Category Archives: Get A Housesit

Housesitting Profile Makeover #1: How to improve your housesitting profile

For those looking to have success as housesitters, there are two major things to keep in mind when setting up your housesitting profile. First, homeowners have hundreds, if not thousands, of housesitters to choose from and can even be overwhelmed by the number of applications they get.

Second, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This well-worn expression is probably the most important thing to understand when creating your profile. Homeowners want someone trustworthy above all else to care for their home and pets for extended periods of time.

We go into detail in our post, How to set up the perfect housesitting profile, where we talked about the importance of the right photo, a catchy headline and how to highlight how you fit the homeowners needs, even if you don’t have any experience housesitting.

Our first ever housesitting profile makeover

One of our readers, Kristen, is feeling frustrated that, despite being signed up to two websites, she is not getting a response to her housesitting applications.

The challenge: Compared to many housesitters out there, Kristen is young, between 18-25. This might make some homeowners nervous. However, Kristen is an online entrepreneur so she is very flexible with times and locations, and she also has a healthy amount of experience caring for homes and pets. We need to highlight the trustworthy and experienced elements of her profile without trying to hide her age.

Let’s start with a look at Kristen’s existing profile on MindMyHouse.com

Kristen profile MMH

What works?

The availability of references is an encouraging start, being self-employed shows flexibility and Kristen obviously has experience with the gamut of household pets.

Room for Improvement

The Headline: Friendly, nonsmoking + responsible young woman excited to look after your home!

Suggestion:
Add profession into headline to counterbalance young age:
Friendly, animal-loving online entrepreneur available to care for your home and pets.

The photo

The photo has a great, large view of the face like we suggest, with a big open smile, which makes her seem friendly and open. However, it comes off a bit too young and seemed like a webcam photo at first glance.

Suggestion 1: I would include this in one of the additional gallery photos, but opt for a more professional looking picture.

Suggestion 2: Add a few more photos to the gallery showing yourself with pets or doing one of your hobbies.

About this sitter

20something woman seeking meaningful adventures through housesitting. Longer term house sits are preferred and I’m willing to go anywhere from N. America, Central/South America + Europe.

Homeowners usually want older, mature couples, and Kristen is a young, single female. That doesn’t mean she isn’t capable, but she needs to lead with a more mature angle, rather than ‘20-something’.

Room for Improvement

Why not start with an introduction like this:

‘My name is Kristen, I live in XX and I love to travel. Because I am running my own online business doing XX, the location independence allows me to housesit for long periods of time and/or at short notice.’

Even though there is an extra section for ‘Experience’, this is the first and potentially only paragraph busy homeowners will read. This is why something like: ‘I have experience caring for homes in TOWN, TOWN and TOWN, and have cared for pets like dogs, cats, hamsters, fish and birds.’ should be added here, too.

You mention willingness to go anywhere, which shows commitment, but we would suggest leaving out ‘adventurous’. An adventurous retired couple has a very different feeling to it compared to someone in their early 30s. You want to avoid giving homeowners any reason to worry about parties or something similar.

Why they want to house sit

I am a responsible, adventurous and passionate young woman starting her own online business through coaching and freelance writing.

Experiencing new cultures like a local is my passion (did I tell you about the time I interned in Bucerias, Mexico for a summer?) The best way to experience a new place is by living like a local and experiencing everything the town/city/country has to offer.

I am also looking to expand my Spanish from intermediate to fluency, so if you’re in a Spanish speaking country, talk to me! 🙂

Room for Improvement

Again, we would suggest leaving out ‘adventurous’ and start with responsible, honest and trustworthy writer and XX coach, who works full-time online.

Reword ‘looking to expand my Spanish’ to something like ‘I speak Spanish and would love to use my language skills during a housesit which is why I look forward to housesits in Spanish speaking countries.’ – say what you can offer rather than what you want.

Keep your statement of ‘the best way to experience a new place is by living like a local and experiencing everything the town/city/county has to offer.’ This is a great reason to housesit. Why not also add that while you love to experience new cultures and countries, you need a quiet place to be able to focus on work as well.

