So, you’ve been chosen for a house sit – that’s awesome! But before the sit begins, there are a few things you need to do to ensure the house sit is a success.
Wherever possible, the first thing you should try to do is to meet the homeowners and their pets. This is almost always preferable for the owners – unless of course you’re travelling from another city or state and a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible. In that case, organise a phone call or a video meeting. Understandably, the homeowners will be keen to meet the people who will be staying in their home and looking after their pets. And for you as the sitter, it’s helpful to get an idea of the environment and the pets you will be caring for.
During the meeting or call, make sure you agree on the exact dates and an approximate time of the house sit and the handover routine. Perhaps they would like you to arrive the night before to watch the pets’ routines and to show you around the house. Ask them what their expectations are on departure – do they have keys, or will they need to be let in? Do they want you to be out by the time they get home, or would they prefer you stay till they arrive?
Ask the owners what their non-negotiables are. For example, they might say they would like regular updates or photos of their pets; or that no other people are permitted in the house over the duration of the sit. Importantly, ask them what to do in an emergency. For example, what happens if their pet gets sick? Do you try to get in contact with the owner or go straight to the vet? While you’re there, ask if the pets have any medical issues to be aware of and determine exactly what the owners expect you to do in case they arise. Also, ask if they have a specific feeding or walking time. Basically, you’re aiming to keep to the pets’ normal routines as closely as possible. The owners should leave you a contact list – emergency electricians, plumbers, family members, neighbours with a spare key and so on.
Establish the rules within the house, such as whether you can use items in the pantry, kitchen and laundry; and whether there are any areas in the house they prefer you not to use.
So, the house sit has gone smoothly and is coming to an end - now is the time to ensure you leave the house clean and tidy. Essentially, it should be just the same as when you arrived. If you finished off the last of an item like the laundry powder or the milk, make sure to replace it.
The more the home feels as if the owners never left, the more appreciative they will be.
After the house sit has finished, let the owners know if there were any issues with the house or pets. If the pets got sick, keep track of when and what happened, and what action was taken. If the pets ran out of food and you had to buy some more, let them know so they can reimburse you.
If you had an enjoyable experience, be sure to tell the owners why. Positive feedback is always welcomed. If you did a good job, and they’re happy, they will more than likely seek you out again next time they go away.
And finally, it’s always nice to send a final message to the owners thanking them for the opportunity to care for their home and pets. And that’s the perfect time to ask the homeowner for a review. Not only should you be rewarded for a job well done, but it will help you secure more house sits in the future!
Check out our current house sits to see where you could be adventuring to next!
I so love the Aussie House Sitters site , its so well laid out , so easy to use, so professional , great detail in information when looking for houses to sit/ adverts from Home owners. Get sent adverts with dates I am looking for. Just so good, so glad I joined. I have looked at other associations, even joined one, and no where near as wonderful as this one. Heather