A Guide To Smart Home Gadgets For Commercial Use

Posted: Nov 14 2019, 4:59am CST | by

 

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A Guide to Smart Home Gadgets for Commercial Use
A Guide to Smart Home Gadgets for Commercial Use

A Guide to Using Smart Home Gadgets for Commercial Properties

We’re heading into a new era where smart homes will become the future of living. In fact, it’s already happening one gadget at a time.

In 2019, a variety of smart gadgets made their way into millions of homes across the world, including Amazon Echo, Alexa, and Nest. These gadgets make life easier and more convenient for homeowners who want to use a smartphone to control their thermostat, video surveillance system, lights, and even the deadbolt to their front door.

As smart home gadgets become more affordable and mainstream, business owners and landlords are also looking for ways to take advantage of the convenience and security. For example, many landlords have installed smart locks in apartment building entrances, lobbies, and other common areas.

If you’re a landlord or a business owner and you’d like to upgrade your building with smart technology, here are some helpful pointers:

1. Always offer a physical key alternative

If you’re a business owner, you probably won’t get much flak from employees for installing a smart lock on your front door. However, if you’re a landlord, be aware that you will have tenants who will refuse to use a smart lock to enter the building. Even today, there are some people who don’t own a smartphone and prefer a physical key.

Most of your tenants will likely embrace your new smart lock, but it’s a good idea to provide a metal key alternative for tenants who don’t want to use an electronic key card or smartphone app. If it seems strange that tenants would resist something that makes their life easier, it’s mostly due to privacy concerns.

For example, when tenants in New York became aware that Latch smart locks were tracking them for marketing purposes, they refused to use the lock and filed a lawsuit against their landlord. The case settled out of court in favor of the tenants and the landlord is now required to provide a physical key to all residents.

Don’t wait for tenants to take you to court – keep them happy and provide a physical key alternative.

2. Set boundaries for how you’ll use smart gadgets

Since smart gadgets can be controlled from a smartphone app, make sure you set boundaries for yourself and your employees regarding how they will be used and accessed. For example, if you install a smart thermostat in your office and someone leaves the heater on at night, it’s okay to turn it off. However, if your employees are in the office on a cold day, resist the urge to turn the heater down to save money if the heater is actually being used.

If you’re a landlord, don’t overstep your boundaries and start controlling a tenant’s thermostat or lock them out of their house for being late with the rent. Those actions would be considered retaliation and are illegal.

3. Respect privacy as much as possible

Smart gadgets installed by landlords can be a major source of contention among some tenants. According to The Guardian, more than 130 tenants have filed a formal complaint with the state of New York to block their landlord from installing a facial recognition system to access certain buildings. The landlord claims it’s an effort to improve security, but residents don’t want to be tracked as they come and go.

Before installing a drastic security system (like facial recognition) consider your employees’ or tenants’ privacy. Use as little technology as possible to get the job done.

4. Don’t go overboard with security

Before installing any smart gadget for security ask yourself if it’s overkill. Smart locks on main entrances make sense, but do you really need to install a smart lock on every apartment door? Probably not. Although, if that’s your end goal, start by installing smart locks on doors after a tenant vacates. That way, you won’t have to fight with an existing tenant and open yourself up to a lawsuit.

If you’re looking for a solution to install multiple smart locks without spending a fortune, there are several options that install easily and cost around $200.

Check your local laws first

Check all applicable laws before installing any smart home gadgets. Smart home devices are fairly new and there isn’t much legislation concerning them, so be careful not to cross any lines that might jeopardize your business. Last, don’t spend too much money installing gadgets that might end up being deemed illegal in the future. The outcome of several pending lawsuits could require you to reverse what you’ve installed.

This story may contain affiliate links.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/68" rel="author">Larry Alton</a>
Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

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