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October 2014
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A Home Watch “No Show”

My husband, and I, were listening to music last evening and met a delightful brother and sister visiting from the UK. As we chatted a bit they shared that their parents have had a home, in Naples, for many years. They arrived last week to find their home exactly as they left it several months ago: Towels that were on the floor, other laundry that was not washed, items in the fridge, etc.. Money was on the counter, intended for the Home Watch Provider who never showed up the entire time. There was even a small leak from one of the water supply lines. Very fortunately, the air conditioner worked and they did not come home to any mold or more extreme damage.

Every year, at this time, I hear these stories again and again. Sometimes the results are tragic. There are people who will return to water damage and homes destroyed by mold. We will get new clients because of this. But, it is not the way we want to meet our new clients!

It is simple: A vacant home simply cannot be left unattended. Damage can and will happen. It is not a matter of if. It is a matter of when.

Home Watch is a real business. Your Home Watch Professionals is comprised of a team of independently owned and operated home watch businesses. They are TRAINED, TESTED, and TRUSTED.

We are the REAL DEAL. We will keep a watchful eye over your property and communicate with you after each visit.

Click here to find a Home Watch Professional who serves your community:

http://yourhwp.com/affiliates/

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Home Watch Catch of the Day: Leaky Toilet

As Home Watch Professionals, our services are a bit intangible.  We exist to detect irregularities in the early stages – before damage becomes a disaster.  

Water damage is extremely common.  On Wednesday, I had an appointment with a rep from a local disaster clean up company.   She missed the our meeting because she was at a service call where there was water damage.  A condo owner had water dripping from the bathroom ceiling.  The neighbor, in the condo above, had a leaky toilet.  The neighbor is a Seasonal Resident and does not have a home watch provider.  Not only is there extensive damage in her condo, but now the neighbor has to deal with the inconvenience, cost of the clean up and file a claim on her own insurance policy. This damage could have been avoided if the Seasonal Resident turned off the water main when she left for the summer.  This neglect has caused a lot of heartache for her neighbor.

The next day, while making a home watch visit, I noticed stains in the grout, on the baseboard and around the toilet in the powder room of my client’s home.  Knowing this was a sign of water intrusion I took immediate action.  The contractor came over the same day, pulled the toilet, started the drying process and will replace the defective parts.  Minimal Damage.  NO Disaster. Very appreciative clients.

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FREE Introductory Seminars and Workshop Schedule Announced

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 Home Watch:  A Great Business for Transitional Professionals

 

Your Home Watch Professionals® announces the Introductory Seminar and Training Program Schedule.

Many people believe that Home Watch is an “easy” business and because they live in a home they are qualified to watch over the homes of Seasonal Residents.  

“You don’t know what you don’t know.  What you don’t know can hurt you.”

The FREE Introductory Seminars are designed to give an overview of the home watch industry and the potential for growth in Southwest Florida.  You will learn that Home Watch is a REAL Business that requires investment, business credentials, training and commitment.  The myths and misconceptions will be debunked.  You will leave the seminar knowing if it is the right business for you.

The Home Watch Training Program is fee-based training that will accelerate your learning curve and kick start your business.  Everyone’s expertise brings unique value to the home watch business.  It is our job to teach you to see homes differently, think like a Home Watch Specialist, recognize irregularities and early signs of damage, and to know how to respond when something does happen.  Because, it will.

The training workshops address business fundamentals; making a proper home watch visit; documentation and forms; and guest speakers from fields such as insurance, air conditioning, plumbing, disaster recovery and more. 

Reservations are requested for the Informational Seminars.  Email:  Diane@YourHWP.com 

Location:  YHWP Training and Resource Center – 5405 Taylor Road Suite 1  -  Naples, FL 34109

239-707-4296

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FREE Introductory Seminars 

Thursday, September 25        5:30pm

Saturday, September 27        10:00am

Tuesday, September 30         5:30pm

Home Watch Training Program:  October 8 – 11  

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FREE Introductory Seminars 

Thursday, October 23             5:30pm

Saturday, October 25            10:00am

Tuesday, October 28              5:30pm

Home Watch Training Program:  November 5 – 8  

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The REAL DEAL

I was recently making a first time visit to a client’s new home.  He is in Europe and will not even be here to see the place until the fall.  I was outside locating the water main when the neighbor came to see what I was doing.  The conversation went like this:
 
Hi – what are you doing?
 
I am the home watch provider for this condo and am looking for the water main.
 
So, they hired you!  I do home watch around here.
 
I see.
 
Why are you looking for the water main?
 
To turn off the water. 
 
Why?
 
It should be off whenever the home is vacant.  Anything can happen:  A toilet can overflow.  A pipe can leak or even burst.  There is no reason to leave an empty home vulnerable.
 
But that is why we stop by – to see if something is wrong.
 
I have seen so much water damage in my career.  Did you know that a leak in a 1/4 inch ice maker supply line can pump up to 1 gallon a minute?  That can be 100 – 1400 gallons in 24 hours! A 3/8 inch line from a toilet can pump 2 – 3 gallons per minute.  
 
