How to make a Home Watch Checklist
We have learned from trial & error and experience over the years and we believe that your checklist should do 3 things!
- It should have the ability to educate your client as to what a Home Watch is and does.
- In the event that you were to get sick a perfect stranger should be able to walk up to the property and follow the checklist and perform the home Watch successfully.
- Should be simple and take less time to fill out than the time it takes to perform your Home Watch Patrol until you find an issue.
Remember that you are reporting on the status of the property and trying to find small problems and catch them before they become huge issues and possible disasters so your checklist should be thorough but not time consuming!
By making your checklist in such a way to cover the basics you are in essence showing your client what they should be looking for when they are occupying the property. You will be surprised at how often our clients never look for the things we check so by educating them on what you do helps build a better respect from them and a good relationship and also more than justifies your rate!
Every House, Condo or apartment has the 5 basic rooms, Bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, dining room & living areas. All the other rooms such as Lenais (Florida Room, Screened in room, sun room), Garage, solariums etc.. are custom to each home.
If you break your basic checklists down to the 5 basics and then customize it after that for additional rooms and specifics for each property you will be fine.
We set our checklists up so that we check the same things at each property and then add the custom checklist items that are specific to each property.
Every client’s property will have something unique but the same basic questions will apply for most homes i.e. water leaks, bugs or rodent issues, mildew, abnormal sounds, unusual odors, exterior or interior weather damage, Break and enter or vandalism, freezing pipes in the north, ice damage, yard damage from storms etc…
We believe you should keep your checklists very basic but specific for example if the home has 3 bedrooms don’t have your checklist say; Are there any leaks in Bedroom 1, Are there any leaks in bedroom 2, Are there any leaks in bedroom 3 and specific questions for each but instead say Are there any leaks in the bedrooms (Plural)? Are there any signs of mildew etc…
Then if you find a leak in a particular bedroom you comment on that specific bedroom. If nothing is wrong then you move onto the next room without spending a lot of time filling out specific answers for each bedroom!
Also if all is good in the bedrooms you have only taken the time to answer the specific question once! This same concept applies to all multiple rooms such as bathrooms!
We use the QRIDit Home Watch system so when we arrive at the property we scan the QR Code, open the checklist in the app and then put the phone in our pocket and perform our Home Watch Patrol. At the end of the Patrol (We call it Property Patrol Service up here!) then we sit down pull up the app and then fill out the report. We do this to make sure we covered everything and didn’t miss anything specific that the particular client requested and as a reminder. We don’t walk through the property with the checklist open in the App and follow it step by step but use it as a guide and a reminder in case we forgot something on the list.
Another tip is to arrange your checklist in the order you walk through the property in the event that you need to send someone in your absence! You need to be specific but not a long complicated list.
Add instructions to your list not just questions as a reminder for things you need to do i.e. check and collect the mail or turn the A/C thermostat to activate the A/C to ensure it’s working. Then a reminder before you leave to set the temp back to the original setting. Questions are good but instructions are good reminders for specific tasks you have been asked to do.
I always suggest to people when they are just starting out to sit in each room in your own home and make a list of what to check and compile your list and when it’s done walk your own home and see how long it takes you to complete the checklist! Plus you will be surprised sometimes what you find wrong in your own home!
I stopped doing that as my honey do list got too big!!!
By Randy Martin
Founder & CEO Quick Report systems Inc.