How do I Become a House Sitter?
How to Become a House Sitter: The Complete Guide for Beginners
House sitting has grown in popularity in recent years as a way to travel affordably while experiencing life in different cities and countries. More homeowners are utilizing house sitters to care for their homes and pets while they’re away. But how do you actually get started as a house sitter if you have no experience?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to launch yourself as a successful house sitter, build your credentials, find house sitting opportunities, ace the application process, and set yourself up for an adventurous life on the road caring for homes across the globe.
Defining House Sitting
House sitting involves living in someone’s home and caring for their property, pets, plants, and other belongings while they are away on vacation, a business trip, or a sabbatical. House sitters are usually not paid, beyond having free accommodation. It’s an exchange that gives homeowners peace of mind while offering house sitters unique travel experiences.
House sitting assignments can range from a weekend to many months long. Sitters have responsibilities such as bringing in mail, watering plants, feeding pets, maintenance, and providing home security. The most common house sitting gigs involve pet care, especially for dog and cat owners.
Why Become a House Sitter?
Why would someone want to house sit? There are many excellent benefits and perks:
– Live like a local by staying in residential homes vs tourist hotels
– Stay for free in desirable locations you may not otherwise afford
– Get authentic cultural immersion and routines of daily life
– Build relationships and community connections everywhere you go
– Enjoy pet companionship and caring for animals
– Have flexibility to travel or live abroad long-term
– Experience different cities, neighborhoods, and ways of life
– Have a homebase while you work remotely or explore a new region
– Taste independence, adventure, and non-conventional living
House sitting provides an unparalleled way to travel the world, meet new people, bond with pets, and experience day-to-day life in places you visit. Forget crowded hostels and lonely hotels – become a house sitter to really integrate into local life!
Assessing If You’re Suited For House Sitting
Before diving in, make sure the house sitting lifestyle is a good match for your personality and skills. Ideal candidates have:
– A truly flexible schedule
– Comfort being around strangers’ belongings
– Responsibility to complete duties reliably
– Resourcefulness and problem-solving skills
– Adaptability and resilience
– A love of animals, especially dogs and cats
– The ability to bond quickly with pets
– A independent spirit but also communicative
– Experience caring for a home and/or pets
– The ability to spend time alone
– A sense of adventure
Take an honest assessment of your characteristics to determine if this non-traditional path suits you. If you’re outgoing, responsible, and love pets, housesitting may be an excellent way to meet your travel and lifestyle goals.
Building Your House Sitting Credentials
When just starting out, you’ll need to convince homeowners that you’re trustworthy and capable of caring for their valued possessions. Building up these key credentials will make you highly competitive:
Get written references from previous homeowners, landlords, neighbors, pet sitters, or dog walkers you’ve worked for highlighting your reliability and relevant skills.
Verify your identity on house sitting sites by providing scans of your driver’s license, passport, or other IDs. This helps establish you are who you claim to be.
Create detailed profiles highlighting your experience, interests, skills, passions for animals/travel, and personality. Link to social media accounts. Show you’re a well-rounded person.
As you complete house sits, ask homeowners to write reviews describing their positive experience with you. Reviews on your profile establish a track record.
Some homeowners may request a background check. Maintaining a clean record is important to ease homeowner concerns.
Create a video introducing yourself so homeowners can get a feel for your personality and trustworthiness. Seeing you on video builds a connection.
Provide lots of photos of yourself interacting with animals, caring for homes, traveling, and showing your personality. Images help bring your profile to life.
Take time to thoughtfully build up these credentials which will give homeowners confidence in your abilities and enhance your chances of being selected.
Signing Up For House Sitting Websites
While you may find some house sitting gigs locally through your network, the best way to access abundant house sitting opportunities is by joining one or more house sitting websites. These platforms connect vetted sitters with homeowners worldwide. Here are the most popular sites:
TrustedHousesitters: With over 2 million users, this is the largest house sitting site. Memberships start at $149 annually.
HouseSitter.com: One of the first house sitting sites, with sitters and homes across the globe. Memberships start at $37 monthly.
Nomador: Popular for travel and long-term sits internationally. Memberships are $89 annually.
HouseCarers: Matching homeowners and sitters since 2000. Memberships are $50 annually.
