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Publié le by NmNomador

How to be best world's best house-sitter - with Nat & Jodie of House Sitting World

We’ve heard so many examples of how house-sitting truly enables you to live the dream. Nat and Jodie, founders of House Sitting World and of the House Sitting World Facebook group, have shared their challenges, experiences and memories travelling the world and making extraordinary connections – with people and pets alike! 

When it really comes down to it, what does it take to be an excellent house-sitter? And, what makes a great home-owner? We decided to pick Nat and Jodie’s brains, and call on their many years of experience to find out…

What were the unexpected rewards of house-sitting?

I think the thing that caught us most by surprise is how much ‘space’ house sitting has provided us. Many other house sitters report the same. 

Not having to pay rent or utilities has really taken the pressure off us to ‘have’ to create a lot money just to live and travel, and given us the time and space to really feel into what we wanted our lifestyle and business to look like and create it from there. Actually, it was on the house sit in France that we really learned how to slow down without the usual life distractions, and enjoy our lifestyle and see what our life options were. 

Regularly being out of our comfort zone with different routines with each new house sit in different countries also assists us to be more creative and keep a real freshness to both our relationship and life. There is very little room for complacency in our life these days. It is an opportunity that so few get to have in their usual routine of life in a fixed location, and we are extremely grateful for it. 

The other biggest rewards have been our connection with the pets and home-owners. House sitting is the ultimate in trust and the shared economy. To have a ‘stranger' come into your home and take over your household and care of your precious pets, takes massive trust and openness from both the home-owner and the house sitter. It is a very heart-warming experience to be a part of someone’s life so intimately as you do when you house-sit. We can now say we have ‘friends’ all around the world we have house sat for. 

What are the major concerns that first-time house-sitters have? What kinds of conundrums and issues has the ‘House Sitting World’ group helped to solve?

We and many other members have been totally blown away by the sharing that goes on in the group. Really with house sitters always outweighing the number of available sits, a group of house sitters should really be in competition with each other.

But this has just not been the case in our group. If anything it has been the exact opposite, with it being the most generous space for the sharing of wisdom, experience and insights to help others get the sits they would love.

I think the biggest question we get asked is how to get started in house sitting, so things like gathering references, choosing a platform, and creating their profile. In fact we created the ‘House Sitting Academy’ because of the number of times we got asked about these things!

What are the three top qualities an excellent house-sitter must possess? 

  1. Reliability - A home-owner is totally relying on you to not only turn up but also take over all the responsibilities of the sit while they are away. You must be reliable so home owners can take their leave knowing everything is taken care of.  

  2. Openness and flexibility - This is especially so if you are house sitting internationally. House sits vary so dramatically from country to country, culture to culture. With different routines and different pets you sometimes just never know what is going to happen next, so being open and flexible will definitely make life easier and less stressful for you. 

  3. Resourcefulness - When you are out of the comfort zone of your own home, routine or even country, you need to learn to rely on yourself to deal with things as they come up. It is amazing how resourceful you can be when you need to be! 

And a home-owner who is leaving their home for a house-sitter to look after - what makes them the best?

A house sitter will always appreciate a home-owner who:

  1. Is open and honest about their assignment - this goes for what you put into your listing and when you speak to the potential sitter. Do not cover things up or omit details. A house sitter needs to know they are fully capable of all the duties required on the sit, and to make this assessment they need to know the ‘real’ details. 

  2. Giving a full briefing to your house sitter when they arrive at your place - It is easy for home owners to omit important details without even thinking about it, as running your own household is second nature. When someone new comes in to take over however, such as your sitter, they do not know how to do everything you do. Taking time to teach them and run through everything makes the whole sit run far more smoothly and your sitter to be far more relaxed. 

So, now that you’ve heard about house-sitting from the experts, it’s time to search for your next house-sitting opportunity or list your home on Nomador! Don’t forget to keep these handy hints in mind as you write adverts and enquiries, and head off on your travels…

Photo credits: Natalie Smith, Jodie Thompson.

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