A House Sitting Business is a great niche to get into. With so many people heading out on vacations or business trips or whatever, they are concerned about leaving their house empty. This becomes even more complicated if they own pets.
I myself decided to use a house sitter, because our entire family was going away and we have two dogs and two cats. By the time I pay for the dogs to go to kennels (which they would hate and would stress them out) and the cats to go to a cat hotel, get the mail delivery and newspaper stopped, it was cheaper to get someone to actually live at my house.
If you are willing to live in the house for a customer, you are likely to make more money.
But, because you are living in their house, security can be an issue. That is why word of mouth is the best way to get known for house sitting. The homeowner is trusting you with their house and pets, they need to know you are trustworthy.
The girl we had come to live at our house for two weeks is a neighbor. She has a full time job, but is single. She will quite happily live in the house take care of the pets, and still go to her job. This worked well for us. As soon as we got home, she was already heading to another house.
I had told a few friends about her, and now she is set for the next six months or so. Some of her customers are actually farms. Since she was raised on a farm, she will live in the farmhouse and help look after horses etc. If it is a big property, she has a friend that will help.
She started a house sitting business by accident actually. Her job hours were cut back to part time, and she found it difficult to make rent. She took in a roommate to help, but when some friends found out she was available, she stayed at their house and still kept her part time job.
Now she is busy enough that she quit the part time job, so that she can expand her area of operations! She has lived in fancy cottages to watch over things while owners were away; she has lived in apartments to take care of fish and cats. She loves being on the move, and makes good money.
More and more people are keeping their pets at home while on vacation, but if you are still away each day, it can still be stressful for a pet. They will always be looking for you, and even when someone stops in for a few minutes, it is not the same as someone living there.
With us, she was at work for four hours a day, and the rest of the time she was at our house. She has a pay fee schedule for anything you want her to do. If you just want her to stay there and make the house look lived in, then that is a minimum amount. She will quite often check on other houses while staying at yours! But if you want her to do some cleaning or yard work as well, then that is extra.
My dogs loved that she was there. They actually got more attention than when we were there. They were happy and the house looked welcoming when we got home. Worth every penny.
So, if you are a responsible person, and can prove a clean record (no criminal activity) and you like variety, this can be a great business to get started in. Especially if you are single and can just move right on in.
Getting started in a house sitting business will be the hardest. You need to be able to create a list of happy customers that can be used as a reference for new customers.
One way to get started on this list is to check with your local real estate agent. If you are friendly with one or you know of one, let them know you are willing to house sit. Many people have to move before their house is sold. For peace of mind and their house insurance (which likes having someone there) it will be worth hiring you to take care of things while it is being shown or between closing dates etc.
Houses are usually the biggest investment people make, and they don't want to attract intruders. By having someone living in there, they stand a better chance of coming home to their house in one piece.
They are there if there are problems with the house, and if you have checked their references and feel confident in their abilities then you can stop worrying about the place while you are away. She has a form to fill out for emergency numbers, (vet, plumber etc) she is very organized.
The real estate is the way our friend got started. She has just blossomed from there. Everything from just checking in on a house and picking up the mail, to fully living on a farm and feeding the horses.
She originally started this for some extra cash, but now she is making full time money, getting to live in nice places, and helping with many pets. She has a friend that she hires if she needs more help.
So, if you have been looking for a business to get into, this is a great niche right now. People are always on the move, and many times they have to leave pets behind.. So, if you are good with pets, and a trustworthy person. Then get started now, and get a list of references going. Start with your family, then your friends and neighbors. Get them to put the word out that you are available. No need to spend money on advertising, because most people will not just hire someone out of the newspaper. They want to find you're through friends etc.
So, it may be slow at first, but it will spiral if you do a good job. Word gets around fast. So start that house sitting business today, and start making money.