MindMyHouse: Primarily focused on Europe with some worldwide listings. Memberships are €20 monthly.
Luxury House Sitting: Caters to high-end homes and exclusive locations. Memberships are $200 annually.
Join one or more of these reputable sites suited to your geographic interests to open up the widest range of house sitting opportunities in your chosen regions.
Creating A Stand-Out House Sitting Profile
Your profile on house sitting sites is your chance to showcase why you’re the ideal candidate. Homeowners will entrust their precious homes and pets to someone they feel they know and can trust. Use these strategies to make your profile shine:
Complete All Fields: Fill out every section fully – don’t leave any blanks. Share lots of details to give a comprehensive view of you.
Fun Facts: Add unique facts and quirks to show your personality – hobbies, skills, passions, achievements, favorite travel destinations or foods. Make them smile!
Photos: Include 15+ photos showing you in different settings – traveling, hiking, at home, caring for animals. Help homeowners visualize welcoming you.
Introduction Video: Record a 2-3 minute intro video chatting about your experience, love of animals, and excitement to house sit. Let your warmth shine through.
References: Have 5-10 references describing their positive house sitting experiences with you and your reliability.
Background Summary: Summarize your relevant knowledge – pet experience, home maintenance skills, past house sitting, property care abilities.
Why You’ll Love House Sitting For Them: Explain why you’d be excited to stay in their particular area and care for their home/pets. Show enthusiasm.
Availability Calendar: Use the site’s calendar to highlight when you could start and how long you can sit. This helps homeowners coordinate timing.
Verification Badges: Complete profile verification like identity checks which give homeowners confidence you are legitimate.
With a thoughtful, engaging profile, you’ll get selected over other candidates who seem less personable and trustworthy.
Choosing The Right House Sits to Apply For
Don’t waste time applying for unsuitable or poor quality house sitting gigs. Assess each listing carefully to determine if it’s worth your effort and a good match. Consider:
Homeowner Profile – Do they share a lot about themselves and their pets? Are they responsive to questions? Do you feel comfortable with them?
References – Does the homeowner have positive references from past sitters highlighting it was a good experience?
Dates – Do the dates fit your availability? Factor in any lead time, gaps between sits, and transportation.
Location – Is it a place you want to visit and can legally access? Do you meet any visa requirements?
Responsibilities – Are the required duties within your experience and comfort level? Know your limits.
Compensation – Is pay, if offered, adequate for the expectations? Or are amenities like a car included?
Common interests – Do you share passions for travel, hiking, pets, etc highlighted in their profile? More similarity often means better rapport.
Trust your intuition. Only apply for gigs with experienced, responsive homeowners that get you excited. Quality is better than quantity when selecting house sits.
Crafting Your Application
With so much competition, you need to make your application stand out. Avoid generic blurbs that will be ignored. Here are proven tips for creating compelling applications:
Personalize: Mention something specific you loved about the homeowner’s profile or home photos to show you took the time to get to know them.
Highlight relevant experience: Emphasize your background caring for the types of pets they have or maintaining similar homes. Draw connections.
Pose thoughtful questions: Ask 3-5 specific questions that show you read the listing closely and want to learn more. Homeowners like this extra care.
Share your enthusiasm: Let your passion shine through. Highlight why you’re excited for this particular opportunity in this home and location.
Introduce pets you’ve cared for: Quickly summarize previous pet experience and bond you shared to show your dedication to animal care.
Describe special touches: Outline any extra services like plant watering or handling mail you’re willing to provide. Go the extra mile.
Outline availability: Even if dates were already discussed, reiterate your ideal arrival and departure timing and flexibility.
Attach key documents: Provide your house sitting agreement, IDs, pet first aid certificate, recent house sitting references etc. if requested.
Proofread: Check carefully for any typos or errors. Sloppy applications get rejected.
Keep applications focused, personalized, and excitement-filled. This gives you the best chance of beating the competition and being selected over other candidates.
Acing The House Sitting Interview Process
The final step is the interview phase once a homeowner is interested in your application. Convey trustworthiness, enthusiasm, competence, and friendliness throughout the interview process.
Be responsive – Reply promptly to any interview requests and questions. Homeowners want reliable sitters.
Ask questions – Come prepared with thoughtful questions that show your care for their home, pets, preferences, and concerns.
