The Home Watch BandwagonMar 26, 2021 -- Posted by :
Home Watch is a vital service for all seasonal residents. This fact is indisputable. Professional home watch providers take the business of watching over vacant homes very seriously. It is a profession – not a hobby or a favor.
Home Watch is not a regulated industry. Anyone can jump onto The Home Watch Bandwagon. Some businesses add Home Watch to their list of services with good intentions or because they think it is easy. There are well-intended individuals and “Neighbors Doing Favors” who may not know what to look for and are certainly not insured. Some downright scoundrels may, personally, use the home or even rent it out for their own profit.
What are their qualifications and training? Who is actually making the visit? What is their experience? Do they have the resources to handle a damaging situation? Are they adequately insured? What is their “Plan B” if they cannot make a visit due to their own emergency?
How do they document visits? Many professionals use a Home Watch Management and Reporting Software that is GPS enabled, proof that a visit has been made.
Each year, countless seasonal residents return to disasters because they have hired an unqualified, non-credentialed provider.
Here are some obvious signs that they are not true professionals:
- They claim to have a Home Watch License
- At this time, no such license exists. They may have a Business Tax Receipt, which used to be called an Occupational or Business License. It even states: “This document is a business tax only. This is not certification that the licensee is qualified.”
- They offer monthly home watch visits or “a frequency of the client’s choosing.”
- Trained Home Watch providers know that a monthly visit gives the homeowner a false sense of security. There is also language in the homeowner’s insurance policy that may dictate the frequency of visits. Many homes are visited weekly, as well as bi-weekly or tri-weekly.
- They offer prices that may be too good to be true
- Home Watch does not cost $10, $15, even $20. The going rate for professional home watch is around $50 per visit for a 2-to-3-bedroom home, more for larger homes and estates.
The International Home Watch Alliance is professional Home Watch Association, fully dedicated to the responsible growth of the Home Watch Industry.
Seasonal homeowners can learn so much by visiting the IHWA website and downloading The Ultimate Home Watch Interview Guide. The next step is to visit the Home Watch Member Directory to locate a credentialed IHWA member and the cities and communities they serve.
If you hire someone not properly trained or credentialed, it is at your own risk.
Caveat Emptor: “Let the buyer beware.”