House sitting is a new phenomenon in the travellers’ world. It is a great way to travel slowly and save on accommodation costs. It gives you the opportunity to settle in a residential area, but still see something of the world. House sitting provides home owners with a reliable housesitter, while travellers can live in a holiday destination rent free. Who doesn’t want that? A lot of people try this new form of travel and it is a struggle to land the best house sitting jobs. How to get your first house sitting job and earn a good reference? I’m here to help you with some tips to land the best house sitting jobs even as a beginner.
Feeling lazy? Download now direct my free sample application letter. Just change the names and dates and use it to send as an application to land your first of many house sitting jobs. Check to download the sample letter.
My experiences with house sitting
But who am I to give some expert advice? In all honesty: technically I have not had my first house sitting job. But by now, I have enough experience with housesitting and finding a good house sitter. That’s right. I have put my house up for house sitting a few times and I am amazed with the reactions I receive from people applying to housesit for me. How on earth do these people think I’ll ever choose them to look after my house and pets? I noticed some patterns and made a list of do’s and don’ts for you to land your first of many house sitting jobs. Because once you’ll land your first housesit, it is so much easier to get more! Let me know if you succeed and where you’ll be housesitting next.
Read more: How to find trust worthy house sitters?
5 Do’s to land the best house sitting jobs
It’s not easy to land your first housesitting job. You have no references and you are competing with a lot of other applicants. When reading the E-Mails I’ve received for my house listings, I missed a few things. So here are my do’s for you to follow to give you a better chance of landing your first of many more house sitting jobs.
Inform yourself of what housesitting actually means. Can you take the responsibility of looking after someone’s home? A free stay is nice but it is not actually free. You are expected to look after the house and/or care for animals if this is agreed. You need to be responsible and reliable. Take out the garbage, clean up after yourself and handle any problems that might occur during your stay. For more information on housesitting, check Charlie on travel with their post on housesitting.
Make a detailed profile
Take the time to make a detailed profile. You can sign up for trustedhousesitters.com which is the site I’m using for my housesitting jobs. Add photos to your housesitting profile and add as much details about your experience and personality as you can. Check out other house sitter profiles too. What do they write, how do they present themselves?
Treat it like a job application
Do treat the housesitting job as a job application. Present yourself in the best way possible. Check your spelling in the online application. Be polite. Write in full sentences. Give details about who you are and explain your motivation for applying for this particular housesit.
Read the house listing
Please read the actual house listing carefully. I have a picture posted of myself with a dog, but it’s my parents’ dog and not mine. I mention this in my house listing and I mention the names of my animals you’d be taking care of. It is amazing how many application I have received with just a general reference to the animals. Or remarks about how people love to look after my dog. If they would have read the listing for the housesitting job, they would know the names of my pets.
Check this post from Grey World Nomads about their housesit in London. Sounds like a dream job right?
Engage and make a connection
Do engage with the people you apply to. If you followed my above tips, you’d know by now what they expect from you as a house sitter. You have read the profile and their house listing. Use this information to tell why you’re the best candidate for their housesitting job. Say something nice about the animals. Explain why the animals or the home appeals to you and why you’d like to take care of them.
5 things to avoid when you want the best house sitting jobs
It’s super easy to see a cute dog or fluffy cat, living in a beach condo at the Bahamas. You only need 1 split second to decide to apply and you start sending the owners a message right away. It’s nice to get spontaneous messages as a house owner, but make sure to avoid following things if you want to get a house sitting job.
Ask for a favour
Don’t start your application for your first housesitting job with a request. I was just amazed why random strangers would send me a message like this:
“Hi, my name is xxx and I’d love it when you’d do me a favour. Please assign the housesitting job to me.”
Don’t tell them you have no experience
Don’t tell the house owners you have no experience. You might try to land your first house sitting job, but this doesn’t mean you’re inexperienced. Try to come up with relevant experiences like looking after your parent’s house when they travel. Babysitting jobs or dog walking you’ve done when you were younger. Do you water the plants and pick up the mail when your neighbour is out of town? Use all these experiences to your benefit and mention them in your application.
Ask questions to the home owners
Don’t just write on and on about yourself. Try to come up with an intelligent question for them to answer. This shows you’re engaged and dedicated to this house sitting job and are already thinking of looking after the house and the animals. Most people like to answer questions and that’s how you already made them reply to your message.
A question can be how many times a day the animals need to be fed or walked (if not already mentioned). You can ask if the home owners have worked with house sitters before or what there is to see or do in the area, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to come across as someone who will never be home and always will be out. But most home owners love to talk about the city they live in or things around the house.
Don’t say what you think they want to hear
Don’t say all the things you think the house owners want to hear. Please be honest to yourself. Do you really want to look after this house and these animals? Or do they just accommodate your time frame and preferred location? Home owners get flooded with e-mails when they list their house. As least, that was the case with my house listing.
For my couple of house sitting jobs (for expample when I went to South America) I received 87 applications within the first 72 hours. It amazed me as I thought nobody would want to come to my small town in the Netherlands. I went through all the E-Mails and some tried to make an effort but most of them were screaming: “Pick me, pick me, I want to stay somewhere for free. I’ll tell you everything you want to hear!” Please give the home owners a bit more credit. They can tell if you’re not legit and you will not land any house sitting jobs this way.
Don’t assume but verify
Don’t assume anything. If things are not clear, ask about it. My house is approximately 1 hour away from Amsterdam. I had many people assuming they could visit Amsterdam on a daily basis. I understand that for a lot of people in the world, an hour is “close” but not in the Netherlands. Mentioning you’ll have family in Amsterdam or Belgium when applying for a job in the Netherlands will not convince the home owners to pick you for your first house sitting job. Investigate the area or the town. Is there anything to do when you stay there for a month? How much does public transportation costs when you want to get out and explore the area. Don’t assume the house comes with a car or things will work out: ask questions.
So are you thinking of giving housesitting a try? Feel free to use my link which gives you 20% off on your TrustedHouseSitters Membership.
Need more help? I’m made a sample application letter to make it even easier to write your first application for a house sitting job. Just change the names and dates and apply it to your own situation and you’re good to go. Click the image to start the download.
Are you looking for a way to land some house sitting jobs? Please follow my 5 do’s and 5 don’ts and you’ll have a good shot at getting your first house sitting assignment. Have you ever thought about housesitting for someone? Did you land your first house sitting job? What did you do to get it? Please share your experiences below.