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MindMyHouse News

Go Local (for house sitters)

by Alan Koeninger

With travel bans popping up everywhere, this edition of our little community e-newsletter focuses on finding a house sitting assignment near you.

Dear Mindmyhousies and greetings from the Antipodes.

In these changing times, traveling a long distance may not always be an option. Therefore, we thought it would be a good idea to remind you about local house sitting. As it says in our title, “Go Local!”.

Read on to have all of the following questions answered: What is the Local Sitter Search?; How do I make myself available for local house sitting?; How do I check it worked?; Should I create my own sitter available listing?; What about my privacy?

What is the Local Sitter Search?

Put simply, the ‘Local Sitter Search’ lets home owners contact house sitters who live near to them. The idea is that if house sitters can’t travel, home owners may be better off looking for a house sitter who lives nearby.

Appearing at the top of this type of search could give you a serious advantage over your fellow house sitters! Note that home owners can still search our database of house sitters in the usual way too (with a search return based on where you said you would be interested in house sitting).

How do I make myself available for local house sitting?

First, you need to create your ‘sitter available’ listing, if you haven’t already. next, you will need to ‘opt-in’ to the ‘Local Sitter Search’ (see screenshot below). This is a tick box on the ‘Edit my listing’ page, in the ‘Locations’ section.

Please note that to appear on the right part of the relevant Local Sitter Search map you will need to ensure that you have filled out the address fields in your account page correctly. For the database to include you on the right map, it is imperative that your postcode (zipcode) is correct and that you type the name of your town/city into the town/city field of your registration form and not the name of your suburb!

How do I check it worked?

Simply type in your postcode (zipcode) and the name of the city the code belongs to on the Local Sitter Search page (this is the page that owners view). You should then see a map with lots of markers representing house sitters who live nearby (hopefully including yourself). Please note that not all countries are supported and not all house sitters have opted in to local house sitting.

Should I create my own sitter available listing?

The answer to this question is: absolutely! Nothing has changed here. If you don’t create your own sitter available advert on our site you will still not be included in a return for either our Local Sitter Search or our original search and home owners will never be able to find you!

What about my privacy?

Our Privacy Policy includes a description of our new Local Sitter Search and its implications on the privacy of your information. Note that you can choose to remain in or opt out of our Local Sitter Search at any time. If you do opt in, your location will only be shown to the nearest suburb. We will never reveal your street address or postcode. Please also note that this map is limited in detail – the zoom function has been limited so that home owners can only see very generally where in the town/city or area of residence the house sitter is located. We will always strive to protect your personal information!

What should I do if I can’t travel due to travel restrictions?

In the first instance, you should discuss the situation with the home owner. You should check with your local government website to find out what type of travel restrictions are in place. If you are traveling overseas, you will need to also check with your destination country government websites AND transport companies, as they may also have travel restrictions in place. Also, you should have a contingency plan in case a) the home owner can’t leave their property and has to cancel the house sitting assignment, or b) the destination government changes their travel restrictions, or c) your home country changes their travel restrictions and won’t let you back in. Hopefully this situation won’t last too long! Last updated 18 march 2020.

Want if I don’t want to travel (due to the virus)?

If you don’t want to travel and wish to cancel your house sitting assignment, please contact the home owner immediately. Please also let them know why you have decided against traveling. Hopefully the home owner will be reasonable and confirm cancellation, however if there are any issues, please contact our help desk support. Last updated 18 march 2020.

Happy house sitting.

Posted in: MindMyHouse News
Alan Koeninger

About the author: Alan Koeninger

The designer, developer and help desker at MindMyHouse was born in Australia, but don’t hold that against him! He is loving his new adopted home of New Zealand and wants to stay. He can be seen in his natural habitat on Onetangi beach with Ellaballoo the Welsh springer spaniel or whizzing between the ferry port and the soccer fields with his soccer-mad daughters and all their team mates in the car.