The International Home Watch Alliance – The Beginning
It started in the spring of 2016 when Marc Halcrow and Diane Pisani were discussing the state of Home Watch. Marc with his corporate training and educational background was amazed that an industry that was responsible for the major assets of other people was operating in such a casual fashion. Diane had been in the business since 2004 and knew that the there was so much that needed to be done to raise professional standards.
Together, they decided to see if there was a need for an organization committed to taking Home Watch to the highest level.
Interviews and discussions took place with many Home Watch business owners across the United States and Canada. There were several meetings with business advisors and experts in industries that complement and interact with home watch providers. Seasonal homeowners were also consulted.
It was discovered that just about everyone had a Home Watch horror story. AC contractors and mold remediation companies have endless stories about mold or water damage they have had to repair due to the incompetence of the person holding the key to the seasonal home. Often, the home watcher stated that they “were there just a week ago.” The contractors recognize that the damage had really occurred weeks, or months, earlier. The insurance claims are often denied.
Common complaints from seasonal residents include the lack of communication, no reports of visits, home watchers who simply did not show up, providers who tried to fix something in the home and caused, even more, damage, misuse of the property including occupying it, sharing the home with friends or renting it out.
Existing home watch business owners were often aggravated. The real deal Home Watch professionals are often considered in the same category as a hobby home watcher. The market is confused and sometimes the property owner will choose another provider strictly by the low price. If there is no clear standard or true value, the consumer will often default to price. Many business owners expressed the need for advanced education and desired an organization that had a genuine barrier to entry.
Marc and Diane knew the time was right to move forward with the IHWA.