Home Watch, Property Management, and House Sitting
The National Home Watch Association defines home watch as “a visual inspection of a home or property, looking for obvious issues.” Home Watch companies routinely visit properties, checking indoor and outdoor spaces plus the surrounding property.
To better understand Home Watch, it helps to know what it isn’t. First, the services are different than a home inspection that you may request when you put an offer on a home because home inspection requires special licensing. Home Watch also stands apart from house sitting and security services, though it does add a level of security because there is someone visiting regularly. Finally, Home Watch isn’t traditional property management as it doesn’t include marketing to find tenants or handling leases.
Home Watch services cover routine visits for absent homeowners to ensure the home is well maintained both inside and out. It’s a single point of contact and invoicing for everything which means there’s no need to juggle multiple vendors or make long distance trips to oversee a service. By using a professional to manage a home, it also means the homeowner never has to worry whether a vendor is reputable.
A Home Watch professional is trained to spot any red flags and in addition to regular reporting, they should contact the homeowner right away if an issue needs attention. As a result, a plan is reached and the Home Watch professional may manage the next steps.
Home Watch services can benefit a variety of individuals including vacation and second homeowners, snowbirds, luxury home or estate owners, international property owners, busy parents, senior citizens, and business travelers.
Most homeowners don’t realize the amount of time and effort that goes into caring for a home while they’re away. And the bigger the house, the more work there is to do. The burden of maintenance keeps them from enjoying their time when they arrive.
Property visits vary in frequency depending on a homeowner’s needs. However, most are scheduled weekly or twice per month. The services are often customizable but can include:
- House, roof, gutters, grounds: no visible damage
- Pests: no visible issues
- A/C or heat, set to requested temperature
- Doors, windows, grounds: no signs of tampering
- Appliance check: no leaks, working
- Run water, flush toilets, check water heater: no signs of leaks
- Home system & appliance service
- Sprinkler system covering lawn and on correct timer
- Remove junk mail/flyers, retrieve packages
- Start vehicles
At Properti Home Concierge, we take Home Watch to another level. We provide Home Management services that help clients with all the details of their home while they are away, providing ultimate peace of mind. That means add-on, or concierge services which allow clients to have a consistent, high level of care and upkeep. Examples of these can include:
- Pre-arrival: patio furniture set, blinds and/or windows open, ice maker on, refrigerator and pantry stocked
- Post-departure: trash out, thermostat set, security system armed, inflatables stored, vehicles washed
- Lawn care and snow removal
- Housekeeping or Handyman services
- General or subcontractor oversight
- Mail courier, package pickup, forwarding
- Meet vendors: cable, internet, appliance repair
- Pool/spa maintenance
- Pay utilities
- Personal shopping or errands
- Event planning
Now that you’ve learned more about Home Watch and Home Management, it’s important to understand how an accredited professional can save your investment and may even reduce your insurance premiums. Check out our next blog to learn why neighborly home visits just don’t make the cut.
by Brianne Schmidke, Properti Home Concierge