This reads as responsible, plus pet owners like this as it suggests you plan on being around a lot to spend time with pets and won’t be out sightseeing and day-tripping all the time and neglecting the pets.

We suggest you leave the part in brackets out ‘did I tell you about the time I interned in Bucerias, Mexico for a summer? Go for something like: ‘Experiencing new cultures like a local is my passion and I loved my time in Bucerias, Mexico, in 20XX, when I spent the summer interning at a XX organization. The XX months there showed me I adapt well to local life in new countries and my preferred way of travel is living like a local / soaking up local life, for weeks or months at a time.

Their experience

Throughout my life, I’ve been taking care of animals. I grew up with cats, dogs, birds, fish, hamsters – you name it! I take care of my friend’s cat while he’s out of town (which is at least once a month for a week) as well as maintain plants and bring in the mail. While my parents are out of town, I also will go home to take care of their three dogs and bird.

Room for Improvement:

This paragraph comes off a little young, with the mention of your parents and your friends. Instead of saying ‘your friend’s cat’ you could say here that you ‘take care of a cat one week a month,’ and regularly return to your parents’ house to look after their three dogs and birds, along with other household responsibilities such as XXX. You can even mention the breed of dog, since that might be all some homeowners with the same pets need to choose you over someone else.

What can they bring to the assignment

I have experience taking care of animals + houses alike (including my own apartment) and I am no stranger to having someone else rely on me to take care of their pets. I’m naturally attracted to animals and love to be around them.

Room for Improvement

Everything you say here is great, but you can also add here specific characteristics if you have them:

Do you enjoy any chores or household work in particular, like gardening or anything else around the house? Point out again that you are flexible, self-sufficient, reliable, great with animals – anything that could be of interest for homeowners. If you have a car (if you’ll be applying for housesits in your home area) you should also mention this, as many homeowners prefer sitters with their own cars.

Kristen’s profile on Housecarers.com:

Kristen profile HC

Hi,

Thank you for taking the time to look at my page! I am absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to house sit as I have traveled extensively to quite a few countries around the world. I believe the most authentic way to experience a country is by living like a local and feel house sitting is a great compromise.

I’m also a huge animal lover and have experience taking care of dogs, cats, birds, fish and more. I find myself to be very capable and responsible. I would treat your home as if it was my own.

I am friendly and love getting to know people on a deeper level. I think it’s important to make connections with people you meet in your travels and even in your own home town.
Other random facts about me: I have an intermediate level of Spanish and am open to learning other languages. I am a nonsmoker, vegetarian, and an optimist.

I look forward to hearing from you!

All my best, Kristen

Room for Improvement

Overall this is a very positive representation. We would suggest neatening up the content a bit and always keeping in mind that your profile should include information that will resonate with homeowners looking for a stable, safe sitter for their home and pets.

We would leave out the first tow sentences – ‘Thank you…’ and “I am absolutely thrilled…” It comes off a bit too keen. Start with your second sentence instead: ‘I believe the most authentic way to experience a country is by living like a local and feel house sitting is a great compromise.’ – this is a great intro.

While it is important to emphasize you are good with animals, continue from that first sentence and talk about why you want to housesit: you are self-employed, location independent, can work wherever you want, and that housesitting allows you to work in a quiet environment and yet allows you to get to know new places at the same time, etc).

Next explain time you have spent abroad in one or two sentences and then go into your experience caring for pets and homes.

In the second paragraph you say ‘I find myself to be very capable and responsible.’ Do others find you responsible? If so, we would say something like ‘those who I housesit for would describe me as capable and responsible’ making it somebody else’s assessment of your characteristics rather than you rating yourself.

Keep the sentence ‘I would treat your home as if it was my own.– that is what many homeowners want to hear and truly appreciate.

The ‘random facts’ are great, but why not address it as ‘additional information’ or just include it in a small paragraph without naming it. I have an intermediate level of Spanish and am open to learning other languages. I am a nonsmoker, vegetarian, and an optimist. This will give you an advantage for housesits in Spanish-speaking countries, and we have come across many housesit ads where the owners prefer vegetarians, so this will be an advantage for you as well.

