Perfecting peace of mind: Natasha Morgan, founder and CEO of My Home Watch, discusses the Australian franchise’s internationally-appealing concept.
Vacations are great. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the working world every now and then is a crucial way to make sure you’re performing at your very best; beyond that, it’s just nice to take in a change of scenery, whether that’s an entirely new country, a new city, or even just a visit to family or friends in a nearby town.
The thing is, vacations can also come with their own stresses and issues to resolve. Who will look after my house when I’m gone, or water my plants? Who will feed the dog? What if there’s a leakage or break-in, and I’m not around to sort everything out?
These were the questions rattling around Natasha Morgan’s mind when she began considering the idea of a property care company that could alleviate some of the unnecessary stress when planning a trip.
“As a frustrated consumer, it was virtually impossible for my family and I to take a holiday,” explains Morgan. “It’s a real problem that so many face: having a trusted person that they can rely on, without the guilt of a favor being attached. I knew at that point, we needed to take action and solve this problem.”
A COVER-ALL SOLUTION
That solution was My Home Watch; the revolutionary property franchise founded in Australia in 2016, which has gone on to find success throughout Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The brand began franchising the following year and now, in 2020, has plans to launch internationally in the U.S. – with New Zealand and South Africa being earmarked for potential future endeavors.
The real success of the brand is its diversification. While it does do exactly what it says on the tin – watch homes – My Home Watch also offers services that cover everything from pet watch, to Airbnb care, and even boat watch for nautically-inclined clientele.
“As a growing company, we are always looking for new and innovative ways in which we can support the home service markets,” says Morgan. A prime example of this is My Home Watch’s partnership with heavy-hitters in the real estate sector.
These businesses were looking to outsource tasks like inspections and on-going property maintenance, and Morgan’s flourishing brand was a perfect fit: “We saw a clear gap in the market for on-the-ground field support for these types of companies and made our approach. As a company, we really enjoy assisting this industry.”
BREAKING DOWN BREAK-INS
According to safeatlast, a collection of security experts, there are 2.5 million burglaries in the U.S. per year, and 66 per cent of those are home break-ins. Notably, 65 per cent of these occur during the day, to reduce the chance of someone being home. My Home Watch directly combats this by patrolling properties for any signs of attempted entry, and the mere presence of one of the brand’s experts deters would-be thieves.
As with many property and maintenance brands, My Home Watch franchisees benefit from return clients who have seen how effective the service is, and now can’t even consider planning a trip without consulting with the brand.
Morgan’s team is able to organize a specialist who can attend a client’s home within 24 hours of booking the service, and with an 85 per cent customer conversion rate, it’s not hard to see why the franchise has plans that extend well beyond Australia. Home safety is a priority without borders, and for Morgan, the sky’s the limit.
“I see adapting to the different franchise codes and country cultures being our biggest challenges as we enter into international markets,” she explains. But this isn’t a concern: “We have a strong international development team behind us, with years of experience.”
NOTHING BUT THE BEST
At its core, the service works like this: a client gets in touch and inquires about a My Home Watch specialist looking after their home. The package is entirely customizable, so as many or as few aspects can be covered as required. While the client is away, the specialist (and a team, if needed) visit the home at regular intervals, take photos of everything specified, and update the client with the status of their property.
“We could have gone with an Uber-style business model, but it wasn’t the brand experience I wanted our customers to have,” says Morgan. “Franchising means a customer can experience our five-star service, build a relationship with their trusted local business operator, and book at any time.”
Looking ahead, Natasha Morgan is very enthusiastic that the Australian concept will prove just as popular overseas: “We sit in a very exciting market; one that’s never been realized before globally and has gained a lot of buzz. It’s very quickly breaking through into the evolving home service, shared economy, and real estate sectors. Expansion is big for My Home Watch in 2020, and our motivation is to create further opportunities for others and, in turn, service more areas in Australia and on a global scale.”