TRUST is a key ingredient!
One of the concerns we hear most often from home owners and pet owners is handing over the keys to their property and the animals they love over to people they know, let alone complete strangers. Many people are so concerned about it that they decide to just stay at home rather than follow their hearts.
Some decide to sacrifice and take the pets with them wherever they travel, but have to settle for fewer choices in their travels, accomodations, etc. Many of those, feel more comfortable just locking up everything, but have to cut the time away short so that their home insurance doesn’t go up or they simply hope the pipes won’t freeze, the piled up newspapers won’t attract theives or the garden doesn’t die frm lack of rain.
How These Home Owners Have Experienced Housesitting Success:
We have asked many of the homeowners we know how they got around their fears and used the services of housesitters and petsitters as a result. Of course, there are no guarantees that nothing will go wrong, but for them, the benefits of the home owner/house sitter relationship far outweighed the risks. Below are a few real life examples of how these home owners dealt with the fear and risk:
“When we joined a housesitting website we made it very clear what our needs were, our expectations, the type of people we preferred and to be fair, we were open and honest about what we had to offer to prospective house sitters as well as be sure they knew the risks. For example, we let them know that we lived in a cyclone area and they would be there during rain and cyclone season.
Secondly, we did research on the people that applied before we emailed the filtered ones back through the website. That way we could find out more about them before revealing our address and direct contact information so that we could filter them out without a hassle if we felt uncomfortable with them or follow up with our direct info if we were interested in getting to know them more.
Lastly, we talked to them by phone or Skype to see if we got a good feeling about them and if so, arranged to meet them in our home if it was at all posiible. But we HAVE approved a housesitter without meeting them in person as well just because we went with our gut feelings OR spoke with other homeowners who have used the housesitters before and they gave good reports.”
Other homeowners had other ways they worked out their comfort zones:
“We own several properties and travel regularly, so we would be spending a ton of money we wouldn’t have to if we hired caretakers or service people to take care of them while we’re away. So it just makes sense to find dependable and trustworthy people to sit our homes for free in exchange for basically taking over our lives while we are away. As a result, we are thorough about researching and interviewing the prospective sitters. We look for certain skills, values and experience in those we offer our keys to.
If the houses sitters and petsitters can perform all the duties we ask of them, then we don’t ask them to pay any utilities or leave deposits even though our properties are expensive to run and the contents are very valuable because we figure if we had to pay people to come in and perform the same tasks, we would be losing out. At times we ask them if they can do MORE than just the basic duties because of projects we have going on or business happening while we’re away. In that case we offer to pay them a negotiated fee.
So that we can feel even more peace of mind, we will lock off a room or closet with those items we want to keep safe. But for the most part, we WANT our housesitters to feel “at home” and truly enjoy our properties and our animals. We have a notebook just for them with all of the duties, instructions for running the utilities and tools for maintaining the yard, contact people and numbers, local sights, restaurants, businesses, events, etc. so that they feel like they are valued and respected as partners in this venture. That way we creat a WIN/WIN situation and things just run smoother.”
These are just a few examples of how homeowners deal with the issue of trust. But every situation is unique. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have about using housesitters from this site and how YOU can feel comfortable in joining such an amazing WIN?WIN community! Feel free to ask them just below in the comments and we promise to respond.