If you are not a party girl, don’t hesitate to say that – should homeowners be worried about trusting a 20something with their house, they will appreciate it if you say something like: ‘At the moment, I am focusing on growing my online business and spend most days in front of the computer. I am social and like to go out for drinks occasionally, but I am not a party girl. I am a hard worker and truly enjoy the company of pets while I work from home, which is why housesitting works great for me.

Another thing that you should add is that you have references, if you have any. If they will give you glowing references, don’t be afraid to say that ‘excellent references are available on request.’

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How to set up the perfect housesitting profile

Your housesitting profile is the first thing a homeowner sees about you, so you if you want to win a housesit, make sure it attracts homeowners’ attention in a way that reveals you as trustworthy and reliable.

Here are our tips on how to set up a great housesitting profile.

Photo

Most housesitting websites allow homeowners to scroll through the profiles of housesitters that include their area as a possible housesitting location. Most listings immediately display profile pictures, before the homeowners even click on a profile.

No matter what housesitting website you sign up with, there are always going to be more housesitters than homeowners, making competition pretty fierce. In order to get the homeowners to click on your profile, first impressions count for everything! If you are a couple, have at least one picture of the two of you and show your faces – don’t hide it behind sunglasses or underneath a hat. Whether you are single or a couple, have a picture that shows you with a pet, too, as most housesitting involvements involve pet-sitting responsibilities, so that immediately associates you as good with pets.

Most websites also let you upload several photos, so take advantage of that and show yourself in a variety of situations – at home, with your pet, and maybe a nice photo that was taken on a vacation. If you have a nice garden, feel free to show this is a picture as well. Just make sure to upload photos that already give an idea of your personality.

Good examples:

housesitting profile photos good

Bad examples:

housesitting profile photos bad examples

Headline

The headline is the second most important thing. How can you describe yourself in one sentence without being too centered on you but pointing out what you can bring to the assignment.

Some good examples are:

  • Reliable, animal loving adult to care for your home or pet/s
  • Experienced Housesitter couple with references
  • Retired professional firefighter and wife available for house and pet sit. Trustworthy, clean, non smokers. Currently with homes in England and France
  • Charismatic, multilingual entrepreneur animal-loving couple
  • Reliable and trustworthy house/ pet sitter looks forward to care for your house
  • Honest, reliable, and experienced housesitter available

Some not so good examples:

  • Semi retired Canadian couple – not interesting enough to make homeowners click.
  • Warm greetings from Holland – also nothing that catches a homeowner’s attention
  • Looking to housesit/petsit for 1 week April 2013 – too inflexible. It is unlikely that they will be contacted by a homeowner with such a narrow time frame.

Some bad examples we have seen:

  • “eat, pray, love” sabbatical & retrieve – It should be beneficial for the homeowners, not self-centered.
  • Two friends looking for work and adventure! – Again, nothing stated that the homeowner could benefit from, plus friends have less committment to each other than couples, feels less reliable.
  • Let me handle it for you, whatever “it” may be.. – Too vague
  • Brother and Sister – looking to see the world – self-centered
  • Young professional looking to travel – self-centered
  • WeRHere4U

This is the one sentence a homeowner sees before deciding whether or not to click on your profile. Keep it simple, sell yourself on how you can help them.

housesitting profile headlines

Be personal

It is important to be personal in your profile. Give any homeowner who visits your profile the chance to get an idea of who you are in a few short sentences, but remember that this isn’t about you. The homeowner is looking for someone they can trust with their house, their pets, their life while they are away. This process is entirely about them, no matter how you benefit from it.

Introduce yourself shortly – your occupation (or what your career was if you’re retired), what your interests are and why you housesit. If you are a couple, tell the homeowners something about you and your partner. Point out what you can bring to a housesitting assignment – are you a dog person? Do you enjoy gardening? Have you owned a home for twenty years? If you have dealt with any major home improvement projects or solved emergencies successfully, it is a good idea to include examples for that, too. Focus on the things that matter to a homeowner and refrain from stating the things that you want from a housesitting assignment – these things can still be discussed once a homeowner gets in touch.

