Publié le by NmNomador
Your Guide to Good House-sitter Etiquette: 20 Basic Protocols to Attract Great House-sits!
Homeowners engage house-sitters so that they can vacation knowing that their pets are loved, their home is safe, and their garden is tended. There are many conscientious house-sitters and the competition for great house-sits is fierce. Here are a few tips to improve your chances:
- Post a compelling profile of yourself that describes your experience with pets and your reasons for house-sitting. Be professional, but also be personable. You are asking someone to entrust you with everything they hold dear, so let your profile reflect who you are.
- Include fun photos that show you with pets and reveal your personality.
- Research potential sitting assignments before applying. Check out airfare prices to the destination, cost of living, visa requirements, etc. No sense wasting your time applying for a sit you won’t be able to accept or afford!
- Evaluate the location and pets’ needs honestly. While that remote farm-sit might sound romantic, it might be overwhelming or lonely if you’re a city gal. Or if the nine rescue cats have medical and behavioral issues, you might find yourself in over your head. While it’s good to push out of your comfort zone, house-sitting provides its own surprises, so be honest with yourself about your needs and limitations.
- Think about the experience you’d like to have. Are you looking for a cultural immersion in a foreign country? Then living on the campus of the English-speaking international school might not be the right choice. Are you looking for a peaceful writing retreat? Then that rural farmhouse might be just perfect!
- Tailor your application to the homeowner’s needs and describe why you’d be a great fit.
- Respond quickly to the homeowner’s messages, even if you’ve changed your mind.
- Be on time for the video chat interview and look professional. Ask about anything that’s unclear about the pets’ needs, the home, the location. Your goal isn’t to “sell” yourself, but to determine if this particular sitting arrangement is a good fit for you, too.
- Thank the homeowner for her consideration and be sure to answer her questions completely and honestly. You want to create a strong rapport built on mutual trust.
- If offered the sitting assignment, let the homeowner know your decision quickly. She probably interviewed other potential sitters, as well, and would like to let them know.
- Stay in regular touch with the homeowner about your travel arrangements and respond to her emails or texts quickly. Nothing spoils a house-sitting arrangement faster than sluggish communication that leaves everyone wondering. Don’t forget that Nomador has an App that allows you to get notifications on your phone and respond to messages, attach photos, make audio and video calls (available on the Appstore for IOS devices, or on Google Play for Android).
- Show up when you say you will.
- Be patient and flexible. The home might not look as it did during the video chat, or the pets’ needs might be more than originally disclosed. Roll with it and give yourself time to settle in to the routine.
- Respect the homeowner’s wishes and routines. While you’ll want to make some areas of the home comfortable for you while you are there, remember that this is someone else’s home. I once came home to find my house-sitter had rearranged my living room furniture! I was not happy spending my first few tired hours hauling around my heavy furniture.
- Continue to respond to the homeowner’s emails and messages quickly and politely. You want her to have a great holiday and maintain her trust.
- Proactively send a few photos of her pets to keep her connected.
- Maintain good relationships with the neighbors and local vendors. Ask ahead of time if there are any special issues you need to be aware of.
- Show your appreciation by replacing any food you’ve used and by having a meal, flowers or a bottle of wine waiting to welcome her home. Naturally, you’ll want to leave the home as sparkling as you found it.
- Be sure to leave a review of the house-sit on the platform where you connected. You probably relied on previous house-sitters’ reviews when deciding whether to take this one. It’s polite protocol to give back!
- Remain in touch. Periodically, send a quick email saying hello and asking how the pets are. It’s a great way to stay on your homeowner’s mind, so she’ll contact you again for future sitting needs.
House-sitting is a lovely win-win exchange when both parties are appreciative and respectful. Following these protocols will make your experience smoother and allow you to explore more of the world!
Kelly Hayes-Raitt admits she’s been sleeping around for a decade – usually with pets. As a full-time housesitter, she’s pampered pets throughout the world. Her other passion is helping authors get their books out into the world by organizing writer’s retreats (www.JumpStartMyBook.org). She’s recently written How to Become a Housesitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva, available on Amazon (www.amzn.to/2hlj7UP) or www.HouseSitDiva.com.