Many home owners are unsure, and rightfully cautious the first time they look for a house sitter. Perhaps this is the first time leaving home since a new pet has come into the family, maybe they have moved to a new city where friends and family are no longer there to call on, or maybe the home owner has previously used kennels but it is prohibitive for a long period away.
What ever the reason, there is a house sitter out there to match any home owner and lots of ways to connect with a pool of house sitters to choose from. The two solutions most homeowners use are house sitting websites or social media platforms.
As a house sitter I am very active in both of these methods of connecting. The digital world provides us with greater connectivity than ever before and selecting a house sitter for the first time is an excellent example of how this can be used to your advantage.
For home owners doing this for the very first time, or even just thinking about it and interested in what the options are I suggest that you start with a reputable house sitting website. There are several available for different countries and regions, simply search for “house sitter in …” This gives the home owner an opportunity to browse through the registered sitters and read endorsements if they have any. All good sitters will have lots of pictures and a detailed profile with information on them and their experience.
Best of all, home owners usually don’t need to pay to use these sites, or even advertise on them. Home owners can hand select house sitters they would like to reach out to and connect with them individually, choosing only the sitters they want to contact. Or they can create their own listing and wait for the applications to come to them and then start to short list sitters who have applied to house sit for them.
Social media platforms can work in a very similar way. The home owner just needs to initially decide if they would like to post the sit and then short list applicants as they come in or would they prefer to source out and research sitters available and approach those whose profiles match what they are looking for. On Facebook you can start by searching for house sitting groups in your area. On Instagram try hashtags like #housesitter #housesit or #housesitting and search or post using these.
Once you get a reply set up a phone call and ask then to visit you and use your own experience with building relationships to determine will this be the sitter for you. During the visit the sitter should be keen to meet the animals and know about the property. Find out the highlights and pitfalls of the area. And they should be highly detail oriented. A thorough house sitter showing these traits reflects how they are likely to approach the overseeing and maintenance of the home and the care of pets. They should also be efficient, polite and courteous.
All of the sitters I know are genuinely looking to help and only have the very best of intentions and are only motivated to help and do the right thing. Should you source a sitter through a website they will have all of their details on record and if you connect with someone on social media you will likely be able to access vast amounts of information about the individual through their profile.
Common sense and caution should not be down played. Home owners should stay focussed on what and why they need a sitter and carefully look for someone that meets their requirements. A sitters credentials like experience with animals, maturity, references and endorsements will all serve to assist in the process and deciding on the suitable sitter.
If you are looking for a sitter or would just like some guidance through the process please contact me and I will be happy to help.