Protect Rental Properties With GPS Tracking Devices

by Joe Mueller on October 5, 2009

When you own a rental property in a remote location you need to find a way to safe guard your investment, especially if you have high value furnishings on your property.  Some owners have turned to installing GPS tracking devices on high value items, such as flat screen TVs, to help reduce the number of thefts as well as to help the police track down their stolen property.

These owners, located in Sevier County, a county in Tennessee which is home to the famous Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, came up with the idea to install the GPS trackers after a rash of break-ins swept the county.  One owner reported having over 5% of all his holding broken into over a two or three month period.  Another described having to deal with a break-in every two to three weeks.  The object of these burglaries were flat screen TVs and plasma TVs that were put inside these vacation rentals for use by guests.  Unfortunately, the criminal element realized this and capitalized on the secluded nature of these properties to make off with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from many cabins scattered across the mountainous terrain.

The problem simply does not end with a stolen TV.  In order to get inside the rental the thief must do considerable damage to the property by busting a window or damaging a door.  This can cost owners $100s or even $1000s in damages – and that is on top of the money that needs to be spent to replace the stolen TV!

There is a relatively low cost solution to these problems: install a real time GPS tracking device onto the items likely to be stolen.  This will help you recover stolen property, reduce the number of thefts on your property, and help you reduce your insurance rates depending on your insurance provider.

GPS Tracking Devices For Theft Recovery

Theft recovery is a well established use of GPS tracking devices.  For this type of tracking you are going to want a device that is going to be able to transmit the coordinates in real time when asked to.  You are not going to want a device that tracks on a continuous basis.  The reason for this is that this type of real time GPS tracking device is going to run out of batteries very quickly and need to have them replaced on a regular basis.  This is fine if you only have 4 or five properties that are all right next to each other, but when you have a 100 or more properties that are spread out over a significant amount of space it would become a  full time job just to make sure all the trackers had enough battery power.

Instead, you are going to want to get a device that only becomes “active” once it is moved.  There are many different models that have this feature so you should have plenty to choose from.  Once the device has been activated it will alert you to its movements and will either send you periodic updates on its position or it will allow you to send the device SMS messages asking for a new position to be sent to your mobile phone.  Once you are certain your device is on the move you can then send the information along to the police who can then arrest the individual and put them being bars.

The following video is a news story that is featured in our GPS tracking videos section that highlights how these devices can be used:

GPS Tracking Devices For Criminal Elimination

The thing about installing a tracker is that you not only recover your stolen property but you also catch a criminal and put them behind bars.  Theoretically, this will lead to a reduction in the number of crimes since the number of people actually engaging in this illegal activity are going to be unable to do it from behind bars.  There is a similar phenomena in GPS tracking bait cars used by police where some cities have seen dramatic reductions in the number of car thefts as the bait cars have seriously cut into the criminal element in the cities.

In addition to eliminating know criminals, it also creates a atmosphere where this type of theft is discouraged.  Remote cabins seem like the perfect place to perform thefts, but when the whole area knows that cabin owners employ remote GPS trackers then they will think twice about doing something stupid on your property.  This means that GPS tracking units promote less crime now and less crime in the future – a win-win-win for the community, law enforcement, and you.

GPS Tracking Devices For Reduced Insurance Premiums

Insurers like to be safe.  If they think that ensuring your property is risky they will end up charging you more for your insurance then you probably want them to.  Also, having regular break ins will also increase your premium, costing you thousands over the course of your policy.  A good way to combat this increased cost is to start using real time tracking devices.  As was mentioned above, this will help reduce the number of break ins and will and help you recover your property which will help keep premiums low. But you also might be able to get a discount with your insurer if they know that you are using a GPS tracking device in your rental property.  Saving money is always great, so why not ask?

\\\///

Protecting your rental properties with GPS tracking devices makes a lot of sense for individuals or companies that are in a region that has a particularly high break in rate.  These devices are becoming increasingly available and are fairly inexpensive for those that are just looking for a real time tracking device that will become “active” upon movement.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Curtiss April 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

Where can I buy on to fit into a TV?

Reply

2 Kasey June 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Can you point us in the direction of some companies who make the tracking devices that only become active when something is moved?

Reply

3 Joe July 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Hi Kasey,

If you are looking for something where you can track an object once it starts moving you might want to take a look at the DEWALT DS500 MobileLock GPS Locator with Anti-Theft Alarm. It is what a lot of construction sites use to keep their equipment safe, so that is probably what you want to look into.

- Joe

Reply

4 Todd Kleperis November 12, 2010 at 5:49 am

Hey guys, we built our business on securing assets like TVs. Our devices are gps enabled and can not only find your TV but lock it down when stolen as well. Check us out i-contain.com Our devices work on all things electronic.

Reply

5 Budd July 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Thanks for writing such an easy-to-understand acritle on this topic.

Reply

6 Joe July 22, 2011 at 10:46 am

Hi Budd,

Thanks for the kind comment!

- Joe

Reply

7 Ray Bennett July 23, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Great concept! DUH!!! Buy the DEWALT DS500 MobileLock GPS Locator with Anti-Theft Alarm for $500 and protect your $399 TV. What a concept!!! How about somebody give the name of a device that is $50 to $100, can be attached to power, like a battery on a riding lawn mower, and that you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to have them monitor it. When your item is stolen, you pull it up on the computer; call the police and go watch them arrest the scumbag thief! Anything out there like that?
Ray

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: