How To Become A House Sitter (10 Easy Steps) [April 2019] - The Travelling House Sitters Professional Housesitting Services

How To Become A House Sitter (10 Easy Steps) [April 2019]

Before we explain how to become a house sitter let us give you an overview of what house sitting is and who can benefit.

We get excited about house sitting so this might be a lengthy post. To jump straight to how to become a house sitter in 10 steps click below.

Brit and Arlo Teaching You How To Become A House Sitter

An Introduction to House Sitting

House sitting is starting to gain popularity these days. It’s a fantastic concept that pet/home owners & couples/solo travellers can both benefit from.

We chat to a lot of home owners about housesitting. There seems to be three main reasons why homeowners love house sitting:

  • The peace of mind their pets are going to be looked after and loved by real pet lovers.
  • Their pets can keep a normal schedule. 
  • Even though they are going to be away the pets will be at home in a familiar environment.

That is three things that you don't get from pet hotels or boarding.

The most obvious benefits for house sitters are:

  • Having a pet to love while travelling.
  • A comfortable home to look after.
  • The ability to save on accommodation while travelling or saving for a home.
  • Being able to explore a city like a local, not a tourist. 

House sitting has many benefits to different types of people including: 

  • Young couples trying to save for their first home.
  • Individuals who can’t afford rent.
  • Long term travelers who want a place to settle
  • Those who miss animals. Whether that be because they are travelling, can't have pets at their own home or can't afford pets.
  • Retirees looking for a cheap alternative.

We have been house sitting for a little while now. Slightly over two years. In that time we have had the opportunity to look after homes al around the world. Some of our highlights are:

Chiang Mai, Dublin, Kuala Lumpur, London, Mt Maunganui, Melbourne and Turkey. 

We are both pet lovers and nomads. We love exploring and don't like staying in one place for too long. House sitting is the perfect lifestyle for us.

Since we love house sitting so much, we want to help others wanting to get started! Below we have broken down how to become a house sitter into 10 easy steps.

Do you want to get started ASAP? Skip our how to become a house sitter tips and sign up to one the best house sitting sites we have found so far!

Or check out our trusted house sitters reviews for more information about their platform!

Lets get into how to become a house sitter.

How To Become A House Sitter - Step By Step 

How to become a house sitter

1. HAVE A Genuine Love For Animals

This is the golden rule. Most house sitting assignments out there are focused around the pets.

Pets are important members of most families and are often treated like royalty.

Putting pets into pet hotels can be expensive. Generally speaking, taking pets to such establishments can be stressful for them too. 

Therefor you must genuinely love animals. You need to be able to look after their pets like they are your own. You need to give them the love, care and cuddles they would usually get.

Pet sitting lets animals stay comfortable in their own environment and stick to their normal routines. This keeps them happy, calm and not missing the owners too much.

Let's face it the pets didn't get to go on holiday so they need some special attention while their owners are away!

Not Sure Where To Stay Between House Sits? 

We always use Airbnb! 
We can offer a big discount for first time Airbnb uses. That means you have more money for the good things in life, like cheese, wine & travel

2. Get Yourself A House Sitting Reference

Like everything these days, reviews and references are everything.

Before any homeowner contacts you, they will want to read reviews or references. This can be difficult when you are first starting out and you need to get creative.

We found the following were helpful if you have no references:

  • Family or friends whose pets you have experience with
  • Airbnb References
  • Workplace References
  • References from Commendable Figures

If you're not in the same location as the assignment thats ok. It can actually work in your favour. The best thing we found to do is have a Skype conversation with the homeowners. This is actually how we locked in our first sit!

Speaking over video allows you to showcase your real self. We have found it to be much more effective than chatting over email.

From the homeowners we have spoken to about this, they also agree video chat is the best way to get a real feel for someone.

3. Obtain A Police or Government Criminal Record Check

Having this documentation can help you secure a house sit without too much work. It is also a great backup to have if you hav no references.

Head to your local government or police website and order a Criminal Record Check. Each country might have a different version but should have something similar.

You will be living in someone else's home with all their valuable possessions. Having the peace of mind that you have no convictions can be something that a lot of homeowners look for. Particularly those with precious items.

Most countries these days will send you a physical and email copy of your report.

Its good to have these on hand to forward over to anyone that is interested in having you house sit for them.

It might just be the peace of mind that they need to lock you into the house sitting assignment.

4. Sign Up To Online House Sitting Websites

The number one question we get on how to become a house sitter is: What are the best house sitting websites to use?

To be honest there is an immense amount of websites out there to link homeowners and house sitters together.

The main ones that we use are listed below. All of these platforms charge a yearly membership fee but are definitely worth it!

Hot Tip: Sometimes the smaller sites have some real gems & much less competition!

5. Be Creative and Self Advertise

With advertising creativity is key! Think outside the box. In the past we have:

  • Created leaflets and letter box dropped suburbs we want to house sit in.
  • Made posters and put them up on supermarket notice boards, cafes, yoga studios and community centres.
  • Dropped business cards at local pet shops, homeware stores and real estate agents. 

Remember the best marketing is word of mouth. House sitting is still a fairly new concept to most. Someone who has never heard of house sitting might get your leaflet and tell 10 people about this great new idea they have found!

