This post contributed by Robert Kocieki, the Senior Vice President of Property Management and Renovation at Altisource.
Ever come home excited about a delivery only to discover that the package is nowhere to be found? What about birthday presents that were never received, or greeting cards that magically disappeared from the mailbox?
Unfortunately, porch piracy, also known as package theft, may be more common than you realize. Stats show over 50 percent of all Americans know someone who’s had a parcel stolen, with 30 percent of them experiencing it themselves.
Smart home delivery options eliminate the threat of petty theft by allowing couriers access to your home via smart locks and security cameras. Still, there are a host of other issues to consider, with pricing and privacy topping the list.
Find out what you need to consider before you invest in a smart home delivery solution.
1. Home security versus convenience
Love it or hate it, businesses are now letting you decide between allowing a stranger into your house or potentially losing an important package that’s left on your porch.
Companies like Amazon and Walmart have recently unveiled countermeasures for threats to their lucrative delivery services via smart home delivery systems. The latest systems give couriers a one-time passcode to enter a person’s home. Once they’re inside, a paired security system sends consumers a live feed of the delivery via app.
Amazon Key, for example, launched in November 2017 to mixed reviews. Some people thought it was a clever and expensive way to let criminals into your home. Others cheered how it opened the door (pun intended) to dog walkers, housecleaners, plumbers, and farm-to-fridge delivery.
2. Is there a better alternative?
Walmart recently announced Deliv, its new partnership with smart-lock-maker August, to coordinate home deliveries.
Both Amazon Key and Deliv have cloud security functionality, yet both require some measure of trust. Deliv will send you a notification asking if it’s okay for the delivery agent to enter your home when you’re away, and Amazon could announce a similar feature any day. What it all comes down to is which business you prefer and which services mesh best with your lifestyle.
Wi-fi connections can leave any smart home devices, including locks and security cameras, vulnerable to hacking. But consider this: if someone hacks into your computer, they have access to your files. And if someone hacks the lock system on your door, they have access to your home.
The best defense is a good offense: use complex passwords and codes that are updated regularly, in addition to taking advantage of all security settings your internet provider has to offer.
4. Consider your comfort level
Some people don’t like the idea of in-home delivery on principle, while others are concerned about who could be watching, now or someday. For all of the rewards that convenience brings, there are potential trade-offs. Decide what’s important to you before investing in these modern delivery systems. The advantages may outweigh any risks you perceive.
Robert Kocieki, a real estate veteran with over 15 years of experience, currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Property Management and Renovation at Altisource. Altisource and its affiliates provide real estate services for consumers and investors. Visit Owners.com, where home buying and selling is made simple.