reread those reviews you found in Step 1 and look for key words – do you see people repeatedly praising them for being timely, accommodating, knowledgeable, honest, etc.? In addition, check out their presence on social media to get a glimpse into their culture and “personality” as an organization. Do they give off a more formal, standardized appearance typical of a larger company, or do they have a more local, small-town feel? Do they celebrate their customers and employees? Are they active in their community and do they support local businesses and charities?

As you can see, learning a provider’s values is a little bit like getting to know a person! The Internet gives you the opportunity to conduct a quick “background check” before reaching out and speaking to a representative – the ultimate test for any business! If a company’s values are alive and well, you should have an experience with that associate that perfectly represents their level of integrity. (Hint: getting an actual human being on the phone instead of an “automated associate” is a good sign!)

Preventia Office Manager Amanda Prince answers phone calls from customers with cheer and readiness to provide reliable, friendly service.

5) Consider local options.

When it comes to any service (not just security), people typically have a few big “brand names” they think of and, naturally, that’s where they begin their search. However, there are several key advantages to opting for a smaller, local company. For example, local providers are staffed by local people, who are more accessible, better-informed on security risks in your area, and can provide a more personal experience. Smaller companies are also more likely to be actively involved in the communities they serve through business sponsorships and service projects – which ties back into the company values point we talked about earlier.

Whether you’re new to the area or firmly established, protecting the people you love and your hard-earned assets are worth an investment. Similarly, the professionals you choose to assist you with this endeavor ought to be selected by careful consideration. Hopefully, these five key indicators of a reliable, trustworthy security provider will help you make an educated decision.

Looking for more advice from security professionals? Contact us today – we’d love to help you take the first step towards a safer, more secure future!