An Attorney’s Story
I recently attended a fundraising/networking event in Naples and had the pleasure to meet quite a few interesting people. Among them was a criminal defense attorney with whom I struck up a conversation. He inquired about what I do for a living and, when I told him that I provide professional home watch services, he had quite a story to tell me.
This attorney had recently defended a person in court who was in the home watch business and didn’t hold the home watch profession in very high regard because of it. His client had been renting out the home of a person for whom he was supposedly providing home watch services. When the home owner returned to Naples, he found people living in his home. Imagine his shock! Unfortunately, this is a true story. And, unfortunately, it happens more often than we think it might. A home watch professional would NEVER do this.
Before hiring someone to provide home watch services, here are important questions to ask.
- Are you licensed and insured? Home Watch is not regulated by the State of Florida at this time. No license is required. I carry general liability insurance in the amount of $1 million.
- How often will you come to my home? A weekly visit is the best practice. A little bit of water can do a lot of damage. Some home watch reporters will agree to provide bi-weekly visits. Some also offer 3 visits per month. NEVER agree to a monthly visit!
- What will you do during a home watch visit? You’ll want to hear that he/she will cycle the water, meaning the toilets will be brushed and flushed, water will be run through all faucets in sinks, tubs and showers (to keep drain flies and offensive orders at bay), the washing machine & dishwasher will be run on the short cycle, that the home will be checked for leaks, and more. You’ll want to hear that this person will use a flashlight to check ceilings, walls, and baseboards for irregularities during each visit. And, you’ll want to know that the humidity level in your home is checked (should be below 55%) and that notifications and recommendations to repair professionals will be made when appropriate.
- How will I know who is making the visit and when it was made? You’ll want to hear that the business owner or partner provides the services. Or, that the business owner has a team of trained, insured employees who make the visits. I use a GPS enable software program to record and report my home watch visits. I can only access your personal, customized checklist from my device when I’m at your property. And, you have access to all the information at any time from wherever you are.
- What kind of qualifications do you have? Home ownership alone does not qualify someone to watch your home. I am a graduate of the Home Watch Training Program. I am an affiliate member of Your Home Watch Professionals and participate in ongoing education and training. If I’m away, someone equally as qualified will watch your home and you’ll know who that person is. I’m insured, bonded, passed a background check, and have a properly registered business.
Gail Schultz, at Right Choice Home Watch, is your right choice in home watch.