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Pay to Play. Is It a Good or Bad Thing?

When was announced, my phone started ringing, and I received several emails. Home Watch business owners asked me if I knew about this website or “if I was behind it.”

Here is one of my email responses: “Hi there. This is an individual who has taken it upon himself to promote Home Watch. He works for a lot of companies by developing their websites. I’m going to bet he will get a lot of hits on the site, so I’m not going to say don’t participate by any means. I don’t know him personally. And I just learned about this.”

Was I intrigued? Heck yes! But I was pretty busy with my students and graduates, so I figured I would check it out when I had time.

Then I saw the now famous BLOG. Yikes!

It sure looks like Jack Luber, representing the National Home Watch Association, was unhappy with this website. Shortly after learning of its existence, he sent out a SCAM ALERT and strongly “urged his members to stay away from this guy.” rates Home Watch businesses by their chosen rating system described on their website. If someone is listed there and does not want to be on the site, they simply ask to be removed. Any company can submit their info and write a BLOG that the site owner will consider accordingly.

Jack stated that people must pay for the excellent rating and top spot. He further states that this is not a good thing and the company is “not an above-board business.” “Members were listed without their knowledge or permission, and attorneys have been contacted and are involved.”

I am going to focus on the always interesting topic of Pay to Play.

Every business owner wants to get noticed. I just Googled the term, Home Watch. Buckle up: there are 11,360,000,000 results. So, I narrowed the search to Home Watch Florida. Don’t unbuckle: there are 94,000,000 results.

Not a day goes by that a business owner does not get promises from a company that wants to be hired because they guarantee to get the business on the first page of Google. I can’t get much past basic math, but I think the odds of getting on Google’s first page are pretty darn slim. This is why a business owner invests in a great website, learns about keywords and meta tags, SEO, develops content, pays for ads, and so much more. You are not getting on page one for free.

What about other places like Facebook, LinkedIn, NextDoor, Yelp, Angi, Home Advisor, Thumbtack, Houzz, Porch, and any other independently owned company with a rating system? You may end up on some of these organically, but there is probably some kind of payment to get on the top of the list.

Let’s talk about the newspapers and any publication that does a Best Of section. Often there is voting. What an excellent way for the publication to build their email list that may result in new subscribers or advertisers

I spend over $1,000 yearly in just one local newspaper for my ad, and the She is the BEST article. Did anyone think the newspaper randomly researched companies to see if they were the BEST?

I hope I am not bursting any bubbles here.

Instead of jumping to any conclusions or making assumptions, I met with the owner of In just a few short weeks, Ryan has over 600 subscribers. That is more than the National Home Watch Association’s membership, and they have existed since 2009.

My point is that Home Watch is just becoming a recognized industry. There will be all kinds of businesses that will jump on our bandwagon. It is up to each individual business owner to do their own research and determine if they want to take part in an advertising campaign, website, promotion, event, or any other marketing that is out there.

As a business owner, I evaluated Risk vs. Reward. I betcha that there will be thousands of subscribers in the upcoming weeks and months to My guess is that initially, it will be mostly Home Watch companies. It may eventually become a trusted resource like Angi to which homeowners will subscribe. Time will tell.

I appreciate the opportunity to keep up with the businesses that participate. I am pleased there is a website company that welcomes me and invites me to write my own BLOG to communicate with people in the industry I love.

I am dedicated to serving our seasonal homeowners. I accomplish this by training professionals who are ready to become business owners and helping them launch and grow exceptional Home Watch companies.

As for Ryan, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and consider him a Good Egg unless he proves otherwise. If there is ever a reason that I do not want to participate on his website, I will simply leave.

I encourage each of you to make the best decision for yourself and your business.

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4 Comments Text
  • Diane simply the best, she shares her knowledge and experience with anyone who wants to learn. I’ve taken several courses in different fields throughout my life and I say this to her all the time, she has the most complete, comprehensive and all-in-one kind of class. It’s truly worth every penny even if one day you decide to do someone else, her course still helps!

    • Vicky, You and Jan took the Home Watch Training Program quite some time ago and were very serious about your business from Day One. You have both applied what you learned and understand the value of ongoing professional development. I am so proud of you and appreciate that you encourage others to launch their own Home Watch company because we all know that there is way more than enough business for all of us. The rising tide raises all ships – and you understand that. I love watching your success.

    • Brianne, Thanks for your comment. You know that I endeavor to share pertinent information and empower business owners to make informed decisions. The bottom line is that this website, almost overnight, has become a driving force in our industry. It will continue to grow and evolve, just like all of us. 🙂

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