• Be a good match for the job
• Look for chores to do to earn a more money
• Resume letters of recommendations, certificates
Many people don’t want leave their property unattended
Have you ever considered earning extra money house sitting? When you go away for several days do you like the idea of
leaving your house and property vacant? How do you take care of your pets while you’re gone? I like to know there’s someone to take care of things—someone to let me know if something needs attention.
At one time or another, most people have looked for someone to care for their property. We tend to think we can rely on family or friends to help us out. The biggest problem with asking a family member or friend is that they have their own lives. Too often good intentions devolve into an attitude of “I’ll get to it after I…” It’s a sort of “familiarity breeds contempt” casualness. I don’t know about you, but I want the person watching over my house and possessions to have something more than an “if I can fit it in” attitude. I’d like them to have some dedication.
The person who is looking after my property needs to take the responsibility seriously. I want that person to make it a point to show up, show up on time, and do what needs to be done.
I’m looking for the person I can count on.
Most people have similar feelings about their possessions. That is why someone with the right attitude, someone who cares about their commitments can earn extra-money house sitting.
You’re the best—prove it
You’ll need a resume, to prove past employment to include names and address, and job description.
You’ll need a letter of recommendation in which someone essentially says, “I trust this person. He/she can and will do what they commit to do.” (And, of course, more than one reference is helpful.)
How about credentials that say you’re invested in this job? Certificates that show you have specialized training. Certificates tend to say, “I care enough to learn the right way to do something. I’m not just that guy that lives down the street.” Some of the certificates to consider getting are CPR to include infants and elderly, first responder, and pet sitting. (Depending on your clientele, you may want others. Inquire with the Red Cross, community colleges, continuing educational programs, etc. for a variety of informational and practical courses. Many will not be expensive. Some may be free. Check around, learn what would be best serve you. (Are you puzzled about why I mention skills like CPR? Sometimes people travel without the whole family. Caretaker abilities enhance your value.)
Down to the basics
You are taking care of someone else’s property. Find out from your employer what is important to him or her and follow their wishes. Put together a check list of the things the owner/renter expects from you. Ask plenty of questions: Even though these questions may seem mundane, this is where you can excel. Show your employer you care.
As part of your routine you’ll include a security check: Are there any windows broken? A door that has been kicked open? Is there any evidence of someone having been in the house since you were last there?
Are there any signs of equipment malfunction: Is the refrigerator keeping the correct temperature? Is the hot water heater leaking? Do all the lights work like they should?
You’ll also want a list of emergency numbers—who to contact in the event something goes wrong.
The mail and newspaper
Nothing says, “Rob me. No one is home.” louder than the mail and newspaper piling up in the mailbox or on the front porch. If your employer has not made arrangements for the post office and paper carrier to hold these deliveries, you need to have a safe place, inconspicuous place to put them. Also, what should you do about special deliveries? Are they expecting anything that needs special care? If they get notice of items held at postal or delivery centers, should you pick them up?
Nobody works for free
It’s one thing to check on property, collect mail, and call an emergency number should something go wrong, but frequently people have small chores that need to be done while they are gone.
You are in the house sitting business to make money. Money will come easier if you have repeat customers. Now, I’m a firm believer that a person should get paid for their work, but don’t try to exploit every task. Rather, show you care. For example, go ahead and empty the contents of that stinky wastebasket they forgot to put in the trash before they left. Or, clean up the dirt from the plant the indoor cat knocks over while they’re gone. When the homeowner returns mention that you took care of it—BUT don’t over do it. You won’t seem braggadocios, but you will be a hero. Your customer will remember your consideration and be more inclined to hire you again.
If the owner/tenant is going to be gone for awhile (a couple of days or longer), there may chores that need to be done. Since you are there anyway you could earn a little more money by doing these chores.
Before you offer to do them (for a price), make sure you are a good fit for the job; don’t accept work that you cannot do or are not qualified to do.
Mowing the grass, edging the sidewalks and drive will top the list. If you are going to use their equipment make sure you are familiar with its safe operation.
Gardening (either flowerbeds or vegetable gardens) is another reasonable request. Make sure you understand what the owner/tenant wants to have done. You don’t want the customer to come back from their trip and find you pulled the flowers and left the weeds (LOL). I’m sure you get the idea.
Many people feel their pets are a part of the family. Sometimes the pet can’t travel, but the owners don’t want to board them. If you take on this responsibility, make sure you can do the job correctly. The more questions you ask, the more informed you will be.
Here is touchy subject: sometimes the parents cannot take their children with them. You see this frequently in single-parent families. If (and responsibility for children is a big if) you are going to take on this task, make sure you are equal to it. (In some locales you may need certification and/or licensing to be a caretaker.) Get a complete list of all that is expected of you. Be prepared–respect their wishes and observe their rules.
Know what to do in the case of an emergency: Know who to call and when to do it.
This has been just a short list of the things a house sitter can do. The list could include many more facets of care. Do yourself a favor. Plan ahead, and don’t accept work you can’t do correctly. (Also, being able to do it cheerfully is a great asset.)
How much do I charge?
How much you charge has to be up to you and the job. Obviously, if you drive by the house and check the mail you will earn a lot less than if you move in for 3 weeks and care for the children, pets, and lawn.
House sitting can be a great way to earn money. You will be safe-guarding valuable possessions and assets, so you need to prove yourself worthy of their trust. You need to provide information and recommendations that will inspire the confidence they need to hire you. Providing your perspective customer with a resume, letters of recommendation and certificates detailing your qualifications will help your perspective customer to make the right decision and select you. You can earn extra-money house sitting.
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