Building a Relationship With Your House Sitter

Portrait of a young woman with dog and cat.
18 May, 2016

Building a Relationship With Your House Sitter

House sitting is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to travel the world and get their accommodations for free. From a homeowner's perspective, house sitting is a double-edged sword. It can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. Until recently, a homeowner would canvass the neighborhood and find an acquaintance or a family member to watch their home when they went away. But with the increasing popularity of house sitting, homeowners are becoming more open to having a stranger look after their homes and pets.

If you're going on a holiday and want a house sitter you can trust, here are some tips on how you can build a successful relationship with your house sitter

The house sitter's profile. Begin your search by going through house sitters' profiles on reputable websites, such as www.thehousesittersnetwork.com. You can narrow your search by filtering out their location, previous experiences, feedback and ratings. You can sort out other preferences as well - whether you want a couple, a bachelor, or a local person to mind your house. Age plays a major role. Some homeowners prefer young adults or baby boomers, while others go for someone close to their own age.

The profile pictures and resumes make a difference. House sitters who have their own website or upload introduction videos are more involved and they stand out from the crowd.

Conduct reference checks. Homeowners have every right to know who exactly they are letting stay in their homes. Conducting reference checks is an important step in the selection process. Previous house sitting jobs, clients' rating, and feedback are mentioned on the housesitter's profile. You can also check whether they have received a less favorable rating and why. If you really want to be cautious, you can request request previous work employment.

The most credible assurance is a ‘police check'. This extra step is something that most reputable house sitters will provide quite readily.

The house sitter's response. It's always a good sign when a house sitter is quick to respond to your emails and messages. The quality of their responses gives you an opportunity to easily figure out if they're taking the job seriously or not. And here is a good indicator: their focus and attention should be on you and your needs and wants; not theirs!

Making the final decision. Once you've short listed three or four house sitters, conduct an interview through Skype, a personal phone chat, and if it's possible, arrange to meet in person. While video sessions are helpful, meeting in person gives you an opportunity to judge their character. Their manner of speaking, appearance, timeliness of arrival and body language can tell you a lot about the person.

In order to build trust, it is important to get to know each other. It is a huge decision to entrust your home and pets to someone and it should be done carefully. Take your time, do your homework and once you find a perfect house sitter, treat them with respect.

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