Associations. Are They Worth It?
If your starting a new home watch business or have an established one, you may be already part of an association or considering joining one. You probably are asking yourself, “Do I need to be a part of an association for my business to be successful?” The short answer… It depends.
The Home Watch Network
This week, the International Home Watch Alliance officially dissolved. Everything has rebranded to the Home Watch Network, run by Diane Pisani, under the same umbrella as the Home Watch Academy. The value proposition has stayed the same. The only real difference is the Home Watch Network is claiming to be a “network” vs. an actual “association. It’s basically word salad because the membership requirements are still the same. You still need to provide business paperwork, submit yourself to a background check, provide proof of insurance, pay dues, and more. You can keep your limbs though.
National Home Watch Association
The National Home Watch Association, founded by Jack Luber, has been around since 2009 and claims to be the gold standard for the home watch industry. To become an NHWA member, you must pass similar requirements to the Home Watch Network. There are annual dues as well as other ongoing expenses. The NHWA also has been known to nickel and dime members for everything they ask. Being a member of the NHWA is a costly undertaking. I have also been told that if you are a member of the NHWA, you are not allowed to be a member of another association. So make sure you read the fine print before joining any association.
Both organizations provide member benefits. Some of those benefits are;
- Networking Opportunities: Joining a home watch association provides the opportunity to network with other home watch businesses and industry professionals. This can lead to new business relationships and opportunities for growth.
- Industry Knowledge: Home watch associations often provide training and education for their members, which can help home watch businesses stay up-to-date on industry best practices and emerging trends. This can be especially helpful for new or small home watch businesses just starting out.
- Increased Credibility: Being a member of a home watch association can increase the credibility and reputation of a home watch business. Homeowners are more likely to trust a business affiliated with a professional organization, as it demonstrates a commitment to the industry and a level of expertise.
- Marketing Opportunities: Home watch associations may offer marketing opportunities for their members, such as listing their business on the association’s website, which can help to increase visibility and attract new clients.
Are they worth it?
Going back to my original question, “Do I need to be a part of an association for my business to be successful?” Being a member of an association may help you. It may help you for all of the reasons mentioned above, but the success of your business comes down to one thing and one thing only—self-awareness. As a business owner, you must be self-aware of your strengths and weakness. Being a member may help you turn your weaknesses into strengths. So, if you are an active participating member of an association, you will get a lot more out of it than a member who joins just for the logo. So is it worth it? It depends on what you put into it.
Let me be clear. You do not need to be a member of any home watch association. You are NOT required to be a member of any home watch association to get your business insurance. The Home Watch Industry is unregulated, so technically, no certifications or accreditations from any association, organization, or governing body exist in the Home Watch Industry. That being said, if you aren’t a member of an association, you cannot place those fancy logos on your website. Your local competitors are members of an association and are putting those fancy logos on their sites. Being a member may be a necessary evil so that you can be “credible,” too.
Are there other options?
If you want your business to be credible, consider submitting your company to besthomewatchcompanies.com so your company can get ranked as the best in your local marketplace. Only some companies can get ranked on besthomewatchcompanies.com because the website offers exclusivity, as there are only ten companies ranked in each city. Not every company can be a part of it.
The Home Watch Resource
The Home Watch Resource will be live in 2023 and aims to educate, communicate, and share ideas among your peers. The training will be revolutionary for the home watch industry. There will not be any fees, background checks, or agreements for home watch businesses. All can join regardless of association affiliation. It’s 100% free. Make sure you visit The Home Watch Resource, and sign up so you can be notified at launch!
Each business is different. Before you join any home watch association, speak to members and see if its helped their business. Each association has an online directory, so finding a member to talk to is relatively easy.
If you’re an existing home watch business, take a look and reflect on your association membership and determine if you are getting anything out of it. Just be aware of your options as a business owner and decide what’s best for you, your business, and your bottom line.