Chris and I just got back from a much needed, overdue vacation in Colorado. We had a great time with the kids and needless to say getting out of the heat was a welcome relief. While away, I did not have a single worry on the safety of my home. Here are a few simple steps to follow to make sure you come back to your home the way you left it.
1. Mind Your Social Media Posts!
Sharing your vacation photos on social media can be a fun way to share your experiences with your friends, but it’s best to do so after you’ve returned home. I was recently chastised by friends and family for being guilty of this, which ultimately led to the writing of this post. The fact that you’re not home is information that can easily fall into the wrong hands on the web, making you a target for crime. I’d suggest saving up those photos in your phone or camera and posting a gallery of photos once you get home for all to admire.
Additionally if you decide to change your voicemail greeting while you’re away, be careful that it does not explicitly state that you’re out of town. It’s fine to tell callers that you’re unable to accept calls for a period of time, but they do not need to know it’s because you’re a thousand miles away.
2. Enlist the Help of Others
Even if you’re only gone for just a short amount of time, asking someone you trust to keep an eye on your home can offer a big time boost in security. We didn’t hire a house-sitter but it may be a good idea for you. A good house-sitter should can your mail and papers to make your house look occupied during your time away. This is a great option for longer vacations, as physical changes to your property can tip off burglars that you’re out of town. For shorter trips, it is worthwhile to ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home and to report any suspicious activity to the police.
3. Get a Security System
If you’re looking for a security measure that’s even more reliable than your neighbors, it would be in your best interest to install a home security system. In most cases, houses that lack security systems are burglarized more often than ones that have an alarm installed. If you happen to travel often, a home security system is a very wise investment. Newer technology allows for you to remotely arm and monitor your system from your smart phone. Other security systems come with cameras that allow you to see your home on your smart phone or computer. I heartily recommend products like Canary which have a simple plug and play video/recording device for your home.
We all deserve some time away from home. It’s best to leave all your worries behind (including your home) when you are on vacation. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that you’ll be able to relax while on your vacation knowing you home is protected from an potential threats.
Sarah C. Richardson is one of the preeminent leaders of residential real estate in Arizona. As the CEO and founder of Tru Realty, she is responsible for both the daily operations and oversight of the multiple growth strategies that the brokerage carries out. Sarah launched Tru Realty in 2010 as a way to serve a marketplace that was seeing a shift from auction centric fix/flips to an MLS flow. She is now rethinking the way her brokerage uses technology to better serve clients and agents alike.