Terrifying home invasions have become nightly news fodder, but for some savvy entrepreneurs these crimes have shined a light on gaps in the security market.
With technology and the share economy on their side, these small businesses are marketing safety and peace of mind.
Natasha Morgan hit upon the idea of a home watch service when she was trying to find a family member to house sit while she went on holiday.
“I reluctantly called my mum to ask if she’d look after the house while we were away,” she says.
“I felt so guilty. She lived 40 minutes away, then it hit me … I’m not the only one in Australia who has to make that call to ask mum to look after the house.”
Morgan scrapped together $60,000 of her own funds to set up My Home Watch, a service that checks on properties using video streaming and instant alerts that can be sent to home owners’ smart devices. It also has staff to personally pick up mail, organise lawn-mowing and attend to pets.
My Home Watch has more than 120 franchises. Morgan is hoping to sell 20 of the 120 franchises she has by the end of the financial year. One has been sold in Adelaide, and three more are pending in Sydney, Queensland and Adelaide.
Morgan projects a turnover of $500,000 for her company’s first financial year this year.
Unlike house-sitting companies, Morgan’s company doesn’t employ staff to stay at a property.
“Not all people want to burden their family or friends with looking after their homes, or having to call in a house sitter who’s often a complete stranger,” she says.
“The business was launched due to the need for a professional service, someone who’s trained, who’s a professional, who will come in and take care of your things for you, look after things like your mail and your gardens and your lawns and your pool, because…