If you are reading this article, you are likely to be curious about house sitting and perhaps you think the house sitting lifestyle is one you would enjoy.
I am frequently contacted by people wanting to know how to get started as a house sitter. This article is a check list of the steps you will need to take, and in the order you need to take them to get your house sitting life started. You should consider these to be the basic must do’s. You might decide to do more than this, like spend more time on research or start a blog like I did, but don’t skip on any of these points.
1. Think (long and hard) about if house sitting is for you
There are pros and cons with everything. I 100% think the pros far outweigh the cons but everyone is different. You really need to be sure that you have thought through everything, especially if this is something that you want to enter into full time and long term. Things like – Are you prepared to live out of a bag? Can you give up having most of the possessions you own for the short or medium term? Are you able to find a way to generate an income if you need to?
2. Decide on the terms that you want to house sit
You may not realise it, but you will have your own non negotiables. Know what they are and honour them, you don’t want to be on a house sit that you can’t manage or are not happy doing, Think about scenarios like, is this is going to be a short term trial, in local areas, or a full time and long term shift to living and travelling overseas? Are there animals you don’t want to care for or are not comfortable with, and how much commitment can you make to animal, garden and pool care if it is needed?
3. Find where the house sits are
Now you need to figure out where the house sits you want are advertised. There are a number of house sitting websites and you will be able to search for house sits by location, duration and duties. They are just like job seeking or dating websites and to find these just do a google search. Start by looking at the options available and seeing which site offers the best sits for what you are looking for. Subscription costs can range from about $30 to over $100 a year.
4. Build your profile and start applying
Treat applications like a job, the owners are going to hand over their home and pets so they are going to want to really see that they can trust you.
References are great, but if you are just starting out get some references from other sources. Try property managers if you are a renter or owner, employee or employer references, client references. What you need is anything that can demonstrate that you are capable and helpful and reliable and trustworthy. Ultimately what you need to is demonstrate credibility.
5. Confirm, book and prepare for your first sit
Once you secure your first sit, confirm the date of arrival and departure and any hand over period before the owner leaves. I often spend at least one night in the home with the owner for long sits so they can go through everything they need to cover off with the home, pets, town and sometimes vehicle. This allows both you and the owner to feel reassured that everything is in hand ahead of the house sit. To assist with the preparation for both the sitter and the home owner, a check list can be helpful.
Good luck and have fun! House sitting is very rewarding, you will meet fascinating people, delightful animals and go to amazing places. If you have any questions that I can help you with send me a message using the contact form, and if you are looking for a house sitter let me know when and where and I will be in touch!