Whether you are a traveller enjoying holiday housesitting or a professional house sitter, you should read this blog. Here we offer you some top tips on the best way to housesit to make the most of the experience. This article is written with contributions from our housesitting community about securing house sitting jobs and the very best way to housesit.
The best way to housesit – Top tips
Advance planning is the best way to housesit
Once the homeowners have left, you are on your own. Of course, there’s always an option to call them or email them when they’re away. However, preparing early is the best way to housesit. A professional house-sitter will have all of the planning in advance. An excellent volunteer housesitter will prepare equally well.
- Read the ‘House book’ or housesit brief in detail – Before the house owners head off, make sure you have read through their brief ideally with them. At Housesitmatch we offer active members access to briefing documents and templates, as a guide to the best way to housesit. We call this document on the best way to housesit ‘the easy sit guidelines’. The best way to housesit is to ensure you have asked any questions you need to ask before they go. Don’t leave this to the spur of the moment because there’s a chance you will draw a blank. Instead, write down as many relevant questions as you can beforehand.
- Ask for a meet up head of the housesit – If the house-sitting job is in your local area, contact the homeowners early. The best way to housesit is to ask for a call or a meet up if that is possible. Ask if you can come around at a convenient time to look over the property. While you might have the main tasks covered by the instructions, some questions might occur to you as you walk around the house.
- Arrive early for your housesit – Hopefully, you are in regular contact with the homeowners before they leave. In most cases, the homeowners will send the house-sitter a list of instructions by email before they leave. This list should include all important tasks, and it should be enough to work with, but still visit if possible.
- Understand your house sit brief – Make sure you read the homeowner’s instructions thoroughly; this is the best way to housesit. Some people call this the book of the house. On Housesitmatch.com we call these the Easy Sit Guidelines and we offer a template document with all our best practice guidelines and questions.
When organising a house-sitter for your property, you should ensure you have some emergency contact numbers. Include these in the brief or House Book just in case. Chances are you will have the number of a neighbour, good friend, the vet, plumber, electrician, and boiler engineer, to cover the basics.
However, there are some issues that can occur unexpectedly, not least with yourself. If something unforeseen happens in your personal life or in your home, you might have to leave your house-sitting role and manage a crisis. Remember to plan your own emergency plan too.
If there is an emergency, such as a burst pipe, a gas leak, or a flooding issue, you can’t waste any time. These issues not only have the potential to ruin the home they also have the tendency to ruin your reputation as a house sitter. Don’t let this happen; keep emergency numbers handy.
The hotlist of telephone numbers
The best way to housesit is right up front to ask the homeowners for all the emergency numbers they think you might need, but feel free to put additional items on the list. If you are an experienced house sitter, you probably have an idea of what is needed and what is unexpected. Keep the numbers in a convenient location.
The most common types of house pets are cats and dogs, making pet care more predictable; still, there are different types of dogs that require special care and attention, and the same is true of cats. Make sure you have a separate file for different types of pets and their needs.
Consider any back up you might need
Occasionally, a pet sitter will have to leave the pet to attend a regular appointment or an unexpected emergency. For this reason, you also need to make sure you have a pet sitter to cover you in these cases. Ensure you have a backup to look after the pets if you need to leave for more than a few hours. Ask the petowner if a friendly neighbour could help you that day.
Depending on the job, the homeowners might allow the house sitter to invite some guests around for company. But to align yourself to the best way to housesit you need to ask first.
Some house-sitting jobs last for long periods. Or they might be located in rural places, so it would be difficult to stay there for long periods without much social interaction. So homeowners often understand this request, but you must ask first.
If guests are permitted during your stay, you can expect to have some guest rules to go along with the offer; these rules might include things like noise levels, laundry work, and rules to protect the Verano Ceramics, unique ceramic pieces that bring vibrancy and style to the home.
Research before you go
Learn from the owner
Whether it is one week, two weeks, or longer, you want to make the most of your time in the area. A part of the best way to housesit is in the preparation. Think ahead about what you want to do and what you might need.
The perk of living like a local
There are many perks to housesitting, but one of them has to be the chance to visit a new area of the country and enjoy a new location. So, research the area and don’t miss out.
There’s a good chance the area will consist of shops, cafes, local nature walks, and occasional events. Search the local area ahead of time, and finding out about local events and attractions can give you something to look forward to and something to chat about with locals on arrival.
To make your stay comfortable and to cut down on the chances of encountering any issues, research services in the local area. Local services can be for entertainment. And they can come in handy if you need help from a plumber or electrician in the owners absence. When you take a detailed briefing form the owner ask for some local contacts.
Identify useful local services ahead of time
Services include things like local service stations for gas, local banks for money, and local takeout places for a night when you don’t feel like cooking. Again, planning makes all the difference in how comfortable you are from the beginning of your stay on the local property.
Local shops and eateries
Coffee shops, second-hand shops, and corner shops are some of the most frequent and enjoyable shops to visit on the high street. If you like to get out of the house once in a while and visit the local shops, you need to know where to look. There are two ways to go about this.
Research local amenities
Research the local shops before you arrive at the property, so you know exactly where to go on the weekends. Alternatively, you can explore the local area on your day off and find the shops along the way. Exploring the area is an excellent chance to meet people and discover things.
Meet the neighbours
It’s nice to be nice, so spend some time meeting the neighbours. Why not knock on their door and say hello, then invite them for tea some time; even if the gesture is not taken up, you will be on friendly terms with them from the start. Neighbours can also help you out in a pinch.
The best way to housesit in summary
So if you have always wanted to learn the best way to housesit then this is your chance. Take the first step and join a housesitting network, get checked, create a profile and apply for housesits. Enjoy the adventure, meet some great pets and make some new friends along the way.
Further reading about housesitting and housesitters
At Housesitmatch.com we like to share useful blogs and practical advice housesitting and the best way to housesit. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters and the best way to housesit useful.