Experience

You cannot list enough relevant experience in your profile. Line out previous housesits that you have done, the pets you’ve looked after and all the other responsibilities that came with the assignment(s). If you are new to housesitting and have not had a housesitting gig yet, you can still give examples of your experience with pets – what kind of pets you’ve owned, how long, how many, etc. Also, for new housesitters, because you have no references yet, include reasons why you think you’d be a good housesitter and why you would enjoy it.

References

We don’t recommend including references directly in your profile, for the privacy of the other homeowners you have housesat for,  but definitely mention that you have them. If you have had housesits that went very well and you know that the owners will give you a glowing reference, point out that you have ‘excellent references available immediately’, if you have housesat in several countries, mention that you have ‘references from country X and country X’ (especially if you are looking to housesit abroad).

TrustedHousesitters.com gives housesitters the option to request references from homeowners through their very own system. This gives them the choice whether or not they want their info displayed. This is good not only for your previous housesit references, but also can be sent to landlords, employers, family members or other people who would vouch for you (important for those with limited experience). On TrustedHousesitters.com, these references will be shown right on your profile.

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Housesitting 101: How to be chosen for a housesit

You’re serious about getting a housesit. You’ve registered with a housesitting website, and you have started to apply for housesitting positions. You have optimized your profile, and now you finally have a message in your inbox: a homeowner liked your application and would like to chat with you.

How exciting! But this is just a start, and there are probably at least a few other candidates on a short list. In fact, the whole process is similar to a job application – you apply for the ‘role’, you are selected as one of the most fitting candidates, and now it is all about convincing the homeowners that you are the best applicant to fill the position.

Here are our tips to get an advantage over other housesit candidates.

Housesitting References

If they were not included in the original application, send through your references from your previous housesits, or, if you lack experience, have references from friends, family and others who can vouch for you. Include email addresses and phone numbers of your references along with a quick explanation of who they are/how they know you.

Get personal

Reply to their email thanking them and then suggest a Skype chat to ‘meet each other’. In the rest of the email, emphasize that you are still keen to care for the house, and how you are good for the role. If you are a huge cat lover and this housesit has three cats, make sure to emphasize that in your reply. If the housesitting assignment comes with a big garden and you have a ‘green thumb’ use that to your advantage. Always make sure to include examples for the statements you make. Be modest though don’t exaggerate, and be honest – don’t claim to be anything that you are not.

Win them over in the first Skype call / phone call

Trust is the most important element of a successful housesit. That first phone/Skype call is when you make that first impression and hopefully gain the homeowner’s trust. Thanks to Skype this can be done on camera, which is a way of really ‘meeting’ someone for the first time. (Download Skype here for free and you will be up and running in five minutes.)

Prepare well for the phone call. Note down all relevant facts from the advert and prepare questions to clarify what you would like to know as well. Don’t forget to read thoroughly through their homeowner profile to ensure you don’t ask anything you should know already, and you might also find something in the profile that makes it easier to connect in the first minutes. A casual comment like ‘I saw on your profile that you are a writer, too’ or ‘I saw that you and your husband also enjoy hiking’ indicates that you have something in common and can get the conversation going.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Practical information about the house, responsibilities and financial aspects such as who will cover utilities and Internet costs. You have to keep your deal breakers in mind, too, and the Skype call is a great time to learn more about the assignment. After all, you are going to be living in this house for a few weeks or even a few months, so even if they choose you, it is important to understand if this is the right housesit for you as well.

Follow up

If the call goes well and both parties still seem interested, send a follow up email thanking them for the call, that you are still interested/excited about the opportunity and you will await their reply.

Don’t be too pushy

After a quick follow up email, lay low and let the homeowners talk to your references. Also, you are likely not the only candidate, so they will be talking to and checking references for others on the short list.

