50 Connect - Become a home and pet sitter in 2019
Posted on 20 February, 2019
Homesitters launches New Year recruitment campaign to expand its team of home and pet sitters
At Homesitters, the UK’s leading home and pet sitting company, we're opening our doors to new homesitters this January to meet growing demand from people choosing to use a home and pet sitter, rather than put their pets in kennels and catteries when they go on holiday.
We employ over 1,000 homesitters and, thanks to a 14% rise in bookings in the past year, we wants to expand our team and recruit active people in their 50s, 60s and 70s who love animals and are seeking flexible and paid employment.
Recent research from Homesitters highlighted the many benefits of the role. Three quarters (76%) of homesitters who go on assignments with a partner said they spend more quality time together and 65% said the role contributes financially towards their retirement.
63% claimed that looking after pets is the biggest perk of the job, and others said that taking time out from the usual routine is very attractive. Staying in different places, enjoying beautiful homes and exploring new parts of UK were highlighted as other top benefits. Some likened their assignments to mini holidays.
Many of our homesitters still want purposeful work and to earn money in retirement. Home and pet sitting keeps them busy, offers some responsibility but no pressure, as well as travel opportunities and new experiences. Our clients have lovely homes in city, coastal and rural locations – there’s something to suit everyone. There’s also the chance to enjoy other people’s pets, without the responsibility of pet ownership.
Homesitters receive a modest remuneration to supplement a pension, a daily food allowance and travel expenses, which are reimbursed by the client. People can also make savings, especially in the winter, on their own utility bills if they spend a lot of time away on assignments.
Former funeral directors, Sue and Roy Strangeway of Torksey Lock in Lincolnshire became homesitters through Homesitters Ltd when they retired eighteen months ago.
The couple wanted to spend time with animals in their retirement but had recently moved into a retirement property in a development where pets weren’t allowed. By taking on regular assignments they get their animal fix, without the responsibility of ownership.
Sue says, "Our favourite thing about home and pet sitting is the animals – we get all of the joy without the long-term responsibility! When we first started out, I wondered if the dogs would miss their owners when they leave, but once they learn we know where their food is, they’re always happy!
"We like the fact we can choose our assignments and that we’re fully insured. Should we have an accident or damage something, we’re covered, which gives security for us and the client."
The couple put their earnings from home and pet sitting towards holidays, although they say the homes they stay in are often as luxurious as hotels. One recent property had such large and beautiful gardens that they walked the dogs every day without even leaving the property.
Sue’s advice for people considering the role is to try it, she says, "I think most people would enjoy it, it’s great to get out and about and meet new people. If you’re thinking about it, give it a whirl!"
For anyone considering the role, here are our top 10 tips:
1. Treat the clients’ home with respect and do exactly what they say about taking care of their pets
2. Have a preliminary meeting to run through how the home works and pets’ routines
3. When out of the home, ensure you have keys, mobile phone and emergency contact numbers with you
4. Take plenty of reading material for the evenings
5. Find out about tourist attractions nearby to make your stay more interesting
6. Follow instructions, don’t feel overwhelmed and enjoy the experience
7. Take your own bedding for home comforts, plus an electric blanket in winter
8. Ask for written instructions on the needs of the pets and home security
9. Know where the fuse box is, as well as candles/torch in case the power goes off
10. Always be prepared for the client to return unannounced. But, Relax and enjoy the variety of assignments but remember this is a serious business, so don’t take any short cuts
For more information on becoming a homesitter and to apply please visit: www.homesitters.co.uk/become-a-sitter/
To read the original blog post, please visit www.50connect.co.uk/blogs/become-a-home-and-pet-sitter-in-2019