Tips on being a successful House Sitter
Getting a good and trusted relationshipHouse sitting work can be very satisfying, it can give you yourself a bit of a break, sample other places and although it will usually mean looking after a Pet (I know someone who just has to look after Goldfish!) it is basically fairly easy work.
Preparation / At an Interview
One of the most important things about House Sitting work is getting a good reputation. I've found the following actions good for getting a. asked back again and b. getting good references for other work..
Make sure you have all relevant phone numbers of Plumbers, Electricians, Vets etc. to hand
Ask the Clients under what situation would they like you to phone them. This comes into practice when they have an answerphone or even when you just answer a call. If they're away for more than a few days, there's sure to be something they may like to know about.
Texting or email is usually better, that way they can ring you if need be.
If the Clients are there or not, make sure your car is clean when parking outside the house. Chances are they've asked the neighbours to keep an eye out, so you don't want feedback from them on the lines of 'blimey, you should see the state of their car'!
Always expect the unexpected, if the Clients were to suddenly return out the blue, what are they going to find, so keep the washing up and general tidiness in order the whole time.
Try to do something which they will notice when they get back ie. If it's been snowing, clear a pathway from the Garage to their door, they'll be impressed.
Try and keep all your own belongings in one place. If you scatter your stuff around the house you're sure to forget something and it's not always a good impression if they find a pair of socks or whatever behind the Sofa. It's also quite embarrassing to go back and say you left something behind.
Leave the House at the end looking as close to the impression that no one has been there. Sometimes, not always, one of the partners may not like the idea too much that someone's been kind of using their house, TV, Kitchen etc.
Clients want to return and just slip back into normality as soon as they walk through the door.
Keep things as confident
Be confidential. I don't tell anyone outside of immediate family where I house sit and don't even tell them if I did think something in the house was, for me, horrible taste, or the place is a mess etc. The Clients don't want to hear anything about their house from another source and come to that, most would not want someone to say to them "I know your House Sitter".
Saying all that, every House Sitting Client is different, some only use Sitters for the longer breaks, say a couple of holidays a year, but others, often the more Professional type, are away a lot and you can like me find yourself doing a day here, three days there and a couple of weeks the rest of the time.
The secret is to build up a trust and get them to feel quite safe about leaving their Home in someone else's hands. This is a great benefit to them and will without doubt give you a good reputation for any other work which may arise.