Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard - Property: The unexpected benefits of home sitting
Posted on 16 January, 2019
THREE quarters (76 per cent) of people who are employed as home and pet sitters say they spend more quality time together when they do assignments with their partner, according to new research carried out by a national home and pet sitting company.
Homesitters Ltd conducted the survey to find out why people wanted to become homesitters and what they enjoy most about the role.
77 per cent of the company’s homesitters are aged 55 to 74 years old and the majority (65 per cent) say that home and pet sitting contributes financially towards their retirement.
While looking after pets is the biggest perk of the job, time away from the usual routine also appeals.
63 per cent said that looking after animals was what they enjoyed most about the role.
Staying in different places and exploring the UK were other popular benefits as well as the chance to break away from a routine life.
While most homesitters are keen animal lovers, over half (59 per cent) say they have chosen not to have a pet of their own as they’re too much of a tie, and 12 per cent are not permitted to keep animals where they live.
Home and pet sitting gives them the best of both worlds, the chance to spend time with animals but the flexibility to live wherever and to travel whenever they like.
Three-quarters of those surveyed said they most value the variety of assignments (76 per cent), which can include staying in properties such as a 15th century house with a moat, a stately home open to the public twice a week or a modern townhouse in Mayfair with all mod cons.
Many also appreciate the fact that they’re employed directly by Homesitters Ltd (61 per cent) and receive a modest remuneration for their services, along with food and travel expenses.
74 per cent value the support given by the company while they are on assignment which includes a 24/7 back up support service and the fact they are covered by the company’s insurance.
Some of the more unusual tasks on assignment have included a homesitter who was delighted to be asked to decorate a large Christmas tree in time for the client’s return, looking after alpacas, feeding badgers and red kites and reading bedtime stories to dogs.
Retired couple, Yolande and Clive Noble from Telford in Shropshire have been home and pet sitting for 15 years and say, “Being homesitters gives us a change from the hum drum and gets us out and about. We stay in lots of different places, plus it keeps us active and it gives us a purpose. We get our dog fix and we also appreciate the extra income.”
Karen and Neil Oddy from Sidcup in Kent took on the role 18 months ago following early retirement from financial jobs in the City of London.
Karen says, “We’re really enjoying spending quality time together. It is such a contrast to when we had young children and worked full time and had to schedule a date night to spend time together!”
Alan Irvine, Chairman of Homesitters comments, “Our research shows that homesitters are enjoying doing something a little different with their retirement. They love having the opportunity to explore the UK and spend quality time with pets while staying in lovely homes. Our clients are happy too as they can go away knowing they will return to happy pets and a tidy home.”
Homesitters want to recruit people to join their growing team of homesitters and would love to hear from people who think they would make great home and pet sitters.
For more information on becoming a homesitter and to apply visit www.homesitters.co.uk/become-a-sitter/