People go on vacation and some choose extended periods away from home, such as retirees who escape to a sunny and warm place each winter. This opens up the opportunity to provide a protective service for these “snowbirds” and vacationers in the form of a home watch business. As involved as that may sound, launching a home watch business as a part-time home-based business is extremely easy to do. Have some questions on how to make that happen? Here is my list of some of the most frequent questions I get asked about the home watch business industry and how to get into it.
1 – How much can you make with a home watch business?
This depends somewhat on your geographic location. While you will be using an hourly rate for your services, the size of your community, the local economic conditions and the demographics of your home market will all have an impact on this. On average, you could make $50 per hour and if you just work part-time to a maximum of 20 hours per week you could potentially make $1,000 per week or $4,000 per month.
2 – What does a home watch business do?
If you are away on vacation, a home watch service will provide regular checks of your property while you are gone. The extent of those regular checks can vary from conducting a thorough walkabout of the property and exterior of the home to having the service provider enter your home or outbuildings to conduct further visual observations of the condition of your property. Some home watch businesses will offer additional add-on services that may include collecting your mail to prevent the appearance of no one being home as well as other general duties to deter criminal activity and spot little things like a water leak before it becomes an expensive repair.
3 – Who would require the service of a home watch business?
Essentially, anyone who will be away from their property for any length of time. This can be from a week to several weeks or months depending on the vacation time chosen. As for actual demographics, semi-retired, retired and working individuals could all benefit from this type of home watch business. In other words, your customer base is a very wide net that encompasses virtually anyone. However, you may find that your more regular customers will be “snowbirds” who are away from their primary home for the winter. Of course, they also need someone to watch their sunbelt home when they head north in the spring.
4 – What has caused such a growth in this business industry?
There are probably a few answers to this question. One of them is related to the rapid increase in the number of Baby Boomers who are reaching retirement age. This means many more seniors are vacationing than ever before and taking longer holidays as a result. Another answer is that in today’s world of new technology, it is easier to work remotely which has permitted many working families to maintain their jobs and do so during extended holidays and family vacations.
5 – Do I need any special training to start this type of business?
Actually, you don’t. All you need is to be an honest, reliable person who wants to help others by providing peace of mind when they are away. The only real credentials you will require to go into the home watch business is your business license which will give you the right to operate your business where you live.
6 – Can I do this part-time?
Yes. In fact, I strongly suggest you launch your new home watch business as a part-time opportunity. That’s because you won’t have to work more than 20 hours a week and have the potential to earn hundreds of dollars weekly. If your business grows rapidly, you could extend it to become a full-time venture but that is entirely up to you. Ideally, if you set it up as a part-time job, you will earn full-time wages.
7 – Is it expensive to start a home watch business?
No, it isn’t. If you already have a vehicle, a smartphone, and a computer, you are already well on your way to starting an exciting career as a part-time home watch service provider. You will need a business license, business cards, and other related office supplies but essentially, you can be in business faster than almost any other type of start-up and it won’t cost you a bundle to get going.
8 – What if I have no experience in this type of business?
Well, do I have some good news for you! You are probably the best fit for a home watch business. Let me explain why that is. You’ve had other jobs, right? Even if you’ve worked at half a dozen different unrelated jobs in the past two years you will already have more experience than someone who has been in the same job throughout that same timeframe. The reason is that you will have picked up several different skills in those different jobs. They are referred to as transferrable skills and that is because they can be transferred – or used – in maybe different job settings. Now looking at the home watch business, the jobs you had previously will have given you some skills you’ll be able to use instantly in this new venture.
9 – How do I go about finding customers for my home watch business?
That is an excellent question simply because, without customers, your business doesn’t stand a chance at being successful. But I have devised some methods that will bring your business in front of those people who could use your services most. For example, vacationers will require travel insurance and travel agencies for vacation planning. These are the two likely places you will be able to reach your target audience. Also, in popular snowbird locations in the sunbelt, real estate agents know which customers are buying a home as a part-time residence. See if they will display your business cards, posters or brochures at their place of business. This will help you to start promoting your business. Then you can expand from there.
Depending on your budget, you can stick to inexpensive forms of advertising or go for some of the more expensive types. On the cheaper end of the scale is free online classified advertising, signage for your vehicle that turns it into a rolling billboard and flyers you can hand out. It really depends on what your overall business goals are and what you can afford to do. Don’t forget the power of a website, either. The internet is where most people go to find information and you can reach these people with social media pages and a simple website.
10 – Do I need any kind of special certification?
The short answer is: no. All you will require is a business license to do business in your community and insurance. Otherwise, you are good to go in the home watch business.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
There you have it. The top ten questions I get asked most about starting a home watch business. As you can tell, it isn’t all that hard to launch a small home-based business. Hopefully, I’ve been able to inspire you to give this new business a try.