Home Watch Business Frequently Asked Questions
What is the NHWA?
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.
Why is the NHWA important to the Home Watch industry?
Because there are no set rules or standards required to operate a Home Watch business, there are many companies that have little or no insurance or bonding. Many are unlicensed and don’t perform background checks on employees. Members operate according to the NHWA’s Best Practices, which have been developed in order to provide consistent inspections and accurate reporting to our clients. With the amount of new Home Watch services opening each month, it is very important for the consummate company to separate from the rest of the pack. The NHWA is also committed to educating the public as to what a Home Watch company actually does. Common misconceptions about being a security or house-sitting service continue to be a problem throughout the industry.
Why is the NHWA important to the general public?
Trust is paramount in the Home Watch business. If we lose the trust of our public or clientele because an uninsured or careless company makes mistakes, or items go missing, the potential damage to the reputation of Home Watch could be devastating. Because our entire membership has been vetted, the recommendation of the NHWA carries weight and makes clients more confident with their choice.
Why should my company become a member of the NHWA?
Accreditation in the NHWA shows a member’s desire to strive for excellence. As membership grows, so too does the legitimacy of the entire Home Watch industry. The federal government does not yet recognize the autonomy of Home Watch. This is evidenced by the lack of a NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code assigned to our industry. Non-members have a difficult time obtaining the correct general liability insurance, and this is a direct result of Home Watch not having an individual classification code. Consider the possibilities of having a recognized relationship with insurance companies and lending establishments. With accreditation, you’ll become a member of a growing association of companies that are ready to be counted. For more info, visit our Reasons to Join page.
What can NHWA Accreditation do for my company?
Aside from being recognized as a credible, Accredited Member of the NHWA, there are many ways accreditation can help. Potential clients look to do business with companies that belong to organizations that endorse them because they hold their members accountable. By becoming accredited, your company will be listed on the NHWA website where clients will find your business. This website averages close to one hundred thousand visits annually (see Reasons to Join). As a sponsored site, the NHWA ad appears immediately, ahead of all competing companies, putting your company front and center, regardless of your page ranking.
How can NHWA membership improve my business?
The NHWA is the portal for all things Home Watch. As a member, you’ll have the support of not only our staff and Advisory Board, but also our members. The ability to ask questions and share ideas with people in the Home Watch business is a major advantage to members. The NHWA also offers help through webinars, newsletters, social media and data sharing. Membership also gives you the opportunity to participate in the NHWA Insurance Program and gives you guidance in choosing the right direction for website and SEO support, marketing materials, service contracts, pricing and even reporting and monitoring technology. For more info, visit our Benefits of Membership page.
How do I apply for membership in the NHWA?
Applying for accreditation is easy. Since the NHWA is here to help mentor your new business, you can now apply for membership while your company is in its start-up stage. As a matter of fact, a large amount of new members took advantage of the knowledge and guidance available to them before they obtained the required paperwork and insurance needed for their company’s accreditation. In order to become a “Member in Good Standing,” download the membership application. Once you complete it to the best of you ability, simply return it. We will then run a criminal background check on all company principals and conduct a phone interview. After that you will have access to all of our resources.
What is the cost of membership?
The annual membership fee is $495 for Home Watch companies. (See Reasons to Join.) For the first year only, the NHWA requires an additional $50 per company principle to cover the cost of their background check. Because of the current exchange rate between the Canadian and US Dollar, the NHWA extends a 15% discount to its new Canadian members. Affiliate memberships are also available.