Oh.
 
Do you drive people to the airport too?
 
No, we are not licensed or insured for airport transportation.
 
Oh.
 
I suppose you have business insurance too.
 
Yes.  I am fully credentialed.  And the Affiliate Home Watch companies of Your Home Watch Professionals are trained, have incorporated businesses, are insured, bonded, passed a background check and take part in continuous training.
 
I guess you guys are the REAL DEAL.
 
Indeed, we are.AffiliateLogo (2)_clear background
 
 
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Who Watches Your Home Really Does Matter!

Some Seasonal Residents rely on a “Neighbor Doing a Favor” to look after their property. This can be a fatal flaw.

I recently met a home owner who did exactly that. Sure, the neighbor stopped by every now and again – certainly not on a regular schedule. She did not recognize the early signs of water damage; probably because she did not know where to look. By the time it was discovered, there was a leak that ruined all of the floors and mold started to grow throughout the house. The damage exceeded $25,000.00!

The home owners filed a claim with their insurance carrier. It is being disputed because the services of a professional company were not used. The claim may be denied.

To add insult, to injury, the refrigerator was filled with moldy food. The “Neighbor Doing a Favor” said: “You did not ask me to check the fridge.”

The home owner may have to pay for the entire remediation. The friendship is ruined.

Home Watch is a REAL business. The Affiliate companies of Your Home Watch Professionals are Trained, Tested and Trusted.

Contact us for more information: 239.707.4296 – www.YourHWP.com

water damage fans

Seasonal Residents: Demand Accountability!

In a single community Seasonal Residents are arriving to find that their homes have not been looked after in quite some time. The toilets are dry and dirty.  Cars won’t start. Some air conditioners are not working.  Some even have pest intrusion, water damage or mold.  It turns out that the home watch provider (for more than 50 residents) closed her home watch business.

She did not notify anyone.     

Now, some residents are asking for their keys back which she will  not return until the invoice is paid up to date.  Incidentally, the residents say they were not invoiced.

This is wrong on way too many levels.

Shame on the person who is holding keys to the homes of people who trusted her.  She has no sense of responsibility much less a conscience or any business ethics.

Shame on the Seasonal Resident.  You have been away from your Naples home for over 6 months.  You have not received an invoice, phone call or email from the person you entrusted with your keys.  As the home owner you should demand accountability.  

A true Home Watch Professional will communicate with you after each, and every, visit.  The relationship is built on trust.  We exist to be the difference between damage and disaster.  

Anyone, who has had this experience, needs to change their locks – NOW!

Then call Your Home Watch Professionals to engage with a Home Watch Affiliate who is TRAINED – TESTED – TRUSTED.

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Dinner and Home Watch

I just made reservations for a family of 5 at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort for Easter Dinner.  The cost is $177.44 per person/$887.20 for the family.   

An average home watch visit is $40 per visit/$160 per month.  Five months:  $800. 

Great meal at the Ritz:  Memorable

Ritz quality home watch:  Priceless

Diane and the Dermatologist

 Several years ago, I started going to the dermatologist for regular checks.  Most of the time it is nothing. Once in a while, it is something little that needs to be removed.  This time, the irregularity was a bit more serious and required surgical exclusion.   

The doctor, and I, chatted during the procedure.  We are both from the Chicago area and have our love for the city, and our Midwestern roots, in common.

She asked about my work.  I thought for a moment and said it is just like her job:  My team and I make a comprehensive examination, looking very closely for anything that is even the slightest bit irregular.  If anything is out of sorts we take the proper action to prevent it from becoming worse.

She paused for a moment then smiled and said: “I know exactly what you do.”  And, she asked for some of my business cards so she could share my services with her friends and patients.

It pays to work with qualified service providers

Last year, I interviewed with a Seasonal Resident but did not get hired. I just received a call because they came home to hurricane panels still on the windows, one (of 4) air conditioners not operating, water damage and a rat in the attic. Five, of their 10, days in Naples were spent coordinating and waiting for vendors. This time of year, as residents return, we get a lot of new clients because they have had a horrible experience with an unqualified provider. We are here and happy to assist!

What our clients have to say

I am updating my presentation materials and asked some of clients for references via email.  Within a couple hours I had several.  These are the people that have been with me since the beginning or before.  I say “before” because I was the Director of Property Services at a rental company several years ago.  When that business ceased to exist I entered the wonderful world of home watch. 

Here are a few of their comments:

“Just have them call and I will tell them how lucky they are to have you, as I am -  thank you for everything.”

“I gave you name and # to our insurance agent. They wanted to know who was looking after the place when we aren’t there.  I hope that was OK.  I can’t tell you how happy we are that we found you and your service. It sure does take a lot of the worry away when you are an absentee owner. Thank you again.”

“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate the extra attention you give us! We could not have our place, in Naples, if it weren’t for you.”

“It is so comforting to have you there!”