Depending on how far in advance the housesit is, follow up after a week or two if you still haven’t heard from them. If this was more short notice, then you can follow up sooner as you will have to plan your trip to the house.

It didn’t work?

If you get the dreaded email that the homeowners still chose somebody else, don’t be too upset. Homeowners gets dozens, sometimes hundreds of applications, and no matter how good your references are, and even you feel like the phone call went well, another applicant might have been a better fit this time.

Email back politely. Tell them they can still get in touch for further housesitting opportunities or should the other candidate drop out for some reason. Homeowners are very likely to return to a candidate they were in touch with in the past if they go on vacation again. If the location is really interesting to you, don’t hesitate to have them pass on your details to other homeowners who might need a housesitter in the future. All the housesitting websites in the world are no match for personal recommendations between neighbors!

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The housesitting directory: An overview of all major housesitting websites

There are well over twenty websites that match homeowners with housesitters. Below you can find a listing of all major housesitting websites including their annual fees, which countries they are good for, and some general information.

Global housesits

We have found found most of our housesitting gigs through Housecarers.com, including housesits in Costa Rica, Canada, Thailand,the U.S. and Mexico.

There are plenty of new housesits on the site every single day – primarily for the U.S.A. and Australia, followed by Canada and New Zealand, and a smaller number of housesits from all over the world. Make sure to sign up for daily email alerts for the countries you’re interested in so that you get notifications of new assignments every day.

Annual fee: US$50.00 for housesitters, free for homeowners

We have found housesitting gigs in Germany, Malaysia and Italy on Mindmyhouse.com. The site is the best source for housesitting gigs in Europe – especially the UK, but there are also assignments for the U.S. and Canada, and some assignments for the rest of the world (we have come across some great gigs for Costa Rica and Ecuador here).

Annual fee: US$20.00 for housesitters, free for homeowners

We have found mainly housesitting assignments in the UK on Trustedhousesitters. To a smaller account there are housesits in the rest of Europe, like Italy, Spain and France, and occasionally there are assignments in the U.S., Canada and in New Zealand.

Note: If you join TrustedHousesitters with this referral code, you’ll get 20% off your membership fee!

Annual fee: US$99.00 for both housesitters and homeowners

Nomador is a fast growing housesitting platform with currently just under 25,000 members. The site allows you to send three applications for free before committing to a membership and the homes listed are spread all over the globe – I saw housesits for Peru, Malaysia, England, France, Canada and the U.S. (to name just a few) when I was browsing the site. Since Nomador is France-based, it has the highest number of housesits in France I’ve seen on any of the housesitting websites!

Annual fee: $89, but 3 applications can be sent before committing to an annual membership.

Australia

HousesitWorld Australia is the part of HousesitWorld that was started in Australia in 1999. You can find housesits all over Australia. Housesitters can put up an ad for the location they are looking to housesit in, and homeowners can scroll through the listings and contact potential housesitters directly or put an ad up and wait for applications.

Annual fee: AUD50.00 for housesitters, free for homeowners

Happy House Sitters Australia focuses on housesitting in Australia. The family-run service has been online since 1999, and users can choose to sign up for all of Australia or only the state they are looking to housesit in. Homeowners can either place a free ad or look through the housesitter listings for a suitable candidate. Housesitters can choose to either reply to ads or wait to be contacted directly by a homeowner.

Annual fee: AUD69.00 per year for housesitters, free for homeowners

AussieHousesitters  has primarily housesitting assignments in Australia, but also some in New Zealand. Homeowners can put up an ad with the details of the housesit, or search for housesitters by state. Housesitters can search for a housesit by location, length or latest assignments or wait to be contacted by a homeowner.

Annual fee: AUD65.00 for housesitters, free for homeowners

HousesittersAustralia is dedicated to housesitting in Australia. Homeowners can sign up for free and place an ad or simply look in the housesitter database for a suitable candidate. Housesitters are able to search for housesits by state and apply for a sit or wait to be contacted by a homeowner directly.

