Does your Home Watch business have enough customers?
With a quickly increasing population of snowbirds and families purchasing vacation homes, Home Watch is one of the fastest growing home service businesses today. If you have a Home Watch business, you’re ready to tap into a growing market and quickly grow your client base.
We’ve put some tips together to help you get the phone ringing and push your business through to the next level.
Business referrals are an old-school strategy that have been around forever because they work well and cost virtually nothing.
Here’s how to tap into your existing network:
- Make a list of customers who love your services.
- In person, explain that you’d like their help. For example: “Mrs. Snowbird, we really appreciate your business over the years. We’re growing our home watch business and want more customers like you. Would you pass along our information to anyone you know that could use our services?”
- Follow up with an email thanking them in advance and attach your contact information to be easily passed along.
Referrals are an excellent strategy because people want to help other people when they’re asked. Just remember to return the favor. Sending referrals to your client’s businesses, where possible, will increase the chances that they’ll send referrals to you.
Use Technology to Differentiate Your Home Watch Business from the Competition
Using the right technologies for your business will streamline operations, save time on home watch visits and help grow your business. Completing checklists on tablets or smartphones on-site streamlines your process and looks professional to your clients. Use your phone/tablet to take photos on site to show clients any issues and to prove you were there.
Home Watch reporting software will set you apart as a professional Home Watch company. It creates credibility and differentiates you from companies not using a reporting software. Your Home Watch software should provide hard evidence that a visit was made, include photos and let you clearly flag problem areas for your client’s attention. Your clients will quickly see issues flagged in their report so they can respond immediately and communicate back to you.
Do you remember when you used to get the phone book out to look for business services? You’d usually call the first or second listing on the page (the AAA era). Today we typically go straight to the web to search for home watch providers. What hasn’t changed is how important it is to be found at the top of the page (web page these days) and on page 1. There are 3 important areas of online marketing and you can either tackle them yourself or get help from a reputable marketing/web company with plenty of experience in all 3 areas.
- On Page Optimization – this can be described as any work done on your website to naturally bring your website higher in search engine rankings, closer to the top of page 1 in the search engine results. Examples can include using keywords in the headings of your web pages, cleaning up code so Google has an easier time figuring out what you do, adding in meta descriptions and title tags, adding sitemaps or anything else that helps Google put your website where it should be (at the top of the search rankings).
- PPC, or Pay-Per-Click advertising – PPC ads are usually displayed at the top of the page and entice users to click on them to find what they are looking for. As the name says, you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. You have control over how much you spend and often clicks are cheaper than you might think. If competition is low, you may only spend a few pennies per click and still see a great return on investment.
- Local SEO – along with your website, there are many local online directories that help get your home watch business in front of the people searching for you online. Yellow Pages, Facebook, Yelp, BBB, Angie’s List, and Whitepages are just a few local directories you should list your business on. The return is two-fold. First, if someone is searching for a home watch business in any of these directories, they will find you. Second, the directory listings link back to your website. The more good quality links you have out there on the web that link back to your website, the more important Google believes your website is. This signals that your website should be ranked higher in search engine results. Win-win!
Take a Home Watch Training Seminar
Fly by night home watch companies are popping up everywhere. In order to differentiate yourself from the competition and establish yourself as THE expert, take advantage of an accredited training course in order to add credibility to your business and learn some valuable information on running and growing your home watch business.
We love Your Home Watch Professionals home watch training seminars. They have developed a curriculum that covers a variety of subjects dealing with Home Watch. These range from client communications to developing checklists, creating contracts and establishing a menu of services. “My goal now is to build a group of home-watch providers who are trained, trusted and tested,” Owner Diane Pisani says. Check it out for yourself!
Network With Local Contractors & Real Estate Agents
Another easy and free way to grow your home watch business is by getting to know the local businesses who are also working with your potential clients. Real estate agents have a vast network of clients purchasing vacation homes or second homes in your area and will be asked to recommend a professional Home Watch company from time to time. Local contractors may also be poised to send seasonal residents your way for home watch services. The same techniques apply as with asking for referrals.
- Identify real estate agents and contractors who you can contact and find local business networking clubs.
- Attend the networking events and be sure to bring along up to date brochures and business cards. These events often have a table specifically for other networkers to take from. Make sure you put it out there that you’re growing your business and would love for them to pass along your information to potential clients.
- Return the favor! You’re in a great spot to send clients ready to sell a real estate agents way or to suggest a great local contractor.