How to get started house sitting is a lot less daunting than you think.
Sure, there are some specific items that homeowners require before you will be considered such as police background checks and references. But once these are covered it has more to do with your confidence, adaptability and life experience.
How you portray these skills to a homeowner is one of the keys to starting your house sitting adventure.
And just to let you know, we have been where you are now.
To help get you started on your house sitting adventure, we have put together some general ideas about house sitting and some ways to determine if a house sitting lifestyle is right for you.
Maybe check out here Why Go House Sitting to learn of some of the great benefits.
So, how do you get started house sitting?
Who can be a House Sitter?
Well, anyone can be a house sitter.
If you are a traveller, a homeowner who loves to travel, a pet lover or someone looking for an alternative lifestyle from renting or homeownership. Have you considered house sitting?
Generally, an adult of 18 years and older can get started house sitting, but of course, it is entirely up to the discretion of the homeowner as to who they accept.
When we first heard of the concept of house sitting, we were busy working the 9-5, paying the mortgage and taking the annual holiday each year.
The idea of a homeowner inviting a complete stranger (us) to take care of their home, precious possessions and pets, piqued our interest to learn more.
Was a house sitter a service, a job, rent-free accommodation, or something else.
Whatever the title people associate with house sitting, our next step was to learn as much as possible to understand if we could be house sitters.
Understanding why you want to be a house sitter can vary among individuals and their needs.
For us, we wanted to travel and live life like a local. For others, it may be saving for their first home or wanting the comfort of adorable pets, not allowed where they currently rent.
If you are still a little unsure of your reason, then take a look at this post to clarify your Why Go House Sitting.
Your next step is to make sure you understand what is housesitting.
What is House Sitting?
House sitting matches people leaving their homes for a period, with sitters who stay in that home while the owners are away.
Often, but not always, there are pets to look after, and mostly no money changes hands. You can learn more here What Is House Sitting?
So, what’s in it for the homeowner?
A homeowner gets the security of their home lived in, their gardens tended, and their pets looked after.
And for the house sitter?
Well, rent-free accommodation, and the opportunity to stay in a different location.
House sitting is a win/win situation, knowing both the homeowner and the house sitter benefit from the agreement.
And for us?
We were liking the house sitting information we were reading and thought “we can do this.”
Did we feel we had the trustworthy factor? Yes.
Were we confident enough to take on a house sitting assignment? Yes.
There was only one way to prove it to ourselves.
We needed to experience being a house sitter.
And this is how to get started house sitting.
What experience do I need to become a House Sitter?
The most valuable experience you can have to become a house sitter is a life experience.
Homeowners want people they can trust to complete a house sitting assignment for them.
A homeowners concerns are the wellbeing of their pet and the security of their home.
They need to know their pets will be cared for and loved. And the greatest financial asset is their home, so it is vital they are confident of the maintenance and security of their home while they are away.
It is why they are looking for house sitters.
Your life experience is a good indicator to a homeowner of your ability to be a great house sitter.
Pet care may include walking dogs, grooming, feeding, administering medication, nursing, or even tending a tortoise as he awakens from his 6-month hibernation.
Generally, there are other tasks requested which can include watering plants, maintaining pools, mowing lawns, cleaning. Tasks you would generally do to keep your own home or flat neat and tidy.
We felt we had the life experience, the trust factor, we loved pets and caring for pets, plus we had landscaped and maintained gardens for our own home.
So what was the next step?
Try House Sitting for Friends
House sitting for friends is a great experience and will give you an appreciation of what attributes you need to have to bring to a house sitting assignment.
Now don’t be tempted to house sit just for your Mum or Dad, who love you dearly and would probably turn a blind eye to some of your escapades.
When house-sitting for others, it’s your credibility that is being critiqued.
House sitting is more than just popping around to leave some pet food in a bowl, or ensuring the windows are secure.
Yes, a homeowner could get a neighbour to help out, but as people’s lives get busier and when we often don’t even know our neighbour, house sitting is the ideal solution for home security and pet care.
Just be aware of the tasks required by the homeowner.
House sitting can require caring for pets, keeping to their routines, and offering love and attention. So, this becomes the priority to work around your daily routine.
It can also mean watering plants, mowing lawns, and many other usual tasks to maintain a home.
Making the pets and home the priority will ensure you feel confident that when handing them back over to the homeowner they will be satisfied, and they will give you a good review.
Don’t be Shy – Ask for References
When house-sitting for friends and colleagues, remember to ask them for a reference when they return home.
It might feel a little weird to you, but just let them know you are considering house sitting in your hometown, maybe in your native country or even internationally.
But don’t stop there.
Let your friend know you will send them an email request for the referral.
And in your email provide some question prompts for your friends, to help them understand what relevant information is needed to ensure you receive a great reference.
And remember, these references are gold when you start to apply for house sits with total strangers.
Where can I find House Sits?
When we first started house sitting, our first house sits were for friends. Some friends asked us directly, others put a request on their Facebook page, and other friend requests came via our friend’s friend.
Another great source of house sitting assignments is from work colleagues and your social network.
We know of some workplaces where notice boards advertise for a house sitter. It certainly makes the meet and greets so much easier.
Of course, the main source of the new house sits we now complete come via dedicated house sitting websites.
You can read more on House Sitting Websites Reviews to give you an indication of the house sitting website locations and the subscription costs available to a homeowner and a house sitter.
We have found, once you get started with house sitting, word of mouth and great reviews of your experience will see you getting asked to repeat house sits and receiving requests to house sit.
Thinking of house sitting overseas?
The options to travel with house sitting can open up so many opportunities to visit and experience the culture of life in Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
As house sitting is becoming an alternative way to travel, being prepared with an awesome profile and house sitting references, is one of the best ways to get started house sitting.
If you would love to experience House Sitting in France, then here is a link to Nomador, a house sitting website. They offer great advice on How to Get Started with House Sitting in France.
If you have always wanted to see more of America, at a cost suited to your budget, then check out house sitting assignments at House Sitters America.
Ready to Get Started House Sitting?
Your profile is your first impression to a homeowner, and it must stand out from the crowd.
You’re competing with a wide range of people like retirees, digital nomads, lifestyle travellers and locals. So, tell them something about yourself and give them the confidence to add you to their shortlist.
Make your profile informative, well written, engaging and honest, but not too long. Like the job application process, a good profile will get you to the interview stage.
It’s Time to Write Your Profile
Go House Sitting has put together a FREE Profile Checklist to help you create your house sitting profile.
Or perhaps you want to improve your current profile to get more of those luxury house sitting assignments.
Either way, Go House Sitting is here to help you write an engaging profile.
To create and improve your Profile, click below to receive our FREE Profile Checklist.
And join us in the Facebook group with any questions.