Small gestures and acts of kindness can go a long way toward a successful experience for house sitters and home ownerns. We have found various ways that seem minor to us but have a big impact:
1. Driving home owners to the airport or train station – the savings in taxi fares or parking fees can be significant. It is also one less think for them to think about.
2. Contacting the owner two days before they return and offering to buy a few grocery items so they can get through breakfast the next day.
3. Choosing a couple of minor repair or cleaning jobs to tackle. We try to contribute to the home in some way.
4. Texting or emailing a photo of pets to let them know they are well.
These are just a few ideas and many more present themselves in each unique situation. The goal, of course, is to have home owners and house sitters benefit somewhat equally. We always endeavor to leave a property in as good or better condition than we found it. In our ten house sits to date, we have always received appreciation for this.
We have be so happy to do all this and more, as the home owners we have worked with have been incredibly kind and generous to us. Many have told us to help ourselves to anything in their refrigerator, freezer, liquor cabinet and pantry. We have also been treated to home cooked dinners before their departure. One lovely couple even held a dinner party in our honor the night before they left. They wanted us to meet their friends and neighbors to enrich our visit. We not only became friends with the home owners, but truly felt a part of their small community thanks to their efforts. We still keep in touch with them and their friends and neighbors.
The good will that flows on both sides of this equation is the beauty of house sitting. When both parties are working hard to make the experience positive for the other, only good things can come of it. It also goes a long way toward building trust in short order. This is valuable when challenging situations arise.