Daniel Johnson’s business card lacks a title, so Johnson humbly calls himself the “Head Janitor.”
However, there’s no doubt he is the president of Diversified Alarm Service and has built a successful business by the way he treats the people he works with as well as how he treats his customers.
Although Diversified’s location is Monterey Park, its customer base stretches well into San Marino and South Pasadena. And it all started by accident.
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years and it was an accident how I came to be in this business,” said Johnson, a longtime San Marino resident.
One night, while a teenager, Johnson’s family home was burglarized. Bill Smith, a friend of his father, installed an alarm system. While attending Pasadena City College as a business major, Johnson enlisted Smith’s help to buy materials and install alarms in residential homes.
“I would be asking him advice on how to do things, so I ended up working for him and installing alarm systems for him,” he said.
Smith told the young entrepreneur to start his own company. Johnson said that Smith “really believed in me, saying, ‘you can do it.’”
Johnson already had a strong work ethic inherited from his father. “My father believed that we kids had to have a good work ethic and so I became a paperboy,” he said. “It taught me a lot about how to communicate with people and about customer service.”
Johnson’s father was a World War II veteran who drove a truck for several years while attending night school to earn a law degree, after which he became a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County for 24 years.
Johnson’s mother was also instrumental. “Mom was a realtor and that really helped get things started for my company because she gave me a few customers initially,” he said.
In 1983, Johnson created Diversified Alarm Service and has been busy making people’s homes safe since.
“I’ve been very fortunate, and I have great customers, very loyal,” he said.
“We’re 95 percent word of mouth,” he said. Which explains why 95 percent of his business is referrals with 65 percent being residential homes.
“Attention to detail is so important and that’s probably why 95 percent of our business comes from our existing client base,” he said.
“We do high quality work for a fair price,” he said. “I like to do what’s best and do a really meticulous job.”
With 12 full-time employees, including seven installers, Diversified Alarm Service is all about family.
Johnson treats his staff like family and they are an integral part of his company. “You have to take care of your people, that’s how I feel,” he said. “I don’t have any kids, so my kids are all here in this office.”
Like Johnson, Tracy Tamaki does not officially have a title. “We all work together and follow Dan’s leadership,” she said. “I think people like Dan because he is upfront and will tell you what you really need and only what you need.”
Johnson said accountability is what brings customers back. “Some bigger companies are trying to eliminate us little guys but there’s no accountability on their part because they just hire someone, and it doesn’t matter whether he does a good job or not because he’s going to get paid regardless.”
“But they can’t provide service to the customer the way we can,” said Johnson. “We maintain a high level of consistency, quality and service that the large national companies can’t offer to people,” he said.
“I can deliver what my customers need by listening to them and see what they really need because every home is different,” he said.
“I just try to give a fair price to everybody,” he said. “When we install a system, we are very thorough.”
Diversified has earned the reputation as a reliable and effective alarm company and now serves the next generation.
“I’ve known some of these kids since they were babies and I was helping their parents,” he said. “Now, I’m helping them so that’s where a lot of the work comes from.”
Diversified Alarm Services is located at 1001 Monterey Pass Road in Monterey Park. It is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can reach the company at the following phone numbers, (800) 252-7652 (24/7), (626) 403-0035, (323) 980-9528 or through its website at diversifiedalarm.com.
The Diversified Alarm Services Business Spotlight appeared in the print edition of the South Pasadena Review on 8.24.18. Support Local Business.