What are must-haves for remote managers of vacant properties? First, you require on-demand status updates. What better way to do this than have the house provide this, seamlessly.
This blog is not a product endorsement. Baron receives no compensation for the products found on this site. That said, Brilliant Smart Home Control recently dropped a LiveView update which changes the remote management duties of any property manager.
Brilliant makes an upscale Smart light switch, which some reviewers have criticized as ‘trying to do too much’. Brilliant’s control is essentially a smartphone on your wall: complete with camera, mic, screen, wi-fi connectivity. It makes all of the lights it controls SmartLights. In addition to controlling your lights, It operates with the usual voice assistants, displays your favorite photos, and allows users to: see the current time, control thermostats, their music libraries, and use other connected Brilliant controls as a video intercom system.
This last feature, until now, only worked when you had 2 or more Brilliant controls in your home. The idea was to use this feature as a baby monitor, or perhaps to video chat with family members while you were in another part of the house. A high level of security setting required both the individual rooms to both be physically present, and also required both parties to ‘accept’ a video chat before the camera would activate.
However, the recent update allows activation of the Brilliant camera and mic to remotely activate using the mobile app.
Since I’ve installed Brilliant in one of my properties, I’ve been most pleased with the photo displayed on the touch screen. I’ve hesitated to purchase additional controls because of the high entry costs. Having only one control, I’ve not used the intercom feature, or used the camera to monitor rooms. That is until now.
It works well. The video is clear and the sound crisp.
This is a game-changer because it adds another dimension to managing properties for the remote landlord. I’ve positioned the Brilliant unit at a light switch facing the busiest part of the house. When the LiveView is on, I can see whether a person is at the door, and monitor sounds in the kitchen and family room. My future installations at other homes will consider optimizing positioning to maximize viewing near the front door.
Baron strongly recommends adding at least one of these to each of your homes. Here are the benefits for remote vacant properties.
- Live, on-demand viewing for security, and visiting contractors
- If you have deliveries, or if people waiting at the door, a light switch facing the door can verify, in real-time, whether you will allow your smart lock to open the door.
- Brilliant also has a smart-sensing feature, which can be configured to notify you when movement is detected. I’ve not yet investigated this feature, but the benefits are self-explanatory.
For occupied or leased properties, Baron recommends this device for the following reasons.
- It looks aesthetically pleasing.
- It converts all lights it controls SmartLights, saving you money.
- Your tenants are able to upload their own photos and display them on the touch screen.
- Privacy controls prevent you, the landlord from spying while the house is occupied and set up with the tenant’s information.
- There is NO monthly fee for this service.
- Brilliant does not store or keep any information used by your device.
- The rent value of your home will increase if it is smart.
- Works alone, but also interoperable with Smart Locks, Smart Thermostats, Smart Speakers and Voice Assistants.
- Even if the unit is disconnected, it still works like a light normal (dumb) switch. Some, all or none of the features need to be activated. This gives some tenants a degree of peace of mind and may allay privacy issues.
Saving money as a do-it-yourself landlord is always in fashion. If you can save the customary 10% on-going property manager fee by doing a few simple things, this adds up over time. If the tenants are also comfortable and happy in your home at the same time, it can only make the entire experience better.