Installed a Camera at VR Home

13 Replies

I just got around to installing a camera on one of our homes just in time for high season. I have the phone app installed and get buzzed constantly with new motion-activated clips. Each time I'm notified i'm anxious to see what's going on but the clips keep coming non-stop. The videos offer great insight to what's going on but it's a bit too much. How often do you all check the video feeds? Do you have an app with notifications activated on your smartphone? I'm concerned that when I add cameras to the other homes, I'll be getting non-stop notifications. 

Right now I have just one camera mounted at the exterior of the front door facing outward to the driveway. Some are saying to mount one facing the pool but I'm thinking this might be an invasion of privacy (I can see people wanting to get busy in the jacuzzi). What do you think?

@Anand S. Great question. I come from the bar business where it is legal to have cameras INSIDE the business (which of course is not legal in STR) I saw these cameras ruin many a bad owner. They look at it constantly like it's their own private reality show. Now that I'm in STR it's the same effect. IN MY OPINION there is nothing worth seeing on that camera. YES have the camera, but don't look at it.

Spend that time focusing on properties you don’t already own. 

Do your worrying before you place your bet, not after the wheel starts turning. -Maxwell Maltz MD 

Updated almost 2 years ago

*bar owner not bad owner

@Anand S. Those notifications will drive you crazy.  Turn them off.  I look at my cameras if and only if I have a reason to - like my housekeeper thinks that a dog was snuck in, or I have other reasons to suspect the guests might throw a party or something like that.  

I basically never look at them.

Point them at doors and driveways, not any space that could reasonably be expected to be private (like the jacuzzi).  And then ignore them until you have a reason not to.

@Michael Baum I have Ring floodlight cameras, I hardwire them wherever the exterior light by the front door is.  Does double duty as the motion sensor light and camera.  Don't have to worry about losing a charge.  If it's on a switch, I wire the switch so it's perpetually on.  

I'm using the Arlo Pro 2 camera mounted in a tree facing the front of the house. I'm also using the Arlo solar panel to keep it charged. I turned off the notifications because it was driving me a little crazy. I like to check to see when the guests have arrived the first time so I can follow up with a welcome e-mail and ask if they have found everything to their satisfaction. 

@Chuck Masters I have iGMS set to send each of my guests a “how’s it going” message the day after check in at noon. “Hello! It’s Luke and Avery we hope you’re enjoying your stay. Let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your vacation more enjoyable”

90% of them say “Everything is amazing thanks for checking”

9.5% of them say “Well the sheets are red and we were expecting green” (this is a joke but you get my point)

.5% of them might tell me something I actually needed to know about so I can get it fixed.

Most importantly...... It gets any junk that might go on the review out of their system before it comes time for review.

Again, IN MY OPINION there’s no reason to look at a camera. Save it for a court of law type situation or anything Julie McCoy said. (Won’t let me tag her)

Spend your camera time analyzing properties to purchase, not properties you already own.

The cameras will not create long term wealth.

Either turn off the notifications or go into the camera software settings Gus and change how often you get alerts, during what time, for what field of view etc.

It is normal to want to get all alerts when you get a new security camera but soon gets overwhelming.

You can still look right after check in time and check out time to make sure who is there and how many and also look for any pets you where unaware of. Make sure to disclose in your rental agreement that people electronically sign agreeing to on Vrbo. You can just add this in the description on airbnb.

My neighbor has the battery powered cameras and he has found the batteries need to be changed much more frequently than he imagined as there is always a lot of motion triggering the camera.

I have a commercial system that powers the camera by the same ethernet cable they are plugged into. Makes it fairly easy to locate a camera any where you can run an ethernet cable. They make direct burial ethernet cable if you need to place a camera in a tree or someplace other than the side of the house.

The ring floodlights seem like a good comprimse since they are hardwired to 120vac, but you have to pay a monthly fee to see recorded video.

My system runs off my laptop that is locked in a hall closed. I can access recordings from my computer or phone. I don't have any reoccurring fees with my system. I have enough of these already and try not to add to the list of monthly fees.

I am using Digital watchdog cameras and software.

Originally posted by @Anand S. :

Where do you guys have your cameras mounted and pointed?

 Pointed to cover the front door and the HDTV.  The tv is the only thing worth stealing, and the front door is how it will leave.  My concern is about intruders, not tenants.  I've had 3 break ins, and once walked into a house that was supposed to be unoccupied.  There was an intruder sleeping in the bedroom.  Which leads me to my next post...

So I had a trouble guest that I caught on camera peeing outside next to the neighbor's yard. I notified them of this and gave them a warning. They then went and blocked the camera at the pool with a newspaper. I turned off notifications so I didn't notice they did this till they checked out. How do you deal with this? Is there action that I can take such as withholding deposit? Would you need to put a warning in your house rules about modifying the camera? 

@Anand S.   You're just asking for trouble, problems and hassles with the camera.  Either get rid of the camera or get a completely new class of tenants.