how to become a professional house sitter

How To Become A Professional House Sitter [For Newbies!]

Are you wondering, How to become a professional house sitter?

In recent years house sitting has grown in popularity. Imagine staying for free in a Villa tucked in the jungles of Bali or curled up with hot cocoa in a cozy Vermont cabin.

Well, all this can be possible by house sitting.

Before I discovered housesitting, traveling the world seemed like a challenge as accommodation costs are very expensive, especially if you want a decent place to stay.

I am writing to you from a housesitting job in Houston, taking care of two lovely cats and exploring the largest city in Texas. And yes, everything is bigger in Texas.

House sitting is a service you provide to take care of a homeowner’s property and possessions, including their pets and vehicles, while they are away. So how do you become a house sitter?

In this article, I will share what a professional house sitter is, what a house sitter does, and why you should become one. There are also steps and tips in the article you can follow to become an excellent house sitter.

Steps On How To Become A Professional House Sitter

1. Sign Up To A House Sitting Website

2. Create A Trustworthy Profile

3. Apply And Follow Up On Jobs

4. Have A Good Introductory Message 

5. Be Quick 

6. Have House Sitting References 

7. Be Prepared For An Interview

8. Finalize And Confirm House Sitting Arrangement 

how to become a professional house sitter

Disclosure:

Some of the links here are affiliate links, and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks!

What Is House Sitting?

House sitting is a mutual agreement between the house owner and the sitter. In exchange for free accommodation, the house sitter will care for the house and pets for an agreed time while the owners are away.

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Steps On How To Become A Professional House Sitter

If you are asking how to start house sitting? Do I apply to it like a regular job? Here are some steps to help you become a house sitter.

1. Sign Up To A House Sitting Website

To be a house sitter, you need to know how to get house sitting jobs. First, you need to sign up with a house sitting website. There are plenty of sites that connect house owners and sitters. 

Here are the best websites you can use for easy house sitting job applications. 

Trusted Housesitters 

This site is best for international house sits. They are strong with sits in the UK, Europe, Australia, and the USA. It has one of the largest customer bases, so there is plenty of house sitting opportunity. 

Annual membership fee: $129$259 (3-tiered membership)

More on their house sitting membership plans.

Nomador

Nomador formerly operated as a French house sitting agency. They have many sits in France and Europe and are growing their international house sits yearly.

This site is big on creating a trust culture for its users. Members would have to upload certain forms of ID for their trust profile. Another unique feature of the site is the “Stopover” option which is like Couchsurfing for house sitters. 

Annual membership fee:$99 or free under their discovery option

More on their membership plans.

HouseCarers

Based out of Australia, the site has a good number of house sits in Australia, New Zealand, and North America. New house sitters can try their guest membership for free with some limitations to the site.

Annual membership fee:$50

Visit the site at housecarers.com.

HouseSitMatch

This smaller site focuses on Europe and the UK but has a growing number of international house sits. 

This site allows you to have tailored house sit alerts and hands-on customer support for their premium sitters.

The site also has an extensive blog archive where you can learn how to become a house sitter in the UK.

Annual membership fee:£69($83)-£89($107)

More on their membership plans.

MindMyHouse

One of the cheapest international house sitting platforms. The site provides a good job search and messaging system and has useful resources for new house sitters.

Annual membership fee:$20

Visit the site at mindmyhouse.com.

2. Create A Trustworthy Profile

House sitting is technically a stranger taking care of a homeowner’s house. So how do I become a house sitter while being a stranger? How can a homeowner trust me?

It would help if you had an excellent profile to allow homeowners to know you and increase your chances of getting picked for a sitting job. 

Your profile needs to show you are reliable and trustworthy and won’t potentially kill their goldfish (on purpose, that is). So include this in your profile.

  • Up-to-date information: Homeowners can get to know you and get important information about you. 
  • Experience: Include any experience with house sitting and the types of pets you have cared for. If you have no experience, you can mention any babysitting that you have done or any relevant experience to show your house sitting capabilities. 
  • Profession and skill: This can let them know how much time you will spend at their home. Mention any talents you have, like having a green thumb or being handy with tools. 
  • Great photos: Upload your best picture to make a good impression on the homeowner. Bonus point if you include any pets you have or cared for in the photo. 

