Increase Profits from Residential Calls

Oct. 2, 2018
Why not conduct a full security inspection and recommend some upgrades on residential service calls?

Residential locksmith work represents an important revenue stream, and can also serve as a leap board to additional commercial jobs and as an accommodation to commercial clients who may ask you to come to his home to make a repair.

All this migration represents the way businesses network and grow. Obtaining work from referrals is far less expensive than relying on advertising alone. Many locksmith businesses are so well established that their name has become the brand. When someone says they called Smith, everyone knows you needed a locksmith.

Performing reliable quality work and being available to answer the phone when someone needs you is a powerful business builder.

One of my bosses claimed that he calculated how much in advertising it cost him to make the phone ring, and how important it was handle every call as though you were handling money and the company’s future was dependent on effective call handling.

Business communications is definitely an essential skill and it amazes me how poorly many companies manage their incoming calls.

Answering machines are deadly. When I’m locked out, I need to speak to someone NOW. Voicemail is better, especially if you provide an option to speak to someone immediately, get a priority callback, or leaving a message for a non-emergency issue.

For residential work when the customer calls, you need to get the essential information so you send the right person, and equip that person with the right supplies and tools needed to get the job completed in the fastest and most efficient manner possible.

The typical residential client will only call infrequently since locksmith service calls are expensive and there are so many alternate and DIY options. Therefore, the locksmith has to make each opportunity count and be ready to offer other products such as home automation, video surveillance and security while they have the customer’s undivided attention.

Specialize in Everything

If you are a one man shop, you probably specialize in everything, and that’s how you build up a well-rounded set of skills. The larger your shop, the more likely it is you will have specialists who prefer to do what they like. But everyone should be able and willing to handle any task a customer requests.

Being sure your mechanics have the materials and tools they need is important so they can complete a job quickly without having to return to the shop to get an item, or require someone go out to the site with the part.

The downside is that you load each truck with a huge inventory of parts and tools which are difficult to manage and inventory. Also leaving valuable stock and tools in each vehicle invites shrinkage and vehicle thefts. Shrinkage is a polite word for employees mishandling materials.

Some shops and some mechanics have crates for materials, and they load the crate into their vehicle each morning before they head out. There is a normal distribution curve which identifies the most used locks, tools and accessories, and you try to keep those handy to increase your shop’s productivity and therefore its profitability.

Below are some of the residential products beyond the standard deadbolt rekey or installation. Why not conduct a full security inspection and recommend some upgrades on residential service calls?

Don Jo Door Accessories

Don Jo is one of the most trusted and recognized providers of architectural hardware accessories to the locksmith industry. Their success is based on having a wide variety of items, adding items on an ongoing basis that are readily available and are competitively priced.

Many of their items are designed to allow REPAIRS to damaged doors, items designed to DETER forced entry, and others are to facilitate custom UPGRADES to install enhanced security such as self-contained access controls.

The DON JO website,, has a wealth of product information such as product cutsheets, installation instructions and pricing guides.

According to DON JO, this is a short list of their most popular residential items. If you are looking to build up an inventory of parts, these would be core items to start with:

Note: All of the items are geared towards the residential market. The most popular would be the 4-CW, ILP-212, FL-212W4 and the 943-CW.

  • 2-CW Wrap around used to reinforce a door that is 1-3/8” thick w/ a 2-3/4” backset, has one 2-1/8” hole
  • 4-CW Wrap around used to reinforce a door that is 1-3/4” thick w/ a 2-3/4” backset, has one 2-1/8” hole
  • 61-CW Wrap around used to reinforce a door that is 1-3/8” thick w/ a 2-3/4” backset, has one 2-1/8” hole
  • 81-CW Wrap around used to reinforce a door that is 1-3/4” thick w/ a 2-3/4” backset, has one 2-1/8” hole
  • FL-212W4 12” Security strike with 4” CTC latch holes
  • 2-SDS 4-7/8” Security Dead bolt strike
  • 2-SDS-8 8” Security Dead bolt strike
  • AST-21346 18” Security Strike with 6” CTC latch holes
  • ILP-212 12” Inswing Latch protector
  • 943-CW Wrap around used to reinforce a door that is 1-3/4” Thick w/ a 2-3/4” backset, has (2) 2-1/8” holes 4” CTC
  • 258-CW Wrap around used to reinforce a door that is 1-3/4” thick w/ a 2-3/4” backset, has (2) 2-1/8” holes 5-1/2” CTC
  • LP-111 11” Stainless Steel Latch protector for out swing doors
  • LP-107 7” Stainless Steel Latch protector for out swing doors
  • ULDV-90 UL rate d160 degree door viewer
  • ULDV-180 UL rated 180 degree door viewer

Major Manufacturing

Major Manufacturing was created in 1976 as a subsidiary of Major Lock Supply. The company was split off from Major Lock Supply in 1992 and restructured to better serve the trade by providing specialty installation equipment, servicing tools and supplies not otherwise commercially available to the professional locksmith and installer.

Major Manufacturing is headed by Bill DeForrest, a professional in the security field with over thirty years of hands-on experience in locksmithing, wholesale distribution, equipment design and production. Signature products include the Kee-Blok and the multi-faceted Hardware Installation Tools (HIT Series). Major Manufacturing is committed to providing the quality tools and supplies needed by the changing locksmith industry.

The Major Manufacturing website is designed to be a resourceful guide for locating the tools and products. Major Manufacturing’s priority is to continue to add quality tools and supplies to their growing product line.

Accurately install electronic locks using the HIT series Drill Guide. These units, thru-bolts to door, using the existing 2-1/8 (2-3/4) crossbore for alignment. All required mounting and function holes are located with hardened drill bushings, on both sides of template, to allow drilling from either side of door.

Standard drill guide will accommodate doors with 2-3/8” or 2-3/4” backset and up to 2” thick.

More Info:


Before Pro-Lok™ was manufacturing industry products such as Blue Punch™ Key Machines, Installation Tools, Kalifornia Key Chains™, Auto Entry Tools, and many other industry products, Pro-Lok™ founders were practicing security professionals. Operating three successful security stores in Southern California, the initial experience working the sales counter, answering customer phone calls, dispatching services vehicles, bidding on contract jobs, and merchandising retail stores has provided Pro-Lok™ with the real world knowledge and foundation to build and expand products into the security market.

Pro-Lok is a manufacturer with two divisions. Their tool division designs and manufacturers products for auto opening, hardware installation, and Blue Punch™ Key Machines. Their retail products division is comprised of Pro-Lok™ gun locks, Pro-Lok™ safes, Kalifornia Key Chains™ and the Entry Armor™ security product line.

The ENTRY ARMOR line is made up of the home and commercial security hardware; latch protectors, wrap plates, strike plates, door locks, and other security products.

Entry Armor stainless steel door wraparounds reinforce and protect

wood or metal doors from forced entry. They are compatible with key-in-knob lockets or deadbolts.

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About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.