Recently, we lost a client. Not because of our service. The reason? ‘There is a guy that said he would do weekly visits for $30 a month.’ $30. That’s a pretty good price. When you consider an inspection takes from 20 to 30 minutes, this guy will be making about $7.50 a visit. Works out in most cases to about $15 an hour, not including drive time. Let me ask you, do you think he will really visit this condo every week? Do you think he will spend 20-30 minutes on an inspection? Do you think he will be sending a weekly written report to his client? My opinion? Not very likely.
On the other hand, I have clients that say we don’t charge enough. When I offer to triple our cost, they laugh…nervously. Hehehe…well, we aren’t going to triple or even double our costs. We are very happy charging $25 per visit. We usually do 2 inspections per hour. We think making $50 an hour, less the cost of our gas, is very good! Neither of us have ever had a job that paid that much.
Believe it or not, I sometimes feel a little guilty about it. But, like our clients tell us…we have the background, experience and knowledge that more than justifies our charges. We have built homes from the ground up…just Jack and I!!!! We know what is behind your walls, under your floors, above your ceilings. That is the kind of expertise that is priceless and one of the things that make us stand out from other home watch companies.
Having worked with dozens of vendors during my Community Association Manager career here in FL, we can help give our clients options when they need a new air conditioning system, a good plumber or a great electrician. These are vendors that are professional and won’t rip our clients off.
Having owned our own property management company in CA, we definitely know how to take care of properties that don’t have full time residents.
Both of these points are more reasons why we have an edge over other home watch companies.
We BELIEVE in customer service! We go the extra hundred miles for clients for even the oddest requests…and we DON’T slack off over time.
So, are we worth $35 a visit? $50 a visit? More? I think so! There are companies that charge even more…and I don’t begrudge them that. If they can get $65-90 for a visit, more power to them. Us? We are happy with our prices and don’t intend to change them, despite pressure from other home watch companies. We feel we give our clients way more for their money than any other company out there.
And we must be because we found out yesterday that not only have we been awarded Best of Naples for the third year in a row, but we’ve also been named to the Naples Business Hall of Fame. Only one home watch company in Naples is awarded this Best of Naples honor! Pretty cool! (Oh oh…I feel my head swelling!)
And in fact, since we have never lost a client due to the service we give, we have almost no turnover in our client base (despite the fact we were warned that there is a lot of turnover in this business) and have not been able to accept any new clients for 12 out of the last 13 months. To me, that translates to over a 100 very satisfied clients. I had put a notice on our website last April explaining why were not accepting any new clients and then we had 4 clients sell their properties. I took the notice off for 3 weeks this Feb. and before I knew it we had 19 new clients. I put the notice back up quickly. There is only so much time in a day and since only Jack and I do the inspections, we had to yell ‘Uncle’. I would have to say there probably not a lot of home watch companies (any?) that are in our enviable position.
So, if you want to pay $7.50 or $90 for a home watch visit and it gives you peace of mind to do so…I say go for it. Just be aware, you don’t have to. There are plenty of companies that charge a reasonable amount and give great service.