Share examples – When asked about experience, share detailed examples that highlight your qualifications rather than short or generic answers.
Send a video introduction – Record a 2-3 minute video introducing yourself and addressing key questions. Personal videos build trust quickly.
Offer a trial stay – If nearby, suggest a trial stay before their trip so they can assess how you care for the home and get along with pets.
Provide references – Offer to have past homeowners speak directly to vouch for your house sitting abilities and character.
Project friendliness and competence and convince the homeowner you’re the perfect choice to care for their most precious belongings.
Policies and Practices For Professional House Sitters
Once you start securing house sits, adopt these best practices for an organized and professional house sitting business:
– Maintain a calendar tracking all your confirmed house sits and availability for future applications.
– Use house sitting contracts outlining duties, responsibilities, compensation, emergency protocols, and other policies. Get contracts signed before accepting any sit.
– Obtain house keys, alarm codes, WiFi passwords, home manuals etc. well in advance of sit dates.
– Have homeowners walk through their home and routines in detail before they leave. Take notes. Ask questions.
– Schedule regular check-ins via text, email, or video chat throughout the sit assignment per the homeowner’s preferences.
– Arrange for mail collection, plant watering, pet care, security, maintenance as priority when arriving.
– Complete sits to the letter of agreements made. Never compromise or take shortcuts.
– Leave the home pristine and re-secured when finished. Offer to have homeowners verify condition on return.
– Request an online review highlighting your performance after concluding a house sit. Reviews build your reputation over time.
– Disclose any issues right away. Better to share news of a stained rug or broken glass than surprise homeowners later.
By conducting yourself professionally throughout the process – from application to the housesitting gig and review requests after – you’ll demonstrate your exceptional reliability and skill as a house sitter worthy of the highest value assignments.
Getting The Most Out Of The House Sitting Lifestyle
The house sitting life opens doors to amazing experiences most only dream about. Here’s how to get the fullest enjoyment from this path:
– Bond deeply with pets. They will become your companions and closest friends during each sit. Shower them with love.
– Take everything in. Savor moments big and small. Don’t rush any activity or interaction.
– Keep an attitude of curiosity. Explore neighborhoods, trails, restaurants, and events around each home as your schedule allows. Make the most of your time in that locale.
– Meet neighbors and locals. Introduce yourself as the visiting house sitter. Making connections enhances your experience.
– Immerse in the community. Attend free concerts, classes, activities, festivals, and more.
– Slow down and de-stress. House sitting gifts you a slower rhythm without housework or errands. Relax and rejuvenate.
– Reflect on what you value. House-sitting may lead you to reconsider materialism and what makes you happiest.
– Build genuine friendships with homeowners, pets, and others you meet along the journey. These heart connections make life fulfilling.
Embrace each sit fully. House sitting gifts you the space and stillness for personal growth impossible in everyday life. Savor it.
Overcoming House Sitting Hurdles
While incredibly rewarding, house sitting comes with its share of challenges too. Here’s how to overcome the most common hurdles:
Getting selected: Stand out with a stellar profile, beautiful photos, video introductions, and strong references. Be willing to start with less ideal sits to build experience.
Gaining experience: Do local sits for family or volunteer at a shelter. Then apply for your “dream” gigs.
Long gaps between sits: Line up back-up house sits and temporary housing as a buffer. Or arrange to stay with family/friends between sits. Saving for hotels and Airbnbs during gaps also helps.
Insufficient income: Take on freelance gigs or remote work to supplement income between paid sits. Or schedule more paid sits.
Fatigue from constant moves: Schedule breaks between sits every few months. Spend time camping, visiting loved ones, renting your own place, or checking into a hotel or Airbnb.
Life transitions: When ready to settle down, limit sits to your home base region. Then transition to local pet sitting or nannying.
Homesickness: Stay connected with loved ones via daily texts, video calls, sharing photos, and reunions when possible.
Boredom/isolation: Explore surroundings, pursue hobbies, take day trips, interact with locals and other house sitters to stay stimulated.
Conflicts with homeowners: Be exceedingly polite. Clarify any confusion. Offer solutions. Leave detailed notes about issues or changes in routine while they’re away.
By planning ahead, you can avoid and overcome any hurdles on your house sitting journey.
