JJ Team Editor

If you don’t already have one, install a doorbell camera.  Three out of four Americans have had packages taken in the last year as a result of porch pirates, so doorbell cameras are essential for convenience and safety.  Millions Americans make online purchases on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and throughout the holidays.  Packages left unattended are a prime target for porch pirates.  In this blog, we’ll share how to track your deliveries to reduce the likelihood of porch pirates, how to use a doorbell camera if something is stolen and the one time you should turn your doorbell camera off.

U.S. online shoppers spent a record $9.12 billion during Black Friday last year, said CNBC, citing data from Adobe. 

Doorbell Cameras Provide Convenience and Safety

More than 260 million packages were taken from front porches in the last year, according to Safewise.  A doorbell camera can cut down on these thefts and provide you peace of mind too.  In a recent survey, it’s estimated that by 2025, there will be more than 50 billion connected devices used by homeowners – with doorbell cameras leading the charge.  Why a doorbell camera is an essential item:

  • Timestamp when packages are delivered
  • Talk to people coming to your door, even if you aren’t home
  • View workers coming and going
  • Timestamp when kids are home
  • See when the dog is at the door to let them in
  • Combined with safety locks, the homeowner can let people in the home after they’ve identified them on the doorbell camera

If you have your camera set up to alert you when someone approaches the door, you can speak to the person as they approach the door.  This gives them the impression you are home even if you are on vacation or at the office.  For added protection, retailers recommend you sign up for delivery alerts so you know when a package has arrived.  For even more protection, require your packages to be signed for – that way they aren’t left unattended.

Consumers are predicted to spend $11.2 billion on Cyber Monday, per Adobe.

Provide Added Neighborhood Security

In addition to safety concerns inside the home, doorbell cameras also help cut down on package theft not only at your house but across the neighborhood.  This also provides you a safety net if you are home – you don’t have to come to the door if it is a stranger.

For added security across the neighborhood, ask your neighbors to also install a doorbell camera.  Agencies across the country are asking people to register their systems with law enforcement, so it’s easier for police to request footage if an incident happens nearby.  This could help if there is a porch pirate lurking in your neighborhood too.

What you should do if a package is stolen

porch pirates

While all the above are great suggestions to cut down on theft, packages get picked up anyway. If your package is swiped from your front entry, the following is recommended:

  • File a police report.  Share security footage if you have it.
  • Contact the sender: many retailers will send a free replacement.  Save that doorbell camera footage: the seller may require proof.
  • Contact the carrier. File claims online for FedEx, UPS, and USPS.

Which doorbell camera should you install?

Doorbell cameras have become much easier to install.  In many cases, you only need a screwdriver. And a number of doorbell cameras record and store video in the cloud 24/7. Whether you are looking for a wireless doorbell camera or one that doesn’t require a subscription, there are plenty of options on the market. To pick out the right doorbell camera for your home, CNET has you covered with reviews as does the New York Times.

Cyber Monday: Amazon has doorbell cameras marked down for Cyber Monday.

When should you turn off your doorbell camera?

A doorbell camera is great for security and keeping the porch pirates at bay. But if there are cameras on the property, inside or outside, the sellers and/or listing agent should turn them off while the home is being shown.  

When buyers or agents visit the home, confidentiality is essential. Real estate is a financial decision, as well as a personal and emotional decision. As real estate agents, we want buyers who visit the home to feel 100% comfortable; we want them to envision themselves living there like it’s their home.  If a doorbell or security camera is on, the potential buyer may feel as if they are being watched. For the most secure experience, we recommend scheduling cameras off during showings only; cameras can be turned back on at dusk for continued protection.

J+J Team Homes Gift Guide: Gifts for the Home

Need some helpful gift ideas this season? Our second annual J+J Team Homes gift guide is for those needing gifts for the home decor lover or those who just bought a new home. Our picks can also be used as hostess gifts or housewarming gifts. These are the items we love and recommend. Some are small businesses in the Bay Area, and hopefully, these are some ideas you won’t see anywhere else. 

Thank you for reading J+J Team Homes Blog

If you have any questions or a topic you’d be interested in learning more about – leave us a comment below or on our social media. Or reach out to us directly. Even if you aren’t in the market, we’d love it if you’d pass along our information to those on the lookout.