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Great Jobs for the Winter Season

These jobs in sunny destinations service vacationers and full-time residents

3. Second Home Property Manager/Concierge

The nitty-gritty: In general, you prepare homes for their owner's arrival and close them up when they go back. The duties may include: grocery shop to stock the pantry, check on the condition of the home's interior, inspect for pests, run water in faucets, check that all the kitchen appliances are in working order, flush toilets, test smoke detectors and air -conditioners, open the pool, check the condition of screens. You set the house temperature and pool heater to desired temperature just prior to the snowbird's arrival. You can accept UPS or FedEx packages they send in advance. You might open the home for house cleaning services, pest control services, and maintenance workers. You also provide end of season house cleaning and shut-down. This is one for entrepreneurial self-starters. You can extend your undertaking to provide a variety of handyman chores from plumbing to electrical and painting projects throughout the months. You might offer your services as an errand runner or airport driver to ferry guests to and from the airport. This is not a job for slackers, you'll need to be in reasonably good physical condition and adept at fixing things fast, or know who to call who can. And don't forget the fresh flowers on the table -- always a nice touch.
The hours: If it's your own business, you can call the shots, but it will depend on your client's needs. Part-time schedules for condo, townhouse or retirement community maintenance vary. Some employers might prefer to have a handyman on call for emergencies, while others might like to have you on-site and available to residents during specific hours.
Median pay range: $10 to $20 an hour mostly, but can be $60+, depending on the area.
Qualifications: Be knowledgeable in home repair, have your own tools, be self-motivated and have good customer-service skills. To build this business will take some salesmanship on your part. Word-of-mouth will be your best means to drum up customers. This is a referral business, after all. You might start with pitching your services to your neighbors in your winter haven, or market to northern connections who have second homes. Some real estate management firms, retirement communities and time-share communities hire part-time workers to take on this advance prep and handle routine maintenance during the winter months. You will probably need to be bonded and have liability insurance. Some clients who don't know you personally may require a background check. Laws vary by state. Clients who vouch for your dependability are the keys to opening doors.

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