Frase Protection got its start with one man and an idea. In this case, it was Robert A. Frase, Jr., “Robin,” who came to the rescue of an uncle who owned AMRO Music and was frustrated by break-ins. Robin took it upon himself to design and install an alarm – from scratch – to guard against future burglaries. And thus, Frase Protection was born. Under the leadership of Robin’s son, Jonathan, current owner of the company, Frase Protection has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the most prominent security companies in the Memphis area.
It is hard to imagine now, but Jonathan Frase never saw himself becoming an integral part of his dad’s company. Jonathan pursued a degree in aviation, working as a flight instructor and then flying with a regional airline for four years. Eventually Jonathan began looking for another career path as flying kept him away from his wife and children. It wasn’t until his friends asked about his dad’s business and succession plan that Jonathan considered sitting down with his dad and discussing the future of Frase Protection. “I told him that I wanted to talk to him about an opportunity to buy the company from him over time,” Jonathan said. “He was very open to that. So, I actually resigned as a captain with a regional airline and came to work here.” The timing of this move ended up being very fortuitous for Frase Protection. After just three-and-a-half years working with his son, Robin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and he died a few months later. Consequently, Jonathan took the reins at Frase Protection during the worst part of the recession but still managed to grow it into the successful business it is today.
While Jonathan has slowly expanded the business over the last decade, he is proud to still be a small business in the Memphis area. With fewer than 20 employees, Jonathan raves about his unbelievable staff that can accomplish so much while wearing multiple hats within the company. Limited resources could prove to be a challenge to a small business, but, for Jonathan, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. “We’re small enough that if we need to make a change or shift, it doesn’t take much to do that,” he says. “If there is a major change in the economy or in technology, we can react quickly and stay ahead of our big competitors who take longer to adapt.”
And reacted they have. As with many other industries that depend on technological advances, the technology surrounding home and business security has grown faster and faster over the last decade, becoming more robust and more refined with time. What started as Robin’s homemade alarm systems to prevent break-ins has evolved into an entire connected home system controlled by a smart phone. Individuals can still have a basic alarm system, but they can also control their thermostat, lights, door locks, and alarm system with a touch of a button in an app. Small businesses can manage alarm codes, generate reports, and feel safer about leaving opening or closing their business in another’s hands. Jonathan believes that advances in technology in the future will lead to fewer false alarm calls and therefore quicker response time from the police. Cameras installed in a home or business can be viewed from a smartphone and will show whether the alarm is for a legitimate security issue so that the police will be dispatched. Frase Protection has stayed on the front lines of the technology shift and will continue to do so as technology continues to evolve.
Jonathan and Frase Protection made their way to Paragon Bank in a way that many others have – being frustrated by the inflexibility and lack of consistent service at a large bank. Referred by a former Paragon board member, Jonathan moved the company’s business over immediately and over time added more accounts and services, such as Paragon’s lockbox service, which allows for some of their payments to be handled by Paragon instead of in-house at Frase. Jonathan is glad he made the switch. “The thing I love about Paragon is that if I call or if I go into the branch, they know who I am,” he says. “It makes me feel really good that I have that benefit of a small-town bank feel and that I’m dealing with a bank that can handle all of my needs.”
So, what is in store for the future of Frase Protection? Jonathan states that they are currently committed to the Memphis market and looking forward to honing the new technologies that come along. “We love Memphis, and we’re here to offer customers in the Memphis area a hometown security provider where they know the technicians coming into their home, and they can get the technology and service they need at a great price.”