HOW TO LAND A HOUSE SIT
You may be the ideal candidate for a house sitting gig but as with any job, the first hurdle is getting hired. Here are some tips for finding and landing a house sit.
Make a standout profile
When homeowners connect with potential house sitters, the first thing they encounter is a profile. Much like a CV or LinkedIn profile, your account profile will leave a first impression and convey whether or not you’re the right candidate for a house sit. Here are some ways to create a profile that stands out.
Choose an inviting profile picture
Use a friendly profile photo that features you clearly and looks high-quality. This doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer — good natural lighting, a simple background, and a warm expression will do the trick. Your profile photo will likely make the first impression so choose one that puts your best foot forward.
Accuracy and transparency are also important. We presented ourselves as a pair and it turned out that our hosts prefer having couples house sit because of their large property and rural location.
CONVEY THE BIG PICTURE
On TrustedHousesitters, your profile consists of three written sections (see below). When you create this part of your profile, put yourself in the shoes of someone inviting you to live in their home. While it’s best to write in your own words and showcase your personality, here are some topics you may want to address:
what you do
are you solo or a pair
what brings you to the world of house sitting
how travel and animals fit into your life
acknowledge what you can offer and willingness to keep up your end of the bargain
While you want to provide a full picture, stick with quality over quantity. Your profile should be an enjoyable read that stands out amongst a stack of other profiles.
This is the profile writeup that booked us the first gig we applied for:
SHOWCASE YOUR EXPERIENCE
This is an opportunity to highlight all the reason’s you’re the ideal candidate. List your experiences as you would on a CV, with the most relevant experiences first. Include all previous house sits, pet sits, and animal-related experiences.
If your house sitting or pet sitting experience is limited, consider jobs where other people or properties were under your care including baby sitting, coaching, office management, etc. House sitting is a big responsibility, but it’s not rocket science! Chances are you’ve done many things in your life that qualify you for the role. Get creative!
POST SUPPORTING PHOTOS
Include photographs that show your past experience house sitting, pet sitting, traveling, or simply loving animals. While the written content of your profile is important, having the photographs to back it up goes a long way.
GET HONEST AND COMPELLING REFERENCES
If you have previous experience house sitting or pet sitting, boost your profile with references. This adds credibility to your profile and, in the case of TrustedHousesitters, also ups your verification score. To get the best house sit references, we recommend calling or writing to ask that the review touches on the following:
how long you house/pet sat for
what duties the job entailed
how well you did the job/exceeded expectations
Here’s an example of an informative and positive reference that helps both the house sitter and home owner:
Update your availability
Be honest and accurate when you share your availability and update it as needed. Being flexible with your dates opens up the possibility of more house sits.
FIND A HOUSE SIT
Start by familiarizing yourself with the options that are available. Surf the site you’ve chosen and get a feel for what’s out there.
Refine your search
You might be surprised by the number of options and you might be wondering where to begin. If that’s the case, narrow down your search criteria. Select the places, duration, and dates that suit you best. You can also filter for certain pets.
Your chances of securing a house sit improve when you are one of the first applicants and one of a few. It pays off to search the site regularly and apply for new postings sooner rather than later, especially for your first house sit, so set a reminder to search each day. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and make a morning/weekly routine of it.
Keep in mind that if your schedule is flexible and you’re looking well in advance, you will have more options and less pressure.
Apply & be persistent
Keep at it until an opportunity comes along. If you feel stuck, see what you can do to strengthen your profile and try again!
Beggars can’t be choosers
While it’s easy to drool over rustic vineyards, lakeside villas, and chic maisons in the French countryside, these properties will draw the toughest competition. If you aren’t having any luck, widen your search. Keep in mind that it may be best to go for properties that seem to be overlooked on the site, especially when searching for specific dates, long house sits, or first-time house sits.
NAIL YOUR INTERVIEW
If your profile piques the interest of a homeowner, the next step is an interview. They may write you with questions or wish to schedule a phone or video call. Do your best to work around their availability and the sooner the better.
Prepare for the interview
Review what you’ve showcased in your profile and consider what else you’d like to convey.
Read their site profile and see what you can learn about them on LinkedIn or social media
If they’ve mentioned their pets in correspondence or on their profile, make note of their names and breed
During the interview
Be honest and be yourself; unlike a job interview, they’re more likely interested in getting a general sense of your personality.
Try to get a read on them; some home owners will be all about business and others will want to have a friendly chat.
Ask for key information including: animals involved, date and duration of house sit, general expectations and duties. As much as you want to be chosen, the call is an opportunity for you to get the information you need to decide whether the house sit is right for you. House sitting should be taken seriously; being responsible for someone else’s animals/property in a situation you’re not completely comfortable can lead to serious trouble.
Ensure you understand what you’re signing up for.
Send a short note to say thank you for the chat.
Be available for follow up questions and conversations.
A beginner’s guide to house sitting (what - why - how!)
Here’s what you can do to prep and do an amazing job on assignment!