Kicked out of the UK! Our visas were done. Two years in London was life changing but our livers, wallets and bodies needed a rest. Not ready to go home, this New Zealand/Australian couple decided to move to Dublin.
Rent is ridiculously priced in Dublin even compared to London. You're looking at around €1000 a month for student house plus bills! In the last three months we managed to save €3000 on rent and pay no bills, however, most importantly we can afford more cheese and wine.
We just finished looking after two Chihuahuas, one Chinese Crested (the hairless type) and a Whippet. This house sit was a huge beautiful house and we were in the most affluent suburb of Dublin, where Anya & Bono were our neighbours.
Jay with the crew on Killiney Beach. L -R Lance, Bruno, Norrie & Luca - Author's Own
House sitting is starting to gain popularity these days. It's a fantastic service that both pet/homeowners and couples/individuals can benefit from. These are some of the questions and queries we get most.
1. Do I Need a House Sitting Reference?
Like everything these days, reviews and references are everything. Before any homeowner contacts you to be their house sitter, they will want to read reviews. This is a hard one when you are first starting out and you need to get creative. Try using Skype, they tend to get a really good feel for you.
After a Skype interview offer to send them written references from other sources. We found the following were helpful references:
- Family or friends whose pets you have experience with
- Airbnb References
- Workplace References
- References from commendable figures
Lance & Bruno Loving That Late Afternoon Sun - Author's Own
2. Genuinely Love Animals
This is the golden rule. Most house sits out there are focused around the pets. Pets are an important part of most families and most get treated like royalty.
Putting pets into pet hotels is horribly expensive and generally is extremely stressful to the animal. Pet sitting lets animals stay comfortable in their own environment and stick to their normal routine.
3. Do You Need Police/Government Criminal Record Check?
Head to your local government or police website and order a Criminal Record Check (or your country's similar version). You will be living in someone's house with all their valuable possessions in, it allows both parties to feel more comfortable. Most countries these days will send you a physical and email copy.
4. Where's The Best Places To Find A Gig?
There is a tonne of websites out there to link homeowners and house sitters together. The two main ones that we use are listed below. Both of these charges a yearly fee but are definitely worth it, there are some really amazing houses and locations on them!
Trusted House Sitters
Mind My House
Housesitsearch is another awesome website. They gather all the house sits and display them in one easy location, which can save you searching all the sites
Again with advertising creativity is key. Think outside the box;
- Create yourself some leaflets and do letterbox drops. make posters and put them up on supermarket notice boards, cafes, yoga studios and community centres.
- As always make sure you are on all social media platforms and you are constantly updating and networking. You never know what platforms your next house sit will come from
6. Do A Pet First Aid Course:
Again we can't stress how important it is to genuinely love and truly want to care for animals. The last thing you want to happen while looking after a family's furry friend is for something bad to happen. Find your local Pet First Aider's and do a course. Generally, they are a one day course and will only cost around £100.
7. Apply, Apply, Apply:
Once you are all signed up, start applying for as many house sits as you can! House sitting is getting popular so you need to be prompt and stand out with your applications. Remember depending on the home's location some homeowners can get hundreds of applications. You want to send an application that is well thought out, grammatically correct and relevant.
8. Don't Be Picky
You can't pick when or for how long people go away for. You need to be flexible and have no expectations for homes, times, locations or pets.
9. Get All The Info
Get the homeowner to list out all the information about the house and the animal/s. No matter how small or irrelevant they might think they detail is.
We recently had a cat that had a tendency to throw up at night time randomly. The homeowner had owned this cat for many years and had just become accustomed to this and had almost forgotten to tell us. Without crucial information like that, we could have been in a real panic.
10. Update, Update, Update:
To some families their pet is everything and it is hard for them to leave them at home with strangers. You want to show the homeowner the pet is having fun, happy and most importantly very well taken care of.
This first appeared on TheTravellingHouseSitters.com If you have anymore questions please ask away!