There are many arguments for and against setting yourself up as a paid house sitter. In this lesson we talk to The Mermaid House Sitter, Robin Lopez about her experiences with paid house sitting, and discuss some considerations so you can choose what is right for you. We also dive into different 'house sitting' assignments you could take where payment will be made.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE IS A SUMMARY OF THIS LESSON BELOW.
Your Video Lessons...
The Mermaids Guide To House Sitting by Robin Lopez
In the Mermaids Guide to House Sitting, Robin shares Tools of the Trade to help people become an in-demand, respected, and paid house sitter wherever assignments are available, no matter whether it's in your own home town or pretty much anywhere in the world.
Now, Let's Look At Other Ways You Can Get Paid...
QUICK SUMMARY OF THIS LESSON
Above we have an interview with Robin Lopez where we discuss the many times she has been paid for house sitting. This interview will take you 20 minutes to watch.
HOW ROBIN STARTED CHARGING FOR SITS & FINDING THEM
- Robin never asked for payment as she started sitting. She just sat for people that really wanted to pay her, so she started accepting payments for many of the house sits she did in Hawaii.
- She found they liked and trusted her so much, and were really grateful for her services enough to pay her.
- Like many people she started house sitting by default, just helping a friend of hers. Then she found out how much she loved house sitting and Googled 'House Sitting' to find out more about it officially.
- Robin posts Craigslist ads for her house sitting - she Googled 'how to write a great Craigslist ad' and started posting up ads. It was from her Craigslist ad that her whole house sitting career really started. She got a fabulous sit from it and this was the one where she got paid. It has gone on from there.
- So far she has house sat only on Kawi, an island in Hawaii, but has gone from house sit to house sit over the past year or so. Many of the properties she sits in are luxury properties.
- Robin now feels like she is getting paid to be ‘herself’.
- By being paid, she now really wants to be of service even more. It is about her helping them so much, they want to return something back to her in the form of payment.
HOW ROBIN SETS HER RATES
- She is very willing to do free house sitting as well. It has not become a fixed rule that she must be paid, and we think this is a big part of her now attracting paid sits, because she does not ‘have’ to be paid, she just ‘loves’ to be paid, which carries a very different energy.
- Robin does not put up a rate on her Craigslist ads. She simply states that there is a house sitting agreement that they will have to fill out, and insinuates that anything above and beyond the normal house sitting things there will be a charge. So the first thing home owners ask when they speak with Robin is how much do you charge?
- She has a set rate for the 4 main things - pet care (with a limit of 3 dogs), watering of yard and garden, trash, and the mail - and for that she charges US$35 a day.
- If it more complicated, then it will be more. For larger properties she will charge $45+ a day.
- Her rates start at a flat rate. If the sit is less than a week, then it becomes more per day up to $50.
- The idea is to set your criteria and set the rates from there.
- It still works out cheaper than sending a pet to a kennel where they charge for any extra services, not to mention the advantage of having the pets remain in their own environment, and the things around the house also being taken care of.
- ‘The Mermaids Guide to House Sitting’ is an awesome book by Robin where she talks a lot more about being paid for house sitting. Click on the link above.
- At the end of the day it is about being flexible and allowing payment to come in different forms, which might not only be money but also free accommodation, a fridge full of food, being taken out to dinner etc.
- Robin also finds now that many home owners are requesting her to do various other tasks while she is there, such as filing, decluttering and other admin, which they are also paying her for.
OTHER WAYS TO GET PAID
- There are many sits that also offer holiday accommodation of some description, such as B&B’s, self contained accommodation, or even AirBNB places.
- Since the owners still need to go away from time to time and often they have pets, these allow you the opportunity to take over the running of these and get paid for them. We have had a number of these house sits now.
- Often home owners are really appreciative to be able to keep their ‘business’ open while they are away and earn some income from it in their absence.
- The best way to deal with negotiating such a sit is to be very open and up front about how your payments will be calculated and what is expected from you.
- If you want to increase your skills to be able to take on these types of assignments then perhaps consider going to a WOOFING B&B or holiday accommodation experience and get your skills up. You will probably only need a week or two at it. Or you could consider a basic cooking class particularly for breakfasts.
- There is a short video above where we talk more in depth about getting paid from these various other sits.