How Not to Write an Enticing Advertisement for a House Sitter

I have a subscription to a website that posts advertisements for house sitters. Most of the time the people advertising on the site are looking for someone to look after their pets while they are on holiday, but occasionally they only require somebody to water their plants or look after the garden. The chosen house sitter gets free accommodation, so it can be a good way for digital nomads and other travellers to keep their living expenses down.

This morning I got an email from the house sitting website because someone in Switzerland needs a pet sitter to look after their cat for 13 days in June. I visited the website and read the advertisement. It began okay.

We are looking for a cat and house sitter in a rural environment. The house is fairly new, but relatively small. The village has a small store, a bakery and a small farm store. There is also a bus stop so it is easily reachable. Just don’t try to leave the village after 8 pm. There is no bus at this time.

It sounds too quiet to be appealing to me, but that’s a pretty normal introduction.

Tasks include:

– feed cats twice daily (may involve fresh meat)

– lock cats inside for the night

– empty post box

– water plants

Still pretty standard stuff.

We offer:

– nice place to stay

– internet

– there is a river with a sand beach where its possible to swim

– lots of nature

– if our plants can be harvested, take what you need

Then comes the important part:

Caution:

We live near (1 km) an atomic power plant, you can see it from our bathroom. We will provide instructions and potassium iodide pills in case of emergency.

I’m sure an atomic meltdown is highly unlikely, but promising a view of an atomic power plant and the provision of free radiation treatment is hardly a great way to drum up interest in a pet sitting opportunity.

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