As always make sure you are on all social media platforms to get more exposure. Constantly put yourself out there. You never know what platforms your next house sit might come from!

Create yourself a Youtube Channel, Instagram, Facebook Page, Twitter, and your own personal website. If you have a LinkedIn profile even put it on there you never know who will stumble across you.

Need Cheap Flights to Your Next House Sit?

We use Skyscanner for all our flights! We have used them for years now. They are by far the cheapest website we have found online to book flights!

6. Complete A Pet First Aid Course

Again we can't stress how important it is to genuinely love and truly want to care for animals.

The last thing you want to happen while looking after a family's furry friend is for something bad to happen.

Find your local Pet First aider and complete a course. Generally, they are a one day course and will only cost around $100.

Attending a one day course could one day save one of your pets livesAlong with your police record check, this looks more professional to any home owner.

7. Apply, Apply, Apply, Apply!

Once you are all signed up start applying for as many house sits as you can!

House sitting is competitive so you need to be prompt and stand out with your applications.

Don't send a generic copy and paste application. Show the homeowner you have read their listing and you really want to look after their home and pets.

Remember, depending on the home's location some homeowners can get hundreds of applications in the space of 1 week. 

You want to send an application that is well thought out, grammatically correct and relevant to the assignment.

Some homeowners will want to know why you want to house sit their house. The key here is to be honest.

You never know what will appeal to people. We have landed assignments and made life long friends from being honest about why we want to house sit. 

We also both grew up with animals and just genuinely miss having pets in our lives while travelling. We travel to get deep in the culture of a new place and see it like a local.

House sitting is a way that we can stay somewhere for long period of time and get to know the real feel of somewhere. Checking out local markets, cafes, parks and walks is what we enjoy the most.

We can't think of a better way to do this than by exploring with a 4 legged friend at our side! 

8. Don't Be Picky

You can't pick when or for how long people go away for. You need to be flexible and have no expectations for homes, times, locations or pets.

Remember, the more house sits you do the more references you will get. When we first started out house sitting we lived in London. Our first 3 house sits where also in London simply so we could build up our references.

The more references you have, the more likely someone is to look at you for their place.

Homeowners get lots of applications. If you seem like you are too difficult they will move onto the next candidate!

Sometimes you will have gaps before or after a house sit. Don't worry this is not a big deal. There are many options out there for you for cheap or even free accommodation.

Look into Couchsurfing, Gumtree, Airbnb or even the local community notice board. If you are new to Airbnb click here to sign up for free and get a discount on your first stay!

If you need to fly to your house sit, make sure you check out where the cheapest airports to fly into are!

9. Get All The Information

This is something we cant stress enough to those who we explain how to become a house sitter to.

Get the homeowner to list out all the information about the house and the animal/s. No matter how small or un relevant they might think they detail is.

Find out everything from quirks of the house, when the postman comes to the names and numbers of the neighbours & close family. The last thing you want to do is contact the family while they are enjoying their holiday with a question like 'where do you keep the trash bags?'.

Find out what the animals favourite snack is. If they are likely to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. Their favourite sleeping spot. If they have a favourite scratching spot and anything else you can think of. Your main priority is to keep the animals happy and safe and every last detail about them will make your job a lot easier.

We recently had a cat who had a tendency to throw up at night time. The home owner had owned this cat for many years and had just come accustom to this and had almost forgotten to tell us. Without crucial information like that, we could have been in a real panic.

10. Update, Update, Update, Update

Before the homeowner goes away come up with an update schedule/communication schedule.

Remember that every homeowner is different. Some will want daily photos and even Skype calls. Others will want an update once a week or only if something goes wrong. Be sure to come up with a clear plan of attack and stick to it.

To some families their pet is everything and it is hard for them to leave them at home with strangers. You want to show the home owner the pet is having fun, happy and most importantly very well taken care of.

That Is How To Become A House Sitter

We hope that our top 10 tips on how to become a house sitter has inspired you to get out there and start your own house sitting adventure!

Sign up to one of the sites and & start applying!

We love house sitting and love helping other start their own journey.

If you have any questions about how to become a house sitter please reach out to us in our private Facebook group! 

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How To Become A House Sitter (10 Easy Steps)
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How To Become A House Sitter (10 Easy Steps)
Are you looking to start house sitting? It can seem hard and overwhelming at first, however, we have simplified the process! Here is how to become a house sitter in only 10 steps!
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The Travelling House Sitters
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About the Author Jay Mckinlay

I have an obsession with travel and caring for animals. When I am not entertaining animals you will find me lurking a market, skateboarding, drinking red wine or eating cheese!

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Leave a Comment:

leaflet distribution dublin says November 25, 2017

great article, well worth a read keep it up tom

    Brittnay Sharman says March 10, 2018

    Thanks Tom, have you tried any house sitting yet? We did some in Dalkey and Killiney!

James says April 13, 2018

I did housesitting for a while a couple of years ago but stopped. I have to agree, not being picky is probably the most important tip – keep your options open!

    Jay Mckinlay says April 13, 2018

    You are dead right there James! Where abouts where you house sitting? We love it! We are currently just getting 3 – 4 months worth of sits together in Melbourne. We cant wait to see what Melbourne has in store for us!

luis jimenez says October 30, 2018

me gustaría poder recibir la información en español

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