Thank you for listing your house sitting requirements with us. This is a quick follow up email with advice to help smooth the process. Before continuing we would like to say that we have provided this service to you at no cost and all we ask in return is that you un-publish your ad when you have chosen a sitter and reply to the messages you receive.
Please keep in mind that house sitting is a mutually beneficial exchange of services. The sitters look after your property and pets and in exchange you provide them with free accommodation. Sitters are not hired help or people who's good nature can be taken advantage of. You need to be open and honest with them about the condition of your home, the facilities and amenities as well as what is required in the way of property maintenance and pet minding. There should definitely not be any 'surprises' for them when they arrive. In the description of the sitting position you are offering and when communicating with the sitters you choose, you should provide as much information as possible about your home, pets and chores that are required including photos of your property and pets if any. Please read our house sitting guide, it has a lot of important information: https://mindahome.com.au/static/MindahomeHouseSittingGuide.pdf
Follow the advice below and you will enjoy your time away relaxed in the knowledge your home and pets are being well cared for.
Don’t accept the first applicant that comes along
The first applicant may be the one you choose but you aren’t to know that someone more suited may come along. Also by talking to and comparing applicants you will be happier with the choice you eventually make.
Experienced sitters will attach references and any relevant documentation to their initial application message to you. If they don't you should ask to see their references which should also have the phone number of the person that wrote them. Ring the referrers and chat to them; it verifies that the references are genuine and talking to them is all part of the ‘getting to know the sitter’ process.
Check if they have a police clearance
A police clearance is a certificate issued by state government authorities noting any criminal offences a person may have committed. If a person doesn't have a criminal record the certificate says as much.
Get to know the applicants
Make a shortlist of the applicants that you like and arrange a time to meet them, preferably in the home they will be minding where they can also meet your pets. By meeting and chatting with them you will get to know them and the eventual decision making process will be easier. Should they be a long way away and you can’t meet, see if you can arrange a Skype chat (computer internet meeting) or have as many telephone chats as possible.
Plan your house sitting experience
As well as planning your holiday you should also plan what happens with your property and pets while you are away. Mindahome has a comprehensive guide to house sitting which is available free - here is the link again: https://mindahome.com.au/static/MindahomeHouseSittingGuide.pdf. It will help you plan your house sitting experience so that no eventuality is overlooked.
Use a 'House sitting agreement'
There is a sample house sitting agreement in the house sitting guide. Copy and modify it to suite your requirements then send it to the house sitter for signing. Using an 'agreement' means that there is unlikely to be a misunderstanding as to what is required or expected of either party.
Move fragile furniture and ornaments out of harm's way
Although house sitters will do their best to take care of your possessions, they are only human and accidents in unfamiliar surroundings can occasionally occur. If you have any fragile or expensive furniture, ornaments or fittings that you are concerned about you should pack them away somewhere safe such as an unused room.
Have a local contact available
If you have a friend or a relative close by it is a good idea to ask them to be a contact for your house sitter to provide advice if required. They would need to have a good knowledge of your local area, and be familiar with your home and pets. If possible they should meet your house sitter before you leave or as soon as possible afterwards.
After choosing your sitter please un-publish your ad and inform the unsuccessful applicants. You should also keep in regular contact with your sitter during the period leading up to the commencement of the position.
If you have any questions please see our 'Knowledgebase' where 99% of the questions we get have been answered: https://support.mindahome.com.au
Once again thank you for using our service and we wish you a safe and enjoyable trip away.