3. Apply And Follow Up On Jobs

Now how to get a house sitting job? Once you have completed your profile, start searching and applying for suitable sitting jobs. Do this by applying directly through the website. 

Professional house sitters will set up alerts for the housesitting platforms to get notified of sitting opportunities.

 Do this to ensure you get all homeowners’ sitting invitations and responses and that you can reply to them ASAP. 

Send a follow-up email 2 to 3 days after your submission just in case the homeowner missed your application. A follow-up allows you to restate your interest and increases your chances of landing a sitting job. 

4. Have A Good Introductory Message 

Homeowners get many applications, so don’t send a generic message for yours. Instead, a professional house sitter will read the listing carefully and tailor their message toward their advert.

Keep your message short. I recommend 2 paragraph max as the homeowner would go through many applications. 

Include why you would be best for the job by providing specific experiences and references from previous jobs. Mention their pets and home in your message, and be enthusiastic about doing any task they listed. 

Also, state that you are available to meet up on a zoom/skype call and end the message by asking them to look at your profile and contact you if they are interested.

5. Be Quick 

To become a housesitter, you need to be quick. House sitting jobs often get filled in the first 24 hours, so being swift is key to landing that desired listing. Also, it is more likely to get a sitting job if you are one of the first to apply.

6. Have House Sitting References

To work as a house sitter, you need to have good references. The most influential thing a homeowner will look at is your references. Homeowners will be more inclined to offer their listing if you have quality references. 

But how to be a house sitter if you have yet to gain prior experience? If you are getting started housesitting, you can get references from your former employer, landlord, or neighbor to vouch for your character, dependability, and trustworthiness.

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

7. Be Prepared For An Interview

Interviews are great for getting a feel for each other. Nowadays, professional house sitting jobs often have these interviews through Zoom or Skype. Take it as an opportunity to ask about the job’s finer details and get to know the homeowner.

Have your questions and answers prepared for the homeowner. 

Ask about the house rules and if you expect anyone to check the home. Is the homeowner going to be reachable?

 Do any of the pets need any special attention? Is the wifi good?

Trust your gut! If you feel the house sitting job is unsuitable, feel free to decline it, as you would want to avoid being blindsided with unexpected things when you arrive. 

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

8. Finalize And Confirm House Sitting Arrangement 

Mutual trust is usually the base for house sitting. Therefore, it is a good practice for professional house sitting jobs to have a house sitting agreement. 

The agreement provides a formal understanding between the sitter and the homeowner.

House sitting agreements are downloadable from various house sitting websites, which usually cover the general basis of house sitting. You may amend any clauses with the homeowner accordingly. 

Why Become A Professional House Sitter?

1. Free Accommodation

If you work as a house sitter, you can get away with living rent-free! Living without accommodation costs is possible for professional house sitters that can get steady sitting jobs.

Remember that house sitting also benefits the homeowner, as they get someone to care for their pets and save on expensive animal boarding while you get to stay for free. 

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Manuel Meza on Unsplash

2. Care For Adorable Animals

Good news for animal lovers, there is a high chance that house sitting comes with pet sitting too. The great thing about this arrangement is you get the pleasure of having these furry companions around but not with the financial responsibility of ownership. 

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Didier Provost on Unsplash

3. Experience How People Live Around The World

House sitting can take you all over the world. However, it is a different traveling experience as you experience someone else’s lifestyle.

With house sitting, you get to stay destination longer and not in the typical tourist hot spot.

Escaping the tourist hot spot allows you to discover hidden gems you would have missed. It also allows you to test different locations in a new city before settling down. 

You get to slow down and truly enjoy the culture and lifestyle of a place.

For example, I got to pick freshly laid eggs while sitting in a small town in Ireland, and house sitting in Malaysia allowed me to experience excellent food bazaars during the fasting months.

