Top tips for get­ting house sit­ters

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Hol­i­days are dreams in real life.

The idea of swap­ping the hum­drum­ness of nor­mal­ity with luxury, re­lax­ation, adventure and es­capism is dizzy­ing. But hol­i­days are so much bet­ter when you know your home is be­ing looked af­ter too.

En­ter the house sit­ter – your hol­i­day’s knight in shin­ing ar­mour.

A house sit­ter of­fers peace of mind that your per­sonal be­long­ings (and even your pets) are OK while you’re away gal­li­vant­ing at the other end of the coun­try or on the other side of world.

So how do you go about find­ing your next house sit­ting star?

We’ve pulled to­gether a few house sit­ting tips to get you started:

Start search­ing for a re­li­able house sit­ter at least three months in ad­vance if you’re go­ing away for a long pe­riod of time. Neigh­bourly. co.nz is a great way to advertise for peo­ple close to home who al­ready know your neigh­bour­hood.

Don’t be afraid to hold in­ter­views and ask for ref­er­ences to find the right peo­ple.

You want to make sure the per­son you en­trust your home to is ac­tu­ally trust­wor­thy.

Got pets? You’d bet­ter de­cide if house sit­ting also in­cludes pet sit­ting. If not, book a place in an an­i­mal ho­tel well in ad­vance to guar­an­tee a space.

Make sure you clearly es­tab­lish house sit­ting ex­pec­ta­tions.

They could be as sim­ple as col­lect­ing the mail from the let­ter­box ev­ery day, right through to walk­ing the dog ev­ery morn­ing and mow­ing the lawns ev­ery fort­night.

Think about pay­ing your house sit­ters if they’re go­ing to be away from home for a while.

Just a few days is nor­mally fine with­out re­im­burse­ment but for weeks at a time a house sit­ter may ex­pect to be paid if they’re putting their own life on hold to look af­ter yours. If in doubt, have an open and hon­est con­ver­sa­tion with your house sit­ter about their ex­pec­ta­tions and go from there.

Es­tab­lish whether you need a house sit­ter or a house min­der.

If you’re just go­ing away for the week­end, your neigh­bour might be able to keep an eye on your place from the com­fort of their own living room. Tips for be­com­ing a house sit­ter: If you’re not plan­ning a hol­i­day in the near fu­ture, house sit­ting could be a great (and af­ford­able!) al­ter­na­tive.

Tell your com­mu­nity via Neigh­bourly.co.nz that you’re keen and on any public re­quest for a house sit­ter im­me­di­ately.

Sell your­self. If you do spot an ad­vert for a house sit­ter needed, make sure you of­fer a lit­tle about your­self so your neigh­bour can trust your ex­pe­ri­ence.

Con­sider shar­ing pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence, what you’re com­fort­able do­ing (eg pet-sit­ting) and why the op­por­tu­nity in­ter­ests you.

Peo­ple are more likely to hire house sit­ters if they al­ready know and trust them so start meet­ing and be­ing friendly to your neigh­bours!

Ask for a ref­er­ence if you’ve done house sit­ting be­fore. This is a great thing to of­fer to share with those who might be look­ing for some­one to care for their home.

Some peo­ple are house sit­ters.

Th­ese are the types of peo­ple who sub­scribe to house sit­ting web­sites and book so many back-to-back stints that they rarely live in their own home.

Reg­is­ter with a house sit­ting web­site like hous­esit­ters. co.nz if this sounds a bit like you.

pro­fes­sional

A hol­i­day in par­adise – but who is look­ing af­ter your house while you’re away?

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