As this season for snowbirds heats up, I have been invited into many beautiful homes to sign them up for home watch service. These homes are all over the value range, from $550,000 houses of 3200 square feet to huge retreats worth millions and several thousand square feet in size. The most incredible part of this adventure has been realizing that most people have no clue what their house value really means.
Although the person with the less expensive home appreciates the snowbird experience just as much as the high end, both just consider it ‘just a house’ when they start looking to have it maintained properly. In reality, it is an investment they have made. Whether in life style, actual real estate investment, or the equivalent of a retirement fund, the investment is more valuable than many of their other assets. But they see it as a basic hotel room. How do I know? Simple, look to see who they have used to watch or manage it and how they believe they should choose a home watch service.
Anyone who uses a maid to watch a $3,500,000 investment fails to understand the potential losses as well as the actual value of the investment. Because the owners live there, they assume there is no knowledge or experience required. I don’t want to harp about this too much because it is covered in other blog posts, but maids, cleaners, pet sitters, friends and neighbors, are not the way you manage a huge investment. Would you turn a portfolio of stocks and bonds over to one of these for six months? So why do people do it? Simple ignorance of the systems and ongoing maintenance needs of a home.
So when they start looking for a professional, usually because they had a problem that really burned them, they want someone cheap. The maid was cheap, why shouldn’t a home watch service be? I want tell you why specifically price is the last item to consider when searching for home watch service. Do you shop for a financial guy for your $3,500,000 portfolio by price? Doctors? There is only one reason to shop by price when choosing a home watch service- you believe there is no difference in services i.e. it is just a commodity that can be done by anyone.
If instead, you do some research and determine the differences, you will see that the value of a great service far outweighs any additional cost. I chuckled recently when a homeowner invited me over and had me discuss what my business offered. When we reviewed the entire package, explained what made us unique, and noted the unique bonuses that we offered during the current sign-up season, he was very interested. But at some point, his wife convinced him that they only wanted to pay X dollars per visit and my monthly rate was higher. Some simple math showed that their rate-per-visit scheme was actually more expensive over their 7 month holiday than my service (because we offer unlimited free post storm visits) and fell well below the added benefits, proven reliability, etc. Sadly, they were so hung up on this ‘cost per visit’ that they left an opportunity behind to have their problems solved.
Are you searching for a home watch service with a pay-per-visit mentality? I beg you to look at your home differently, to recognize it’s value, and the loss of time and money that would accompany any problem. Price is certainly worth considering. Consider this: If your financial adviser approached you and offered to manage your portfolio for less than .001 of it’s value each month, would you do it? Most would jump at it! And a professional home watch service costs a whole lot less than that.