My decision to create a stand alone business was based around what I could see as clear shortcomings and gaps in the usual service and delivery of pet sitting and house sitting service providers.
Generally speaking, the majority of sitters are either advertising via local media, or they are a paid member of a membership site.
Many sitters have limited experience, and are not really committed to providing a professional service. Others are quite happy to spend 15 or 20 minutes to fill out a public profile and pay a membership fee to then go into a pool of other sitters to tender for sitting opportunities as they arise.
As a person familiar with managing risk, I see the barriers to entry into this industry as minimal, and near non existent. That considerably increases the risk profile for home owners in my book.
Membership sites due diligence on members is definitely not a guarantee to get a good sitter either. There will always be a conflict of interest with a membership site model that is dependent on fees from its membership base. That point alone should be question enough to look beyond that model.
It is also worth noting that there is a considerable gap between the current players in relation to screening and accepting members.
Established sites work to retain and build their membership and industry positioning, newer sites try to get a piece of the pie and market share. Its certainly not rocket science. The result? Increased risk to the home owner seeking a sitter with the right attitude, experience and accountability.
There are also free sites, or those who offer free sitting services. Expect even more relaxed, or more to the point, non existent due diligence and security/identity checks to be done on members in these situations. That is, very low barriers to entry/membership.
In other words, the risk profile, and the prospects of something going wrong in these instances increases considerably.
Is ‘free’ worth the added risk to you, your pet/s, your possessions, and your home? Only you can answer that.
So what differentiates my service from other providers? [green_tick_1_list width=”100%”]
- I am a professional house sitter. I have developed my own purpose built website, and created all the content for it.
- I provide genuine testimonials and references from 3 different target groups. These are taken from my house sitting assignments, my Workaway volunteer and travel stays, and my personal life coaching business. Together, they number close to 40 personal testimonials. Real people. That is, my testimonials/reviews are authentic – not fake, vague or contrived.
- I provide an active blog to help home owners better understand the risks, opportunities, preparation, and the tips and tricks to ensuring a win/win for all concerned.
- Privacy and confidentiality is maximised as you are dealing with one person throughout the negotiation and the stay. I respect agreements and people. With membership sites you are involving administrators and other house sitters and letting them know you will be leaving your house unattended. With free sites you are putting it out there for everyone. Added risk perhaps?
- I have a proven track record that is clearly demonstrated and totally transparent – presented publicly on my website.
- My experience in life, and as a professional, is clearly demonstrated throughout my website.
- I am a local Hobart person. To add to that, I have also worked with hundreds of local businesses and individuals in Southern Tasmania.
- As this is my business, it represents my reputation. I am accountable to the people I work for and with.
- I have been Police checked numerous times throughout my working life. I currently possess a Working With Vulnerable People – Child Related Activity card (volunteer and coaching) issued November 2016.
- My service acknowledges that all situations are different and understands that home owners have different needs and requirements. No one size fits all. My flexibility and adaptability is documented clearly in my testimonials – that comes through life experience and opening up to a wide range of people and places.
- I look after peoples property, their assets, and their pets with a high level of care. I treat peoples property like I would treat my own. Click here to see what my clients say about their experience with my services.
- My services and fees are negotiable (upwards and downwards) and cognisant that each stay is different. Put simply, less work, more features, longer stays usually = reduced fees. In some instances I offer a FREE service for stays that require a presence only. (that is, no pets or additional duties).
- And importantly, I am always looking to refine and improve the services I offer.[/green_tick_1_list]
It is by demonstrating the above that I am able to offer measurable and tangible value to home owners with my services. Talk is cheap. Promises mean nothing. Unknown quantities and vague representations from transients and opportunists, increase the risk of a stay to the home owner. (My article on house sitting horror stories provides real life examples of what can, and does, go wrong when you invite the wrong types of people into your home).
What about written agreements or contracts? They mean very little if the person/s involved do not have integrity, or if they don’t have the runs on the board, and/or evidence of a strong community presence. In fact, you may as well forget them – they amount to zero!
How much is your home, your assets, your pets, your memories, and your privacy and confidentiality worth to you? Only you can answer that.
Please go to the Availability tab at the top of the home page to view the times when I may be available for a house sitting assignment. If you know of someone who might be looking for a proven sitter, please share my details with them. By also liking/sharing my site on social media, and recommending me, you help me get my message out there.
To find out more about how I may be able to help you, please go to my Facebook page right here.
I generally respond to enquiries within 24 hours.
Questions? Please go to my FAQ page.
*Craig Hedge is a Professional house sitter and pet sitter based in Hobart (nipaluna), Tasmania, Australia.
He is also a Professional Coach and author of the Instinctive Living self help ebook and audiobook series available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.