WHAT’S THE RIGHT PRICE FOR A HOME WATCH SERVICE?
A recent study revealed that price is the driving factor for approximately 50% of consumers when selecting a product or service such as a home watch service. Unfortunately, the lure of a low price can lead to high costs in the end.
Among the first questions a home watch company receives is, “How much does your service cost?” A fair question for sure. But the answer should not be a universal number. Instead, it should be based on the value of the service. For example, does anyone believe the price to service a 2-bedroom home should be the same as the price to service a 6-bedroom home? Of course not.
Other factors contributing to price should include an understanding of both the quality and quantity of services that are expected. To determine this, we ask potential clients if they are familiar with what a reputable home watch service should provide. A recent caller indicated they were very familiar with home watch as they hired an individual last year to visit their home once each week while they were away. Unfortunately, they returned to find mold growing in multiple places that cost them over $20,000 to remediate. When asked if the individual had insurance their reply was a resounding “NO”. Yet, when it came to discussing the price of our service, they were unwilling to pay a penny more than they paid the person whom they just fired.
Most Florida homeowners understand the importance of having their home periodically checked on while they are away. Some owners prefer to “save a few bucks” by having the “neighborhood guy” keep an eye on things. Other homeowners take the time to research their options and potential liabilities, talk to others, and ultimately decide to hire a professional home watch company. Which would you choose? Do you select the home watch hobbyist or home watch professional? The hobbyist is a person that earns a few bucks on the side or enjoys collecting compensation in the form of an occasional dinner or bottle of scotch. Although well intentioned, hobbyists are seldom prepared to deliver the protections afforded you by a home watch professional.
No one should overpay for the service they receive, but everyone should know what they are getting – or not getting – for their money. You can avoid multiple unnecessary costs by selecting a locally based home watch service that is insured and bonded, and has a solid track record of providing professional service.
Insurance – The safest way to protect yourself from costly repairs is to hire a home watch company that carries the RIGHT TYPE OF INSURANCE that covers, not just their business, but you, the client. It is not uncommon for home watch businesses to have the wrong insurance. This is because few insurance underwriters understand what home watch entails and often, they incorrectly characterize it as house sitting, janitorial, security, or even pet setting services. It is important to know that these insurance classifications do not cover the actual functions performed by home watch services. As result, choosing a home watch company that carries the WRONG insurance leaves both the home watch company AND THE CLIENT vulnerable.Errors & Omission (E&O) Coverage – Your home watch provider should also carry insurance for errors & omission (E&O), otherwise known as Professional Liability insurance. It helps protect businesses from mistakes or errors in the professional services they provide and provides added protection for you.
Bonding – Is your home watch provider bonded? Choosing a bonded company helps assure that you will receive quality services and will be financially protected if the company does not fulfill their contractual obligations.
Communication & Professional Reporting – How does the home watch provider communicate with you and document their visit? Do they just text or email a few photographs and let you know the house looks okay, or does the company provide you comprehensive electronic reports that are embedded with GPS and contain photographs and a customized checklist that reflects your specific needs and concerns? Professional reporting provides instant peace of mine and helps you effortlessly document a record of activity that is accepted by insurance companies should a claim be necessary.
Reliability & Dependability – What do you know about the holder of your house keys? Do they have a track record of honest and trustworthy service? What do others say about their business practices? If the company has employees, do you know exactly who will be in your home? Can they offer you peace of mind while you are away? These are just some of the questions you should be considering.
Service Area – Is your home watch provider nearby or do they cover such an extensive area that responding to your home during an emergency may be delayed? A locally based home watch service may offer the added convenience of occasionally incorporating extra simple tasks into their schedule without needing to “nickel and dime” you for excessive travel costs.
Choosing a home watch company is an important decision. Don’t select a company based solely on price because you may end up getting exactly what you pay for.
GMan Home Watch of Punta Gorda is owned and operated by a husband-and-wife team of retired FBI Agents who have a proven track record of professional, trustworthy, and honest home watch service. GMan maintains excellent communications will every client and provides detailed and timely reporting after every visit. They are experienced and trained to spot issues and deal with them effectively and efficiently. Their service area is limited to a 12-mile radius of the City of Punta Gorda and is responsive to emergencies, deliveries, and unexpected events.
To receive the best PEACE OF MIND and honest, upfront pricing with no surprises, visit www.gmanhomewatch.com or call (941) 621-5254 for more information. Because “WHEN YOU ARE AWAY YOU NEED TO KNOW, GMAN IS ON THE SCENE!”