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Pandemic’s realities fuel what was once a cottage industry

02-26-2021 10:24 AM CET | Associations & Organizations

Press release from: NHWA Communications

A visual, indoor-outdoor inspection of seasonal or rental property by a home watch professional is becoming a popular service.

A visual, indoor-outdoor inspection of seasonal or rental property by a home watch professional is becoming a popular service.

Murrells Inlet, SC—Seeking peace of mind during the ongoing global health emergency, a growing number of homeowners and real estate investors are calling upon certified home watch professionals to serve as their eyes and ears for unoccupied properties. Inspectors accredited by the National Home Watch Association have for years performed GPS-enabled, visual inspections for seasonal residents, vacation rental properties and frequent travelers. But the broad societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought home watch services into sharper focus. Established in 2009, the National Home Watch Association (NHWA) has trained a membership that now collectively owns businesses in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. Many report that their client lists have ballooned since the start of 2020.

“A lot of folks are realizing that in addition to the typical concerns that can arise when they’re away—leaks, power outages, malfunctioning appliances—there are region-specific problems at play both inside and around unoccupied dwellings,” says Jack Luber, executive director of the NHWA. “Our members have clients whose properties need to be monitored due to high heat and humidity, severe weather patterns, pest infestation and wintertime threats, all of which are being exacerbated by global warming. With so many properties left untended during these uncertain times, vandalism is an increasing worry as well. We get it. It’s unfortunate, but we’re here to help.”

NHWA members are licensed, bonded and insured according to state-specific regulations and also undergo annual background checks. In addition to water damage, power outages and malfunctioning appliances, the problems most commonly surfaced by home watch services include insects, rodents, mold, fallen trees or power lines, frozen pipes, ice dams and evidence of an intruder. Customers often enlist a certified home watch professional to collect mail, water plants, ensure a property looks well-tended and lived-in and to serve as the local on-call contact for their home alarm system. Time-stamped and documented home watch reports can also help satisfy home insurers’ minimum-occupancy terms.

Many home watch businesses offer boutique services like pool maintenance, snow removal, overseeing/coordinating repairs or home-improvement projects as well as concierge and keyholding services for rental properties. These responsibilities and standard inspections are in increasing demand as a dimmer switch of travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders and mandatory quarantine rules impacts large swaths of the country for the foreseeable future. Industry analysts expect the good news of the pandemic’s eventual end will also be good news for the home watch sector as many clients will retain those services initially made necessary by COVID-19.

National Home Watch Association
PO Box 2359
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

For more information, contact:

Jack Luber
National Home Watch Association
843-357-6660
nationalhomewatchassociation.org

The National Home Watch Association is a group of elite Home Watch services from across the U.S. and Canada that have agreed to operate their businesses according to the highest set of standards and guidelines in the industry. These standards and guidelines ensure the clients of these Accredited Members that they are fully protected by proper insurance, bonding, and procedures provided by them. In addition, Accredited Members have agreed to uphold and abide by the Code of Ethics and Mission Statement of the NHWA.

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