Home Business Idea -- House-Sitting

Use Your Spare Time to Start a House-Sitting Business

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Running a successful house-sitting business means stepping into your clients’ shoes when they’re away from home: feeding and caring for their pets, resetting alarms, watering their plants, collecting mail, and generally keeping up the appearance that someone is actively living in the home. House sitters often live on the premises while the owners are absent.

With low overhead demands and a potential stream of repeat clients, a house-sitting business can bring in a nice supplemental income.

Although it depends somewhat on geographic area and whether sitting requires overnight hours, fees ranged from $25 to $50 a day in 2015. It can be difficult to build the enterprise into a primary income unless you take on employees or develop the business into a house-sitting referral service. This isn’t out of the question, but it will require a bit more business acumen and extensive background checks of all who work for you.

The demand for house sitters remains constant, particularly with homeowners who have pets. Kennels can be expensive and unsettling for their animals. In fact, offering house-sitting services can be a natural adjunct for a pet-sitting services home business. Even with home security systems, homeowners may want the additional peace of mind of knowing that someone is on the premises to keep an eye on things. Some experts indicate that homeowners prefer house sitters who are in their 40s or older, presuming they'll be more responsible, but a house-sitting business is a good option for anyone with a solid, upstanding reputation.

What You’ll Need to Start a House-Sitting Business

Starting a house-sitting business isn’t expensive – much of what you’ll need won’t cost you a dime. Your reputation is your calling card, so it can help considerably if you’re not new to town and have established relationships with a number of residents who can give you shining, legitimate references.

Getting certified by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters might reassure finicky pet owners. You’ll have to do some advertising, but this can be as easy as posting flyers and business cards about town – on windshields in parking lots, at pet stores, in veterinarian’s offices and at animal hospitals. Strike up acquaintances with employees in these places – if they like you, they’ll recommend you to their clients. Creating a website that tells potential clients more about you is a plus, and it can include quotes from satisfied customers. You might also want to take out ads in local publications.

Advantages of a House-Sitting Business

Even when you’re working, it won’t feel like you’re working, so house-sitting provides a nice side income for free spirits. You’ll have some companionship and be in heaven if you happen to be an animal lover, too. Bookkeeping should be minimal.

Disadvantages of a House-Sitting Business

It’s a good idea to get bonded and insured because issues can arise if a household item is lost, stolen or broken on your watch, or if a pet gets sick, dies or becomes injured.

The temptation to stack up jobs might overextend you, and accidents are more likely to happen when you’re feeling rushed and under pressure.

This business will require that you spend significant amounts of time away from home, so it’s not ideal for parents. If you’re married, sleeping elsewhere many nights might put a strain on your relationship.

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