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Boost profits with new safety products

By Martial Maitam

Technology is an evolving trend that can affect many aspects of our lives. Such advances have made it possible to integrate accessories for added security and technology into residential and commercial garage door openers. For example, do your customers know the garage door—the largest moving object in the house and the most vulnerable entrance - can be made safer, more convenient and, most important, more secure?

Let’s start with convenience. Garage door opener remotes are actually the “key” to automatic garage openers. Without the use of radio controls, a garage opener wouldn’t offer the convenience of remotely opening a garage door. Since 1997, the technology involved has dramatically changed the security aspect through the use of the code rotating or encrypted codes. Prior to that, remote control units used static access codes (dip switches). The new technology uses algorithmic patterns that can have up to 100 billion combinations. This technology makes it harder to decode a remote control, thus making the garage door more secure.

In that regard, most manufacturers have implemented that technology in all radio controls, from the common visor-mounted remotes to the smallest keychain-size remotes and wireless exterior keypads. This has given the professional door installer another way to up-sell such devices, adding to higher profit margins.

Continuing that trend, various manufacturers and professional installers are now offering peripheral items, such as laser-guided parking assistants. The “hanging tennis ball on a string” can be replaced by a more attractive and high-tech laser solution. Laser-guided parking assistants help consumers park perfectly the first time, every time. This should be a standard sell on all garage opener installations. It’s a simple, easy-to-see, bright dot, circle or design that appears on the dashboard of the car when it’s in the desired spot. It takes the guess work out of where to stop and can prevent accidents before they happen.

Another important new development is the battery power backup system. Power backup systems are no longer considered an option, but a necessity considering the country’s regular “rolling blackouts.” Power backup units are easy to install and don’t add any real labor time during installation. Plus, homeowners are aware of the power issues, which makes the battery backup system an easy item to sell.

In the event of any household power failure, battery backup units operate the door through several cycles, allowing a homeowner to continue using his garage door until power is restored. When the power is back on, the backups automatically recharge and stand ready for the next power failure. We all know how important it is to be able to get your car out, especially in vault-in garage scenarios.

Another important accessory for those fearful of inadvertently forgetting to close the garage door is a garage door monitor. Using visual light flashes and audible beeps, the garage door monitor can tell a homeowner when the garage door has been left open. Of course, the devices can always be disabled in case the consumer wishes to keep the door opened.

Along the same lines are devices known as automatic closers. According to statistics compiled by metropolitan police departments, approximately 50 percent of all residential burglaries occur from an open or an unsecured garage door. Automatic closers can be set to close the door at various intervals and can also be disabled.

Even with today’s technology, unsecured doors are prevalent. Deadbolt locks, latches and door locks - which are all available - defeat the purpose of having an automated door. The consumer has to physically get out of the car and unbolt the door. Adding to the problem is the fact that if the consumer forgets to do so, irreversible damage to the opener and door hardware can be costly. Also, door locks are mechanical and backwards, considering the high-tech features of the openers on the market.

However, it’s expected automated garage door locks will be available soon. These types of locks will function in conjunction with the garage door opener, and unbolt automatically when the opener is activated. This is an important device, as the above statistics suggest that the garage door is the most vulnerable in the house - it’s basically a closed door without a lock.

The question you should ask your customer is: “What do you have in place that will guard the biggest opening to your home?” Ninety-nine out of 100 people will most likely say they don’t have any type of garage security. Again, automated door locks will be an easy sale. Furthermore, the devices can be integrated with the existing home security alarm system. Offering high-tech locks will also open your customers’ eyes to a problem they may not have thought of. This will lead them to trust the installation, and show that you, the professional door dealer, care about their welfare.

Implementing any of the above solutions within your sales and installations will add an extra layer of convenience and security for your customer, and create positive word-of-mouth for building a sound reputation in your market as well as establishing you as a knowledgeable, caring professional in your community.

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