Annual fee: AUD15.00 – special offer, limited time only! for housesitters, free for homeowners

MindAHome connects homeowners and housesitters in Australia. Housesitters can search for housesits by state once they have registered, and homeowners can either put up an ad or look for suitable housesitters by location on the website.

Annual fee: AUD49.00 for housesitters, free for homeowners

Australian Housesitter is another website dedicated to housesitting in Australia. Homeowners can register for free and put up an ad for the housesitting assignment, and housesitters can set up a profile with their availability, experience and location. Housesitters can either scroll through the listings or be contacted by homeowners directly.

Annual fee: AUD30.00 for housesitters, free for homeowners

Easy Housesitting

Easyhousesitting is a completely free housesitting service that allows homeowner as well as housesitters to put up ads (for free). Housesitters state their available dates, the states they’d be willing to housesit in and some other information, such as an ‘About Me’, their experience, and their occupation. Homeowners say when and where they need a sitter, for how long, what kind of pets are involved and what other responsibilities are part of the assignment. Sitters and owners can set up a free account, search for available sitters/sits (filtered by dates, location, duration) and get in touch with each other directly through the site.

Annual fee: It’s FREE!

New Zealand

Kiwi Housesitters is a website dedicated to housesitting in New Zealand. Housesitters can look for housesits advertised on the website or homeowners can housesitters who are registered directly and inquire if they are available for the time they are away.

Annual fee: NZ$65.00 for housesitters, free for homeowners

Homesit NZ is a New Zealand-based housesitting service. Homeowners can request a housesitter for the time they are away, and Homesit NZ will select a couple of suitable candidates for them, from which they get to choose the one they like best.

Annual fee: Fees are paid by the homeowners and depend on the length of the assignment.

Town and country homesit is a personalized housesitting service by Lisa McFarlane Clark, who puts housesitters in touch with homeowners. Homeowners can request a housesitter for the time they are away, which Lisa selects from a pool of housesitters who are all experienced and thoroughly checked beforehand.

Annual fee: –

All House Sitters is a new housesitting platform for New Zealand, currently free of charge for both housesitters and homeowners! I saw quite a few interesting listings on the website – definitely worth checking out if you’re planning to housesit in New Zealand.

Annual fee: Currently offering 12 month membership free for housesitters; free for homeowners

United States

HousesittersAmerica is dedicated to housesitting across the United States and sitters can easily state their availability in a calendar in their profile. There are over 3,900 homeowners registered with the site and you housesitters can search for housesits by location or date.

Annual fee: US$30 for housesitters, free for homeowners

United Kingdom

Housesitters UK is a new housesitting website which focuses on the housesitting market in the UK. Housesitters can search for the latest ads and contact owners directly, or homeowners can search for suitable housesitters directly.

Annual fee: £15 for housesitters, free for homeowners

France

Nomador.com does not solely offer housesits in France, but has the highest number of housesitting opportunities available in France that I’ve seen so far. There is also a French version of the website for Francophiles!

Fee: $35 per quarter or $89 per year for sitters, free for homeowners

Portugal

A new platform for housesits exclusively in Portugal, established in 2015. I personally haven’t used it yet and there don’t seem to be a lot of sits on there right now, but it might be worth keeping an eye on the site.

Annual fee: free to register

Other sites

As the name indicates, LuxuryHousesitting focuses on the luxury house market, although we have come across many moderate houses on the website and have found housesitting assignments for houses of the same range on other housesitting websites as well.

Annual fee: US$25.00 for housesitters, free for homeowners

SabbaticalHomes is geared towards academics who are looking for housesitters while they are going home for the summer or go abroad for a semester, which is why most of the housesits are near universities / in university towns. The site also offers home exchanges, rentals and home shares for academics.

Annual fee: FREE

WorkingCouples.com is not a housesitting website per se, but offers a big selection of innkeeper positions, hotel and B&B management jobs and other jobs for couples who want to work together – free lodging is usually included, which is why we decided to include it. Be aware though that the jobs advertised on the site include more responsibilities than a normal housesit.

