Homesitters Limited in featured on Retiremove.
Posted on 2 July, 2019
In retirement people often don’t want the commitment of full-time pet ownership preferring the freedom to travel a bit more.
However, if you are used to having a pet around you can miss the company, especially if you enjoy dog walking. One solution is to become a homesitter.
Homesitters stay in people’s houses when the owners go on holiday to look after their property and take care of any family pets. This ensures that the home is secure and that the pets don’t have to have their routine interrupted.
Homesitters Ltd is a leading, nationwide home-and-pet-sitting company that has been operating for over 35 years providing a high level of service to clients across the country. The company employs around 1,000 homesitters, many of whom have been with the company for more than 10 years.
The majority are retired people in their 50s and 60s who want to get out and about and spend time looking after animals.
They may have been previous pet owners or just have a genuine love of animals. Some have even joined the National Trust and combine home and pet sitting with visiting NT properties throughout the country.
Others use their spare time while home sitting honing their creative skills such as painting, tapestry-weaving or catching up on novel-reading.
Home and pet sitting offers the opportunity to stay in a wide variety of homes, from grand mansions to city-centre flats, coastal retreats or remote farmhouses – many also look after pets ranging from dogs and cats to more unusual creatures such as llamas, snakes and reptiles.
Although the company always tries to place homesitters within a reasonable travelling distance, you can go as far as you want and will always be carefully matched with client’s requirements, taking into account your preferences, personality, skills and experience.
David Nadler (pictured above) from North East London took early retirement in the mid-nineties. For the best part of 20 years, he has been home and pet sitting for Homesitters Limited – a leading, national home and pet sitting company.
He spends around a third of the year undertaking home sits.
Prior to registering with Homesitters, David had been looking after the homes and pets of family, friends and colleagues when they went on holiday.
David says, “I was fortunate that when I retired early I was financially secure and could choose to do something that interested me. I am not doing home sitting for financial gain – it’s more of a pastime and it pays quite modestly, but there some good benefits.
"My clients are very interesting. They are mostly based in Greater London and across the South East, and now many of my assignments are repeats. A typical assignment would be in a regular home, mostly looking after a pet or pets – usually dogs and or cats.
"Others are in fairly high-end properties that may have valuable art works (paintings, antiques etc.,) and in those cases, the security of the home is paramount. Security is the number one priority for most clients and having a home sitter in place gives them peace of mind that their property and treasured pets are in safe hands.”
David likes the fact that Homesitters provides back up service 24 hours a day for sitters on assignment in case things go wrong. He has been called in at short notice to cover for home sitters who have had to cut their sit short because of an emergency, and feels reassured that he would have same level of support should the need arise.
“I could be home sitting for the majority of the year," he adds. "But I pick and choose when I do it and I value the flexibility. The experience is like an enjoyable holiday, but it comes with responsibility.
However, it’s not all glamour. There can be lots of mud involved, especially walking dogs in the middle of winter, and if you are on your own, you need to be happy in your own company.”
“One of the benefits of working for Homesitters is that is isn’t an agency but a direct employer. It is a very professional organisation that has been in business for many years. I know the staff at head office well and this personal connection makes all the difference.”
I could be home sitting for the majority of the year but I pick and choose when I do it and I value the flexibility. The experience is like an enjoyable holiday, but it comes with responsibility.
Alan Irvine, Chairman of Homesitters comments: “We would love to hear from anyone interested in becoming a homesitter, and who is looking for a fresh challenge in 2016.
"The role offers a fun and enjoyable way to discover new parts of the country and many homesitters say they feel as if they are on a mini holiday themselves. For animal lovers it’s also an opportunity to look after a pet. Commonly this is a dog or cat, but could occasionally be something more exotic!”
For more information on becoming a homesitter and to apply please click here.
To read the story on RetireMove Online click here.