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Kyle Nieber on Unsplash

4. Be Part Of The Community 

You can find yourself being part of the local community with longer sitting jobs. You will be able to visit the local dog park and have a chat with the usual park goers. 

While sitting in Edinburgh, I exchanged some vegetables from the garden with the neighbors, which was a great experience. 

5. Save Money

Another perk of house sitting is you get to save big bucks! This comes not only from free accommodation, but you get to cut costs on your food and transportation budget

Although the amenities and appliances may differ from house to house, you can usually get groceries from the local store and cook for yourself to save money from eating out every day. 

In cases where you have access to the homeowner’s vehicle, you can explore the area without paying for expensive cabs or needing public transportation.

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

6. Have A Home Away from Home

With house sitting, you can relish the comforts of home while traveling. You can skip the shared accommodations and hostels and have a whole house to yourself.

While traveling can take its toll on your body, you can take a breather and relax by having a house to yourself. Have that morning routine, run some errands and come home to cuddly pets. 

Tips To Become A Good Professional House Sitter 

Here are some tips that I found helpful when I was starting out learning how to house sit.

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash

1. Verbalize Your Love For Pets

To be a house sitter, you need to be comfortable around pets. Most housesitting requires you to take care of a pet, so you must express to the homeowners that it would be a delight to care for their pets. 

You can do this by having pictures of you and the pets you cared for before in your profile. You can also state that you enjoy the companionship of pets and look forward to keeping them well and happy.

2. Be Flexible 

Another tip on how to get house sitting jobs is being flexible. This means being flexible with your dates and location. To increase your chances to house sit, try broadening your search and sending out as many applications as possible. 

The more jobs you apply to, the more likely you will get to be a house sitter. 

Another tip here is to be flexible on some tasks you are willing to do for the homeowner. This could include running some house errands, picking up pet medication, or even pulling out weeds in the garden.

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

3. Get All The Information

House sitting for beginners can be daunting at first, so having all the information you need for a smooth sitting job is good. Have the homeowners write down a list of all the information on the house and pets.

This could include things like what to do if the heater goes out, where is the main switch to the house in case of blackouts, or even something small like where to put all their mail.

Get details on their pet’s preferences and favorites snack. For example, is there a spot where the pets like to hide? This can save you from panic attacks when you suddenly can locate their pets.

Find out all their emergency contacts, their neighbor’s name, or any close family members you can call if something urgent arises. You should also ask the homeowners if anyone is coming to check on the house while away.

Getting all this information will save you from any unexpected surprises, and you will be better prepared if something unexpected happens.

4. Update And Have Good Communication With Home Owner

It is good practice to have a clear communication plan with the homeowners. For example, some homeowners are good with weekly updates, and some might want a daily video call with their pets.

It would also be more productive for both parties to establish a good line of communication early on, so you will be able to respect each other’s time. 

It is also very important to have honest communication with the homeowner. 

If anything comes up, you should relay it to them as soon as possible. 

This will give you a more successful house sitting experience and will allow you to accumulate good reviews.

5. Get Certified For A Pet First Aid Course

There are a few house sitting courses that you can take to be a certified house sitter. I recommend you take a pet CPR and first aid certification. 

You will not only be prepared for any pet emergencies, but it will also give more comfort to the homeowners knowing that their beloved pets are in safe hands.

You can find a local organization near you to get certified or get certified online from sites like MyCPRNow

They have a Dog & Cat CPR and First Aid Certification that will teach you how to recognize and respond to the specialized needs of dogs or cats.

It is good to have this certification if you plan to do professional house sitting in the long run. In addition to potentially saving the lives of the homeowner’s pets, it will be an added skill homeowners look for when accepting housesitters. 

how to become a professional house sitter

Photo by Howie R on Unsplash

6. Practice Care And Kindness 

Kindness goes a long way. Gestures like welcoming the homeowner to a tidy home or some small appreciation gifts like a freshly bought loaf of bread can make all the difference. 

You could also get their pets a small gift as a caring gesture. It will show the homeowner that you genuinely enjoyed caring for their pets. 