Start Living The House Sitting Lifestyle
For open-minded, responsible animal lovers, house sitting offers an amazing gateway to affordable travel and unique global experiences few get to enjoy. You get to live across the globe, nurture pets, meet incredible people, and have adventures most only fantasize about.
If you’re ready to embark on this non-traditional path, build your credentials, create compelling applications, and start applying to your ideal house sits.
Trust the process. With hard work and persistence, you’ll be on your way to living the house sitting life you’ve always dreamed of. The journey of a lifetime awaits. Time to take the leap!
7 House Sitting Secrets REVEALED! 🏡 – VIDEO
FAQs About Becoming a House Sitter
- How do I become a house sitter?
- To become a house sitter, start by creating a profile on house-sitting platforms, building a strong online presence, and networking with homeowners seeking house sitters.
- Do I need any specific qualifications to become a house sitter?
- House sitting typically doesn’t require specific qualifications, but having skills in property management, pet care, and good references can boost your profile.
- Is house sitting a full-time job, or can I do it part-time?
- House sitting can be either full-time or part-time, depending on your availability and preferences. Many people use it as a part-time gig.
- How do I find house-sitting opportunities?
- You can find house-sitting opportunities on dedicated websites, through social networking, or by joining local house-sitting communities.
- What should I include in my house sitter profile?
- Your profile should include details about your experience, skills, references, and a clear, friendly photo. Highlight any relevant qualifications.
- Do I need insurance to become a house sitter?
- While it’s not mandatory, having liability insurance can provide peace of mind for homeowners and may make you a more attractive candidate.
- How do I build trust with homeowners as a new house sitter?
- Building trust takes time. Start by completing smaller assignments, gathering references, and being transparent about your skills and experience.
- Are there background checks or references required for house sitters?
- Some homeowners may request background checks or references. It’s a good idea to have these ready to showcase your trustworthiness.
- How do I handle emergencies while house sitting?
- Have a plan in place for emergencies, including knowing how to contact the homeowner, local authorities, and having access to essential resources.
- Is house sitting a paid job, or do I do it for free accommodation?
- House sitting can be both paid and unpaid, depending on the arrangement. Some homeowners offer compensation, while others provide free accommodation.
- What responsibilities can I expect as a house sitter?
- Responsibilities often include property maintenance, pet care, security, and following specific homeowner instructions.
- How far in advance should I start looking for house-sitting opportunities?
- Start your search well in advance, especially for peak travel seasons, as popular assignments may get booked quickly.
- Can I house sit in a different country as a non-resident?
- Yes, you can house sit in different countries, but visa requirements and travel restrictions may apply, so research thoroughly.
- Can I have multiple house-sitting assignments at the same time?
- It’s possible, but it can be challenging to manage multiple assignments, so consider your ability to fulfill your responsibilities.
- What should I do if a homeowner is not satisfied with my house-sitting services?
- Address any concerns immediately, work to rectify the situation, and learn from the experience to improve future assignments.
- Is there a minimum or maximum age limit to become a house sitter?
- There is no specific age limit to become a house sitter. It’s more about your qualifications, reliability, and compatibility with homeowners.
- Can I bring my own pets while house sitting?
- Some homeowners may allow you to bring your pets, but it’s crucial to discuss this with them beforehand and ensure it aligns with their preferences.
- Is house sitting a suitable choice for families with children?
- House sitting can be suitable for families with children, but it requires careful planning, open communication with homeowners, and ensuring children understand their responsibilities.
- Do I need to sign a contract when accepting a house-sitting assignment?
- While not always required, it’s advisable to have a written agreement with homeowners to clarify expectations and responsibilities.
- What advice can you offer to aspiring house sitters?
- Be patient, build a strong online presence, gather references, communicate openly, and continually develop your skills to stand out in the competitive house-sitting market.
- How do I Become a House Sitter?
- Why Become a House Sitter?
- Signing Up For House Sitting Websites
- Creating A Stand-Out House Sitting Profile
- Choosing The Right House Sits to Apply For
- Crafting Your Application
- Policies and Practices For Professional House Sitters
- Getting The Most Out Of The House Sitting Lifestyle
- Start Living The House Sitting Lifestyle
- FAQs About Becoming a House Sitter