Things to Know Before Starting Your First Housesitting Job
Long-term travelers and digital nomads are always on the lookout for creative ways to fund their excursions. From plane tickets and hotel accommodations to entertainment and food, traveling for long periods is expensive. Luckily, solutions like starting a travel blog or cooking your meals help bridge the gap. Of the many ways people earn or save money while traveling, however, housesitting has become an increasingly popular option.
What is Housesitting?
Housesitting is a service provided to homeowners who need someone to watch their residence while they’re away. In exchange, the housesitter resides in the property until the owner returns (or the contract is up). As these services are in demand, long-term travelers can take advantage of opportunities just about anywhere. With little to no out of pocket expenses for living arrangements, the additional money can fund something else.
Your role as a housesitter will vary by client. Your contract, along with any guides and instructions provided by the property owner, will give you a clearer idea of what is required of you. To get a general idea of what housesitting might be like, however, here is a list of typical responsibilities.
- Occupy and Maintain the House – Your primary obligation will be to occupy and maintain the house. You’ll live in the home until the homeowner returns and will be responsible for daily chores, clean up your mess and keep the premises clean and in order.
- Mail Management – From utility bills to wedding invitations, housesitters will likely be in charge of retrieving and managing the mail. You’ll be asked to place the mail in a designated area and notify the owner of any urgent notices or packages.
- Pet Care – If the owner has pets, you will have to make sure they eat, drink, and get any exercise they need.
- Plant Care – Housesitters will also be responsible for maintaining any plants in the home.
Any other housesitting responsibilities should be discussed in detail with your client before your expected arrival.
Landing Your First Job
If becoming a housesitter seems like an ideal way to save on travel costs, you’re probably wondering how to land your first job. Though it can take some time, there are several ways to see what’s available. You can let friends, family, and co-workers, know that you’re interested as they may have houses or vacation properties in other areas that they need assistance with. You can also advertise your services on social media or create an account on a reputable housesitting website.
Making a Lasting Impression
If you’re going to take advantage of housesitting, your reputation means everything. Each job you complete paints a picture of the quality of service you offer. Every satisfied property owner is a definite recommendation that can open the doors for more opportunities. This means putting your best foot forward. If you want to make a positive impression on your housesitting clients, consider the following:
- Timeliness – You must show up on time and leave when the contract ends. Arriving or leaving late is inconvenient and causes conflict with the property owner’s schedule. If something comes up, it is vital to communicate these changes to your client as soon as possible.
- Cleanliness – A great rule of thumb for housesitting is to leave the property in better condition than it was when you arrived. Don’t leave your messes around for the property owner to clean up. If anything, you should go above and beyond to ensure that they return home to a tidy and refreshing living space.
- Perform Every Task – No matter how extensive your list of responsibilities might be, you agree to get it all done once you sign on the dotted line. If you want to impress your clients, you must perform every task on the list to the best of your abilities until they return.
Traveling the world for a living or for an extended time is exciting but expensive. You can reduce these costs and continue exploring the world around you by finding housesitting opportunities. Though it can take some time to land your first job, making a great first impression is all it takes to get the requests for your services to roll in.