Check out these dog and cat gift ideas that you could get. 

You could also write a personalized thank you note to the homeowners for entrusting you with their house and pets. This step is not obligatory but could lead to more house sitting invitations in the future. 

How To Become A Professional House Sitter FAQs

Does A Professional House Sitter Get Paid?

Yes, a professional house sitter gets paid! The average monthly pay as of December 2022 for a professional house sitter in the US is $6,183 per month. According to ZipRecruiter, salaries can range between $2,625 (25th percentile) to $8,125 (75th percentile).

The pay range difference can vary as much as $5,500 depending on the sitter’s skill, experience, and location.

Do House Sitters Pay Utilities?

No, house sitters do not pay utilities. Instead, the sitter cares for the property and pets in exchange for free accommodation. 

However, for more extended sits (5 weeks or more), the homeowner may ask for a contribution towards utilities (such as power and water), although this is very rare.

Do House Sitters Pay A Security Deposit?

No, house sitters do not pay a security deposit. Never agree to send the homeowner a security deposit. All exchanges should be done in person.

Is House Sitting A Good Idea?

Yes, house sitting is a good idea because having a sitter not only helps maintain the homeowner’s insurance policy but also reduces the chance of burglary and damage to the property. 

Having a person care for their homes and pets gives the homeowner peace of mind and security while away. 

Guide To Luxury House Sitting

Like regular house sitting, luxury house sitting is where you take care of another person’s home in exchange for free accommodation, except the home is a luxury property.

So how to become a luxury house sitter? Here are some guides you can follow:

  • Sign up with platforms with a wide selection of luxury homes.- such as Luxury House Sitting, Trusted House Sitters, House Sitters America, and House Carers.
  • Establish an excellent track record – build your reference portfolio to include great testimonials from your previous house sits.
  • Practice discretion wealthy clients need someone they can trust and who respects their privacy.

What is Long Term House Sitting

Long Term house sitting is when someone asks someone else (a house sitter) to stay in their home while they are away, sometimes for a cost. Who needs a house sitter for the long term? Usually, homeowners with pets or plant parents are away for longer lengths.

List Of House Sitting Websites

Here is a quick list of house sitting websites you can join:

Is A House Sitter A Real Job?

Yes, a  house sitter is a real job! Housesitting is a job where you take care of someone’s property while they are away in return for payment, free accommodations, or both. It’s a great way to travel on a budget and make extra cash.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A House Sitter?

Here is a list of skills you need to be a house sitter.

  • You have to be reliable and honest.
  • Some prior house sitting or babysitting experience (if you are starting out).
  • Educational background like a high school diploma.
  • No criminal background.
  • Good social and communication skills.
  • An organized and clean person.
  • Good problem-solving skills.
  • Good at taking verbal and written instructions.

What Makes A Great House Sitter?

One characteristic that makes a great house sitter is that they are respectful. It’s essential to respect the whole process of house sitting, which includes respecting the homeowner’s house, pets, customs, and privacy.

This degree of respect is the differentiating factor between an amateur and a professional house sitter. 

What Does A House Sitter Do?

The main thing that goes into what a house sitter does is that they watch over and keep the homeowner’s house occupied while the owner is away. 

Essentially they do light maintenance and cleaning to keep the house in the same condition left by the homeowner and take care of any pets left behind.

How Long Can You House Sit For?

If you want to consider house sitting as a job, you need to know how long you can sit. House sitting positions are usually between 1 and 5 weeks, while shorter gigs are for a couple of days.

For long-term house sitting, it can be anywhere from 6 up to 12 months

how to become a professional house sitter

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay 

House sitting can be a rewarding way of traveling. You can gain a lot of new experience, skills, and relationships with people and animals while being kind to your bank account.

Just remember to communicate well with the homeowners and be prepared and flexible to have a smooth stay.

Now that you know all there is to become a professional house sitter, you can start your journey to explore the world one house at a time. 

I hope this article has been insightful for all the budding travelers who want to know how to become a house sitter and see the world.

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