Annual fee: US$48.00 for housesitters

The Caretaker Gazette is primarily a source for caretaker jobs, but more and more adverts for housesits can be found here, as well. The sits are mainly in the U.S., and you can find a lot of B&B, motel or campsite sits here.

Annual fee: US$29.95

Have we missed any other websites? Please let us know in the comments below!

You can find a more in-depth overview of these twenty websites, including their pros and cons, in our book Break Free – The Ultimate Guide To Housesitting, now available as a pdf download for only $8.99! Over 120 pages packed with everything you need about housesitting, how to find a housesitter or how to get chosen for that dream housesit.

Break Free 2.0

 

 

 

How to get a great housesit

You have signed up with one or maybe all the housesitting websites, but have yet to have one of your applications accepted. We feel your pain. Getting that first housesit is very difficult, so here are some tips that can help you to improve your chances of being chosen:

1. Improve your profile

After putting you in a list of possible housesitters to accept, the homeowners will most likely have a look at your profile. Make sure that your profile is as detailed as possible. Provide a well-written paragraph about yourself, your profession, where you are based/from and how old you are. It is also a good idea to explain how/why you have the mobility to be a housesitter (you work remotely, you are retired, you are on a career break).

The most important piece of information is to share your experience with house/pet-sitting. Even if you have never taken care of someone’s house (friends/family counts here), you can at least mention your experience with animals. Have you owned cats or dogs? Have you worked with horses? Make sure to include anything that might be of interest for a wide variety of homeowners, including that you have references.

Lastly, include some pictures. Select a couple of pictures that show your face, maybe you caring for a pet and most importantly the pictures should reveal your personality.

Housesitting2. Apply quickly

The best way to find out about new housesitting assignments is to sign up for daily email alerts. Most of the housesitting websites let you choose a country / several countries, and you will be notified of new housesits in these countries via email every day. As soon as you see an ad for a housesit you might possibly want, react quickly.

Write and send your application as soon as you see the ad. Homeowners get dozens of applications within the first 24 hours and housesitting positions get filled very fast. The earlier you apply, the higher the chance that the homeowners will remember your application and that the position is not filled yet – some gigs, especially in popular locations, are filled within a week of posting.

3. Make your application personal

Not much different to a cover letter for a job application, personalize your housesit application for each and every housesit you apply for. Include details that the homeowners mentioned in their ad, for example that you have experience with the type of pet they have, have spent time in the same location before, or anything else that you can show that you relate with that makes you a great choice for caring for their home.

Even though the homeowners can look at your profile, the application will most likely be their first impression of you, so introduce yourself again with a more personalized version of the information in your bio.

Another important thing to include: if you have references from previous housesitting assignments, make sure to include them right in the application letter. This makes you appear experienced, trustworthy and confident that these people have good things to say about you.

4. Get references

If you don’t have any housesitting experiences, get creative and think of who you can put down as a reference. Have you dog-sat for a family member who would agree to be your reference? Do you have a great relationship with your landlord who can confirm that you are a responsible tenant who values their home? Tell friends that you are interested in housesitting and maybe they can help spread the word so that you can housesit for friends or co-workers to get that first reference.

Homeowners just want to know that they can trust you. When we casually mentioned to a client that we were looking to housesit in the U.S., she was thrilled at our experience (which was limited at that time) and asked right away if we could house and cat sit for her in Los Angeles.

5. This application is not about you

When you apply for a housesit, the homeowners are choosing the person or couple that is best for their home and their pets, not based on who you are or what you need.

It is perfectly fine to list things the most basic things that you require – like internet, transportation, an urban environment – but both your profile and your application need to focus on what you bring to the assignment. Finding out about your needs and looking at your deal-breakers can be discussed after you have been selected as a possible housesitter.

For now, making a responsible, reliable and friendly first impression is most important and there is no better way to do that than to relate to the homeowners why choosing you will reduce their stress, make them feel their home is safe, and allow them to enjoy their time away from home.

Getting that first housesit can be tricky, but we are certain that following these steps will help make your profile and application stand out amongst the crowd.  We started in just the same way and have now had eleven housesits in two years all over the world!

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