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Home Watch Business Idea

If you want to learn how to start a home watch business, the first thing you need to know is what home watch services entail. Service related businesses are often easier to start than their retail counterparts and a home watch service business is definitely no exception.

Home watch, or home care, involves taking responsibility for monitoring and maintaining a home without actually living in it. These responsibilities include daily or weekly inspections, scheduling and/or performing repairs, regular cleaning, keeping the house stocked for self-catering guests, responding to alarms, re-addressing mail, groundskeeping, and generally keeping the house in order until the homeowners return.

Home watch services are most often used by people who own multiple houses and who want to keep the house from being vandalized or broken into. These services are also used by homeowners going on extended vacations.

How To Start A Home Watch Business – Getting Started

If you’ve decided on how to start a home watch business, you should understand the subtle difference between home watch services and traditional housesitting.

Home watch is not house-sitting, and owners of home watch businesses don’t live in the homes that they watch. While the “price” of house-sitting is free rent, home watch owners typically charge a monthly or weekly fee plus the cost of home maintenance services.

Each home watch business cares for a number of homes around town, depending on how much money the business owner wants to bring in and time they have to devote to the business.

Education and Training Required

There’s no formal education or training requirements to start a home watch business, however, you’ll need to quickly learn small business basics. These topics range from business entity types, insurance requirements, bookkeeping, marketing, and general small business management.

Additional education that you could use may include handyman skills, landscaping knowledge, being able to clean, or even a degree in hospitality. Strictly speaking, the owner of a home watch business just needs to make sure that home monitoring and maintenance gets done.

However, you could sell your service to potential clients by mentioning that they won’t have to pay extra for any maintenance checks or repairs, since you have the skills to take care of it yourself. Since you will be monitoring several homes at once, you’ll also need to be highly organized and efficient.

This is important so please take note! Before you take on a single client, sit down with your insurance agent and make sure you have all of the proper liability coverage in place for your business. You’ll also want to get your business bonded.

Supplies and Equipment Needed

When learning how to start a home watch business, you’ll need the following items to help you get started:

A computer, printer, and internet connection
In today’s connected world, these are the most basic elements of any professional business. Without them, you will be left in the dust. You need to be able to present official documents, you need to keep your clients organized for scheduling and accounting purposes, and you need to be able to keep in touch with potential clients via email.

Means for transportation, preferably a van or a truck
You need to be able to get around to all your home watch properties quickly, and it helps if you have a lot of room in the vehicle for various maintenance tools if that’s a part of your business. A large van with your logo, business name and telephone number can also go a long way to help your marketing efforts.

Maintenance tools
If your home watch business will provide routine maintenance and repairs, you’ll need to bring along a variety of power and hand tools to help you with your work.

Ways to Find Customers

Your target market is likely going to be upper-middle-class to wealthy homeowners, so put up fliers at your local country clubs, gyms, or other well-to-do locations. Setting up a website and advertising it properly can be another great way to draw people to your business.

Putting out a listing or an ad in the Yellow Pages is also a tried-and-true method. Most home care specialists, however, begin the old-fashioned way – via word of mouth. If your first client has a really good experience with you, encourage them to tell their friends.

Referrals are especially vital in this business when you’re learning how to start a home watch business. Referrals help build trust between potential clients and your business. This trust is critical as your clients will be trusting their homes and other property with you.

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