If you are new to house sitting or considering trying it out one essential first step is to have a reference or two that you are able to share with home owners to vouch for your character. This part of the starting out process sometimes detracts potential house sitters as they aren’t sure where they will source a reference, but for first timers there are a number of options that you can pursue.
References are an essential part of building a good house sitter profile. Your house sitter profile is a representation of you and why you are a good candidate to be trusted in a family home, to look after and maintain this and quite often the family pets as well. But in saying this if you have not house sat before there are many options for a reference. Rather than speak to what a house sitter has done practically, more importantly a reference provides an insight into the sitter and their personal qualities as a trusted, reliable, caring and considerable adult.
In the absence of a reference from a house sit, if you have minded the homes of friends, work colleagues or associates while they have been out of town this is house sitting! And these are all excellent sources of references. I don’t recommend references from family members as these are often considered to carry a bias.
A very valuable reference I use is a letter my real estate agent has written to share with home owners I would like to sit for. This letter explains in detail the condition I maintain and present the property I own and the nature of the dealings I have with the agency, highlighting that I am responsible, responsive and easy to deal with. If you are not a property owner but have a rental history, previous land lords are also a trusted voice and can talk to how respectful, clean, tidy and reliable you were during a previous tenancy.
Remembering the most valuable thing a reference letter can do is endorse your qualities and personal character traits, some other sources can include a reputable charity you have supported or volunteered with, employers, community groups, school or educational institutions, boards or associations or respected local members of council or government.
As soon as you have a reference in hand add it to your profile, and keep adding as you secure and complete sits in the coming weeks, months and years.
If you are a home owner who requires a sitter check out my references and drop me a line.