Have you ever thought about how to start a home watch business? It’s a great opportunity for anyone looking to start a business with very low overhead and not a lot of training or education. You might have heard of a home watch business being referred to as “house sitting,” but the service you offer will go beyond what a person’s friend or renter would take care of.
Someone in the home watch business typically watches a number of homes owned by people who are away for an extended period of time. During their time away, you will inspect their properties on a daily or weekly basis, clean as necessary, respond to any alarm calls, and be responsible for the upkeep of the grounds. Your goal is for the homeowner to return to a home that is in as good or better shape than when they left.
The other market for a home watch business can be found with people who own multiple properties that are vacant. These days, there are a lot of vacant homes, and many get vandalized if they are not being taken care of by a home watch service.
What You’ll Need to Succeed
Unlike those who house sit, you will not live in any of the homes you are watching. Instead, you will visit them on a regular basis to take care of any needs. You’ll charge a weekly or monthly fee for your services, and you will bill the homeowner for any maintenance materials and services not covered in your contracted rate.
In order to visit the homes you are watching, you will need a reliable vehicle, and your vehicle will need to be able to carry basic lawn care and cleaning supplies, which you’ll also need to purchase to get started. Beyond that, having a home computer with basic accounting software and a good mobile phone are pretty much all you need to start a home watch business.
While you won’t need any special training to successfully run a home watch business, it will be helpful if you know some basic maintenance and yard care techniques. For large repair jobs, you will be able to hire a company on the homeowner’s behalf, but you should be able to handle smaller jobs. The more you know how to do yourself, the more value you can offer your clients.
As with all businesses, you will need to obtain a business license, and insurance is also very important. Having the right liability coverage will save you if anything should happen to one of your client’s homes. It is also a good idea to get bonded, as this offers more protection and is a selling point when approaching customers.
Marketing Your Home Watch Business
Learning how to start a home watch business is more than what you do for your clients. A large portion of your time, especially at first, will be devoted to getting new customers. Your home watch business will appeal to wealthy and upper middle class homeowners, so you want to target your marketing in areas where they can be found. Putting flyers in country clubs, high end gyms, etc. will be a good idea, and attending networking events can also be very helpful.
When you learn how to start a home watch business, one of the first things you realize is that your service is what will help you stand out from the crowd. Take really good care of your clients, and you can coast on referral business for a long time!
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