RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR HOUSE SITTER
Never underestimate the importance of building a relationship with your house sitter as early as possible, even before you speak to each other.
One of the things you learn when you are house sitting or indeed seeking and recruiting house sitters to care for pets or property, is the importance of building trust between each other. For some, people entrusting their home and pets to anyone else is a big decision and not one that is taken lightly. As owners they often need reassurance and a good level of understanding of the individual they will have staying in their home.
Here we give you, the home owner, 5 top tips to enable you to learn more about your house sitter and build a relationship on which you can base a great house sitting relationship.
TOP TIPS FOR HOME OWNERS
1. Start to communicate regularly through your chosen house sitting network – Learn more about the house sitter, ask them about their experience, their background and how they earn their living. It is good to run this through via a private messaging system so you know the conversation is between you both, and you read what they have to say in their own words.
2. Have a chat – You can learn a lot more about an individual or couple when you speak to them in a live environment. Once you are more confident of them as potential house sitters for your assignment, ask for a video call, such as Skype. Skype is a free method of voice and video calling, with instant messaging. This is your opportunity to ask them unscripted questions and to hear their spontaneous answers.
3. Connect on Social Media – It can be a good idea if you are getting to know each other better, to connect on one of the social media platforms. Examples include Facebook, but there are so many more to choose from, for example: Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. Social media can make most things quite transparent which is useful from a homeowner’s perspective.
4. Ask for current references – It’s good to ask for one professional and one personal reference. Ideally, if possible ask to speak with someone who knows the house sitter as well. Police checks are also useful, a basic disclosure is usually sufficient.
5. Meet before the house sit – If you can, or even ask the house sitter to come 1 or 2 days earlier. That way you can spend time with them, show them around your home and take them through the routines, which can be very useful, especially where pets are concerned. You may have any number of pets with specific requirements to care for. More information is always better than less.
We hope this helps you understand the importance of building a relationship with your house sitter.