We recently wrote a blog post about how to be a great house sitter. While we aren't experts on the topic, we have had some successful house sits on our travels. With that said, we thought it would be great to hear from the home owners on what makes a good house sitter. So here it is: How to be a Great House Sitter - Homeowner Edition!
Great House Sitting Tip 1: Love
The house sitter MUST love animals. This seems obvious, but you'd be surprised with how many people apply to be a house sitter because they are basically looking for a free place to stay. You must not only love animals, but specifically the ones you are sitting for. If you have a fear of large dogs, don't apply for a house sit that has large dogs. Even if it's in a place you've dreamed of visiting.
Great House Sitting Tip 2: References
The house sitter must have a history of caring for animals backed up by references. Nobody wants a stranger coming into their house, so show as much of yourself as possible to the homeowner during the interview process. What does this mean? Send them links to your social media that show you are serious about house sitting and that you love pets.
Great House Sitting Tip 3: Independence & Experience
Homeowners are looking for house sitters who are able to be alone and to make decisions for themselves in a pinch. Anything can go wrong at any time. You will encounter cats with worms, ticks, cut paws, arthritic knees, storm shattered windows, you name it. You need to be able
Great House Sitting Tip 4: Research
By and large our homeowners have said that the house sitting applicant has to read the listing and understand the details of what will be expected of them during the sit. We've had a few people look at our house sitting page or our website and been relieved that we are from Minnesota. To them it means we know how to handle inclement weather and won't be scared off by a little horizontal rain. Looking at you Scotland.
Great House Sitting Tip 5: Motive
Have a good reason for traveling. If you are on a career break or are retired, great. You must be serious about the tasks that will be asked of you, and not doing this on a whim, or looking for a free ride.
Great House Sitting Tip 6: Routine
This is especially important in easing the concerns homeowners have when the pet you are sitting for has a troubled past. Following a set routine is also important for the animals. We've found that change is very difficult for animals, and the biggest change for a dog is when their master leaves. Cats don't care as much. :)
Great House Sitting Tip 7: Go the Extra Mile
One of our house sits put their home on the market after we had agreed to watch their pups. This wasn't a big deal, but it meant that the house had to be in top form at all times in case somebody came by to view it. Now we've sold a few properties in our time, and really get into the marketing aspect of it.
One day a man knocked on the door to inquire about the price of the house. Lola, the rescue chihuahua went out of her gourd. I called the realtor and asked her to put a sell sheet on a stand in the front lawn. This helped with Lola a bit, but it also helped sell the house! Well, maybe it was because I trimmed the hedges...