A Buyer’s Market

I had conversation recently with Genevieve Thiers, founder and CEO of Sittercity.com that got me thinking maybe I could use a little help around the house. Apparently, this economy has driven a lot of skilled people into the pool of those looking for work as babysitters, nannies, house sitters, housekeepers, and dog walkers. This has created a buyer’s market for anyone looking for someone to do any – or all – of those things. And, according to Thiers, Sittercity.com is your ticket to starting a bidding war on your needs – no matter how small they are.

“My kids are almost-teens, though,” I told her. “This would have been great when they were little but I don’t need much care anymore. They just go to camp or stay home with their work-at-home dad.”

“But maybe you would like someone who could pick the kids up at school and help them with their homework. Maybe that person would also do the laundry or walk the dogs.”

Now she had my attention. I hate spending all evening on homework when I get home. My dogs can’t get enough of walking. And there is a pile of laundry the size of Texas in my living room.

“The trick,” she says. “Is to post a job stating exactly what you are looking for and what you are willing to pay. You will be surprised. This won’t cost nearly as much as you think.”

I did a quick search at the site and discovered – within a mile of my home in this small town – a dozen sitters who sounded fantastic: College degrees, experience, references, and willing to work for a lot less than I expected. I got several responses to my “job” post even though it was vague and I dashed it off in two minutes. I plan to go punch it up — adding in the dogs and laundry. My goal is find someone by the time school starts who will wash and fold all that laundry, get my kids to practice their respective musical instruments, and do their homework before I get home – for less than I’m paying now for music lessons. Imagine being able to just cook dinner and hang out with my family when I get home. That would be sweet.

I’ll let you know how that goes. You let me know if you think I should try and talk Sittercity.com into doing a giveaway!

Find the best local babysitters at Sittercity.com

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