House Sitting

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No

THE BRIEF

Who might need a house sitter? Surprisingly, quite a few people, including people going on vacations lasting longer than a week, traveling business owners and executives, as well as people whose homes are being renovated and who don't want to be there but still want their home to be occupied for security reasons, just to name a few. House sitters not only provide peace of mind and security, but they also look after watering the plants and lawn, feeding the cat, collecting mail, light housecleaning duties and taking care of any emergency situations that may arise while the homeowner is away, such as calling in a plumber if a pipe bursts. The next logical question is, Who would house sit? Many people, including students, singles, retirees or someone looking for a change of pace might be interested in house-sitting positions. You have a couple of options for how you establish a house-sitting service. First, you can operate as a referral service, bringing together people wanting house-sitting services and those who want to house sit. Second, you can employ house sitters on an on-call basis and assign them to jobs as they become available. Increasing revenues can be as easy as adding additional complementary services like pet sitting, dog walking, baby sitting referrals and a nanny service.

ASK THE EXPERTS

Know taking care of pets comes with the territory:

"From giving an injection of fluids every five days to an 18-year-old-cat, to having to coerce a cat to use her aero-cat inhaler. But the flip side far outweighs the odd challenge. Bonding with some incredible animals and owners has been an amazing, humbling and blessed experience, and we see this continuing for many years to come. If you are considering house and pet sitting as a lifestyle change, we would encourage you to take the plunge. It will change your life and fill your soul."

—Australian couple Andrew and Carolyn Deagle told House Sitting magazine in an interview. 

Prepare for every scenario:

"The homeowner is relying on you to keep your word and be there as promised. Be prepared to deal with any issues that could arise and keep your commitment. (I suggest that, before you commit, you discuss what would happen in the case of a sudden death in the family or a serious illness. How could you deal with that and still keep your word?)"

—House sitters Yvonne and Michael said in an interview with Trusted Housesitters

Become part of a community

"The amazing thing about going on a pet sit is how you instantly become part of the local community — I've had the thing where I've been walking a dog through a town that I've never visited and total strangers start talking to me just because they know the owners of the dog."

—Trusted Housesitters co-founder Andy Peck told the Daily Mail

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