House-sitting: 10 tips for the best experience ever
As we’ve explored previously on MyFrenchLife™, house sitting is not only a fabulous experience but also an exercise in trust.
So, to help out you savvy travellers, we have come up with a list of tips and traps – for both house-sitters and home-owners – to watch out for with the help of resident expert, Mariannig Ferrari of Nomador.
Finding peace of mind
Understandably, leaving your home in the hands of strangers for the first time brings to light some concerns. Here we aim to reassure all those hypothetical ‘what if’s’ that flash through your mind upon first considering house-sitting.
In Mariannig’s experience, there are five main areas of worry when it comes to organising a house-sitting agreement… How many would flash through your mind?
The five biggest house-sitting paranoias
1. It’ll be a complete mess – As Mariannig explains: “What happens if I entrust a tidy house and find a dirty one on arrival?”
2. Extra liberties taken – “What if a party is organised at our home while we are away?”
3. Pets not looked after – “What if they are always out of the house and leave the dog alone all day long?
4. The worst-case scenarios – “What if they break a belonging I cherish, our valuables disappear, or we receive an astronomical phone bill when after they’re gone home?”
5. That it’ll never work out – “And what if they never arrive, or change their mind at the last minute?”
So, how to avoid these headaches?
First of all, it is helpful to point out that these ‘what if’s’ rarely come to fruition.
In fact, often the problems that do occur are not usually those that you expect. And when they do happen, they are handled with great care. This is because in engaging in a house sitting agreement you are entering yourself into a personal commitment based upon mutual trust.
“Trust on the internet, is made possible through Trust Profiles – identity checks and users’ recommendations and endorsements,” Mariannig explains. But in her experience, a great house-sitting agreement goes beyond simply the trust-building possibilities Nomador offers.
In fact, it’s when money doesn’t change hands that people feel a stronger sense of obligation to respect their counterpart. This relationship, based on mutual interest rather than just a salary, is stronger and closer than you would at first expect.
At the heart of these agreements is a human connection, rather than a financial gain.
And despite those five main paranoias we outlined above, Mariannig has discovered that these are of course worst case scenarios… The three things that actually cause the most problems might not be what you expect.