“Hello, how much do you charge for home watch visits?” says the voice on the phone.
It is that time of the year. Our Seasonal Residents realize that they will be heading back to their northern homes soon. Some are looking for a new home watch provider because they had a bad experience. Some never had home watch before and are calling because their insurance agent explained that it is required. Others heard the stories of water damage and mold disasters from their friends and neighbors and they want to be sure their home is looked after during the summer months.
Is it really all about price?
I was visiting with a Seasonal Resident the other day who shared that they golfed in the afternoon at a cost of $190 each plus the cost of lunch and drinks at the bar. In the evening, they joined friends for dinner and spent $325 per couple. Yes, over $700 in one day for golf and dining.
Another couple I met is taking their 2 kids to Key West for the day. The round trip boat tickets for a family of four are around $600. Add lunch and a few purchases and they are easily over $1000 for their Fun Day!
Service technicians like plumbers, electricians and AC techs often charge close to $100 to show up and then the clock starts ticking and you are billed by the quarter hour.
I know that many of us spend over $200 every time we go to the hair salon.
Try to spend less than $50 for a movie and snacks.
I would like to talk about how much women spend on shoes, but then the secret would be out!!
My point is that price should be the last thing you ask when interviewing a home watch provider.
Learn about the person, the company, their training and credentials. Ask them about what they do when making a visit and what they look for. What is their most important tool? How will they communicate with you? How are the visits documented? Who will watch over your home if the home watch provider has an emergency, illness or takes a vacation? Get to know them. Hire the home watch professional who makes you feel the most comfortable. This is the person who will be there for you to handle a small situation or large emergency.
Price is only an issue when value is in question.
Ask the important questions first. Get the price last.