House sitting is a great way to save money on accommodation, stay in beautiful locations, meet some amazing people and have the company of furry friends along the way. Whether you want to do it full time like us or just plan weekend getaways a few times a year we hope to help and inspire others by sharing our experiences, tips and tricks so you too can have the great experiences we’ve had.
Firstly you need to sign up to a house sitting website! There are plenty of different house sitting websites out there. The best websites have a charge to have the ability to contact potential hosts but with the money you save on accommodation this will pay for itself after just a few days in your first house sit. The one site we highly recommend is Trusted Housesitters. They are one of the only sites that has a membership fee for home owners as well as house sitters, have a great verification system and they have the biggest range of house sits world wide. There are many more house sitting websites out there, lots that are local to areas as well but after trying many, Trusted Housesitters really outshines the rest. Plus – to get more house sits it is best to pick one, so your reviews all stay in one place!
Think of your profile as a resume. This is an introduction into who you are, why you want to house sit, your experience, background and what house sits you are looking for.
Most house sits require pet sitting during your stay. Have you had pets or looked after anyone else’s pets in the past? If you have no experience, ask around family and friends that might need a dog walker or pet sitter to build some experience and don’t forget to ask for a reference!
We ran an Airbnb for a year before housesitting and with all our 5 star ratings and many reviews, we used that to help with our profile. Think outside the box. What can you use to help build that trust? Do you have an online presence which you can use to back your profile up?
Character or personal recommendations from friends and coworkers will help your profile. Especially at the start when you don’t have any housesitting reviews via the website.
Take a few nice clear photos,avoid group photos including some with pets. Make sure they are not photos of you at the pub!
When you have found a house sit you like the look of, apply by sending a detailed, personalised introduction email. I like to include the pets names and the location of the house sit. It shows you have put time and effort into your application. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression so make sure this email gives an insight into who you are and why you would be a good fit.
Communication is key to getting house sits. If you see one you are interested in, apply straight away. You don’t know how many other people are interested and we have found the quicker we apply, the higher the chances we have of getting the house sit. Don’t forget to reply to messages quickly. If you are too slow, you could loose the opportunity to someone else! Don’t be afraid to Skype a potential host, ask lots of questions and make sure it is a good fit from your prospective too.
Our first house sit was a last minute one in our local area. Posted on the Wednesday, we spent that weekend looking after a cat and a dog in a lovely apartment, which kick started our housesitting experience. We now have repeat house sits with this host, and love being able to see the pets again!
The one thing Dan and I pride ourselves in is providing constant updates, photos and stories to quickly put a host at ease and also leaving the house as it was found, if not better. It takes a lot for someone to leave a stranger in their house, looking after their pets. Small, thoughtful things can make their experience a great one. Think of a unique way to thank your hosts with some home baking, stocked staple supplies or a nice bottle of wine. You never know they might need you to house sit again in the future!