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Playing the waiting game in homes and businesses for extra income


Here's how you can profit from the fact that contractors don't give customers precise times of arrival." You would charge an hourly or flat fee to sit and wait in someone's residence or office/business for contractors or delivery persons.


You might charge customers $15 to $20 an hour (or a sum of money the market will bear and what people are most willing to pay you) for being patient and dependable, waiting all day in their homes for delivery or repair technicians.  


Maybe you might have so much business, you could hire a team to play the waiting game in other people's homes or offices between eight and five--all because you may have developed a business that helps others benefit from the unique yet simple qualities of your character: patience, honesty, and dependability. 


For example, you may be retired, or just starting out in your work. What you have to offer for pay is your time. For some people, there's little to put on a resume. Maybe you've been a homemaker for many years or have left a career and want to make some extra money by waiting in someone's home or office for delivery people or contractors to carry out their work. You might have to connect the contractors with the owners to verify what has to be done, or the orders may have been put in writing, given to contractors, or are waiting for them or for only deliveries of ordered goods. 


You might wait in an office, a building, or in someone's home or apartment. You may not have the type of skills or education in demand for a specific job, but as a generalist, making extra income by waiting in peoples' homes or offices may be what you're thinking of doing, perhaps while reading as you sit and wait for the bell phone to ring or a delivery has to arrive in someone's home or business.      


Sometimes a family may be on route or in the middle of moving from one location to another, such as for a job transfer, and you could be hired to wait patiently all day between nine and five for utilities to be turned on at the new location. Or maybe you'd be waiting for washers and dryers to be delivered, or a stove and refrigerator to arrive in someone's new home or apartment, or perhaps for new flooring to be brought in, or for the hardwood floor to be sanded or tile and counter tops to be replaced. Or you might be hired to wait for the plumber. 


You might find business by letting the welcome wagon in any given city know you're available to wait for deliveries or repair technicians in someone's home, office, or other business, such as a store being remodeled or stocked with new inventory. Maybe you'd be waiting in someone's home for utilities inspectors to make sure there are no gas problems in a residence or business, or for the delivery of a hot water heater, air conditioner, appliance, or other construction set-up. Your business would be to wait for the delivery trucks and oversee what's delivered and set up or connected, such as a new TV or meter. 


How your business might help others is to wait in someone's home or office so the person doesn't have to take a day off from work to be at home when their utilities have to be turned on or off, or for the plumber to arrive to fix a backed-up pipe, or for furniture and appliances to be delivered. Way too few repair technicians or delivery persons ever gave a precise hour of arrival. 


What is it you do best? You're patient, dependable, and honest. So you can offer those traits for a fee to businesses, including real estate agents decorating new homes, and the general public who can't sit home and wait all day for someone to arrive to deliver a product to the home or to do repair work. 


What you do best isn't complex. Maybe you've been retired many years and want to earn extra money  waiting in peoples' homes while listening for delivery trucks and making sure construction or remodeling technicians, delivery people, carpet or tile installers, or inspectors do what they have been told to do and clean up their mess, if any, left on the floor when the job is done.


If you're usually sitting and waiting for something," you can sit and wait and listen for that delivery truck. You would need to be affordable, reliable, adaptable, and alert. Perhaps you're sedentary or maybe you love to knit while you wait. Or you may like to reflect alone quietly and think all day or even do quilting while you wait.  


Most often you will not be required to do housework, dishes, babysitting, eldercare, or windows. If no one is at home but you, you're being paid to sit, wait, and stay alert. You're not being paid to nap because you're paid not to miss that delivery truck when you're the only person at home to let the person deliver and set up that stove, washing machine, refrigerator, or other appliance or read a meter or turn on the lights or water in a house or business, for example.  


If nothing bores you, playing the waiting game for some extra pay may be what you're looking for, if you like being alone at work until the delivery or repair crew arrives and does the job they were paid to do. Sometimes a client may leave you with a blank check to pay the repair technician or the delivery individual. Be sure to get a signed receipt if you're responsibility is to fill in a signed check for a repair person. 


To get started, you might run an advertisement in a newspaper, online, or in a neighborhood publication or put up a notice and hand out fliers that you are paid to wait. You might even address your business as playing or working at the waiting game as serious business. 


Your advertisement might read, "I'm dependable and patient. I'm good at waiting for you. I will wait in your home for $15.00 to $20.00 an hour (or any other price your market will bear to keep business coming back) for repair or delivery persons and sign for your delivery."  


You also could send a copy of the advertisement to the local welcome wagon to be included in its flyers going to all newcomers to her city. You also might barter flyers for your waiting game (or rather waiting business) with a printer and placed the flyers on the doorknobs of all the houses in her neighborhood or give to local businesses.  


You might even offer yourself to travel to other cities and house-sit while waiting for a fee. You could send flyers to the phone company and the gas and electric company, to local plumbers, drain-cleaning persons, and other repair technicians and to the delivery persons of appliance and furniture stores, office supply firms, office furniture companies, and any business where deliveries are frequent.  


You might even send flyers to hospitals addressing the homecare services division. You could wait for post-surgery patients, keeping their home for them while they were convalescing, holding or retrieving mail from the post office, or waiting for the cleaning crew or other deliveries of products or various equipment.  


You could send flyers to the private postal delivery firms and the local post office saying that you would wait for package deliveries in homes or offices and sign for packages when the owners couldn't be there.  


Your main selling point is that almost all delivery persons and repair technicians from roofers to inspectors promise they'll be at your home or office sometime between 8:00a.m. and 6:00p.m or even later (for example, up to 9:00p.m.) You might offer to wait and pick up packages left by the door as soon as they arrive so the package will be inside the home when the people come home from work or travel. Nobody likes to imagine what could happen to packages left in front of a door for hours or days in plain view of every car or pedestrian passing by the home. 


The catch-22 is that contractors can't promise what time they will arrive. This forces people to have to take off time from work often losing money to wait for carpets to be installed, packages, repair persons, or utility inspections and turn on services--like getting phones installed and connected. 


You might call the contractors such as roofers and movers--and the executive relocation services that help relocate people who are transferred from one workplace to another in different cities. You could contact people who recently moved to your city (from newcomers, large firms relocating employees to her town, and movers mailing lists) and ask whether they'd like you to wait at home while they have their utilities turned on or furniture and appliances or packages delivered. Make sure your background check information is available to your clients. 


When it comes to businesses to start to earn extra income, you can make sure your clients know that you make a good security person because your presence is very visible. You can choose your hours, for example, being an 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. housesitter or wait on the porches of homes for a delivery truck. Besides waiting alertly for packages or repair crews, you are keeping the house visibly occupied and maintaining the security of the area around the home or business.


You could advertise on inserts and in tourist publications that go to hotels renting to people waiting to relocate and find an apartment or home. She even contacts the home relocation specialists that transfer executives and other employees from city to city. Sometimes a good source of income are customers who are working couples and newcomers to an area. For travel and free vacations, you might even wait for someone to arrive in any resort town. If you're bilingual, and are in a new country, you might wait for persons arriving to that new area who could need a translator to show them around and keep an eye on their new residence or office as they arrive and move in.


While waiting, you also might write or draw, compose music, or do other creative work just as long as you remain alert for the delivery truck or other expected people who are coming to that home or business during the hours specified. If no one shows up, it's best to call and find out whether the appointment time frame is still accurate.