Connie Peterson and her husband spend about four months away from home each year.
While they’re vacationing they need someone to look after their house but have had trouble in the past finding someone they felt comfortable with.
“We’ve hired people before but never felt totally OK with it,” Peterson says, “I mean, this is our home, we want to feel comfortable with whoever is supposed to be keeping it safe.”
In the Okanagan Valley, where snowbirds who flock south for the winter abound, Peterson’s problem is a common one. Blaine and Michele Murphy think they can help ease the burden.
The pair are the couple behind VIP Home Away Services, a new Okanagan business that takes home watch services to the next level.
Combining their extraordinary work ethic with special software, Blaine and Michele take complete care of people’s homes while they’re away.
Their goal is to make the house seem as lived-in as possible while their clients are away. Along with collecting and forwarding mail, they make sure snow is removed and yard work is completed on time.
They also do things like make sure the plumbing is still working, the furnace is functioning properly, the freezer hasn’t burnt out, that snow’s been removed, plants watered, or any number of other things.
Their service is great not only for snowbirds fleeing south for the summer, but folks escaping for weekend getaways, people leaving on short-term vacations, or professionals who work away from town.
“We are committed to being the premium concierge home watch service provider, servicing our clients with honesty and integrity, instilling trust, peace of mind and confidence in the hearts and minds of our clients. We strive to exceed expectations with service excellence. Our foundation is built on community and building lasting relationships,” Michele says.
VIP Home Away also makes a log of exactly when, and for how long, they were at their customers’ homes, sending pictures, and online reports right to their email.
“You can actually tell when they’ve been there, what they’ve done. They’ll take photos for me if I want to make sure the snow’s been removed, or the plants have been watered,” Peterson says. “I can even tell the exact time the photo was taken.”
It all adds up, she says, to “having life and love and TLC put into our home while we’re not there, and nobody does that better than Blaine and Michele.”
Michele explains that she and Blaine have always been the ones people ask to look after their homes and that VIP Home Away Services is really just an extension of work they’ve been doing for years.
They’re from Alberta, and moved to Kelowna as part of an early retirement, starting VIP Home Away when they arrived.
Michele says that Blaine’s background as a safety and facility manager has made him a master project manager, who pours all his energy into making sure things get done correctly.
Combine that with her management of “every little thing that’s important to you” and they make a great team.
“We take what we do very seriously, otherwise we wouldn’t be in the business,” she said, and the fact they are licensed, bonded, and insured is a testament to their seriousness.
Peterson says that shows through in the job they do, and the extra effort they make to ensure she has peace of mind while she’s away.
“I see the pride that Blaine and Michele put into it. They are so particular and so professional, it’s almost like you’ve got family taking care of your house,” Peterson says.
More information on VIP Home Away Services is available online.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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