Home Management: Taking Control With Smart Technology
Janine Rivers was a working mom who rotated between teaching five days a week, and taking care of her home and family after school and on weekends. Between work and home management, three kids, after-school activities, making time for the gym and taking care of a new dog, she and her husband were very busy. She usually headed out of the house by 7 a.m., and returned home by 5 p.m., after her children had already let themselves in and started their homework.
Recently, Janine and her husband, Tom, decided to put their house on the market. They wanted to move to a home with a bigger yard for their growing children and new dog to play in, but the process of selling their home meant more demands on their time, which they had little to spare. Neither had a job with the flexibility that allowed them to take off when someone wanted to see the house, and their early mornings meant they couldn’t schedule much before work either.
Making time in busy schedules
Janine’s mornings were rushed blurs of getting the kids dressed while Tom made everyone breakfast. Everybody quickly ate their food together before heading out to work or school around 7 a.m. After school, she usually stopped by the market to buy groceries or hit the gym for a quick Zumba class, and then headed home to start dinner for the family. Janine would grade papers or check over assignments while dinner was on the stove cooking. Her children were either doing their homework or engaging in extra-curricular activities, soon to be home to join Janine and Tom for a family dinner.
They didn’t have a lot of time. Recently, Kate Morgan, their realty agent, expressed her concern about how difficult it was to schedule a time to show the house, and that it would likely keep the house on the market through the autumn, when sales started to slow down again. The Rivers weren’t sure what to do, as they didn’t want strangers in their home when their children were there without them, but they also just couldn’t take entire days off to show the home to potential buyers for 30 minutes every few days.
Managing access while away
Tom pointed out the fact they had the neighborhood dog walker come by at 10 a.m. every day to walk their dog Chip, using the remote access door lock and her own access code to gain entry.
“Maybe we could set up an access code just for the realty agent to use, or open it remotely from work when we know she’s at the door with potential buyers,” Tom said. “We could lock it up again after them once they leave.”
Janine loved this idea because it made her feel much more secure about who was in their home, and less pressure to rearrange her schedule to find time to show their house. Tom could see if someone was at their front door with the doorbell camera, he could remotely unlock the door via his smartphone to let them in and lock it up again after they left, and Tom could also periodically check on who’s in their home via live HD video since he has more freedom at his job than Janine.
Their new plan worked out great because their realty agent was now able to show their beautiful home to interested buyers when it worked out for their schedule, such as mid-morning or over the lunch hour, and three fair offers were made in the first month that the Rivers family could accept.
Staying on top of the home
Today, the Rivers family is living in their spacious new home on Long Island, with a much larger yard, a picket fence and Chip, the dog, running around inside and outside the home at will. The Rivers family is still very busy — same early mornings and busy evenings — but now, they have more space to be busy in and a shorter commute. Chip can still look forward to his 10 a.m. daily walks with the new dog walker, who has her own remote entry access code at the new home.