House Sitting when they're away on Holiday or Business trips is a good way of earning extra just by being there. More often than not the house you are sitting for will be a luxury home with many mod cons that you will be welcome to use, more like a hotel in fact. The difference is you are being paid for it.
The reason people want house sitters is quite simply to put off unwanted visitors. Also to keep on top of the dusting, watch the garden and someone and be there in case of a plumbing or electrical fault.
There may be pets involved or this might be the main reason. Many people don't like leaving their pets in Kennels and would rather their pets stay in their own homes with less stress.
You will need references, would you let someone be in charge of your home without them? No. So, a little experience beforehand will give you a good standing for further work ahead.
A good place to start is to sit in for friends whilst they were away. It doesn't have to be a permanent stay but just checking up on the place a couple of times a day. You can of course stay there, it's up to you, but at the end of the day, you will have earned a reference. Switching on a landing light at night, feeding the pets or perhaps a quick vacuum before they come back it all it takes.
Many clients do prefer someone to be there full time, especially on longer trips away from home. They can phone you up and check things are okay on a regular basis putting their minds at rest.
Quite often this work is taken up by word of mouth. Professional house sitters can travel all over the country and not only earn, but save lots of money on the utilities bills of their own property.
The more references you have the better chances you have of finding work, but don't forget in getting these references you will always be working and earning whilst building them up. You will find that the house sitting jobs will just get better as you go along starting with a council flat you could end up house sitting a castle! And why restrict yourself to you homeland, there are many opportunities worldwide!
If you give a good account you will get repeat work, don't forget, holidays are taken once twice or even three times a year. And how many times do people go away on business and for how long?
You can apply through a reputable House/Pet Sitting Company who will vet you before selection. This will involve filling in an application form or going through a telephone interview. They may visit your own home and almost certainly will conduct a Police check. Many agencies select retired or semi-retired people who have had experience with their pets in the past.
Finding a good agency is the best plan of action initially but that does not stop you from finding work on your own back through friends and family.
My partner and I have done house sitting here regularly in Bulgaria for British expatriates who need to go back to their homeland on occasions. For us it is not work, we treat it as a small break of holiday for ourselves. This is just another idea to share which may make a little extra dosh for you.
Other House Sitter Agency Sites you may wish to consider registering with: