Have you ever heard about house sitting jobs? They are, hands down, the best way to save a ton of money on the road; you won’t have to worry about paying for accommodation ever again!
If there is a traveling junkie behind that screen, then chances are you’ll be reading this thinking about all the future destinations you want to visit and how cool it would be to stay there for free.
Well, you’ve come to the right place, so read on and find out everything you need to know to travel accommodation-free and spend that money treating yourself.
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What is a House Sitting Job?
A house sitting job is a win-win situation in which a homeowner is going on vacations or traveling and needs someone to take care of his or her house and pets while he or she is away. On the other side, we have travelers who need a place to stay for a determinate amount of time. This win-win situation can be formalized into an agreement through a dedicated website and with specific guidelines from the owners so they can go with peace of mind, and travelers have a place to stay.
A house sitting job is momentary, and it can last anywhere between a weekend to six months. The chores of the house can include gardening, cleaning, taking care of pets, and housekeeping in general. If you are a well-versed individual that is familiar with the idea of how to maintain a home, it should be enough. The location can be anything from a tiny house to a castle, and you’ll get the ultimate closeness to the local community as humanly possible.
Once the house sitting job is over, you can make that effort of putting everything back into your backpack and keep on traveling to your next destination. It is also an excellent choice for those who are planning to move to another city; you can use it as an initial approach of what it’s like to live there. Whichever is the case for you, house sitting is a great option you need to check out.
Who Can Become a House Sitter?
The honest answer to this question is everyone. Yes, anyone can become a house sitter because it is a job that doesn’t require any specific talent or skill at all. You need to be a responsible person capable of taking care of pets if needed, gardening if needed, and cleaning if needed.
The most important thing to become a successful house sitter is to be responsible and take on the motto “as if it was your own house.” Being accepted by homeowners requires you to be able to leave every experience flawlessly. Yes, you will endure difficulties and problems because hey, it’s life, isn’t it? The important thing is to be able to solve them without doing any harm (at least no permanent harm) to the property and deliver the keys back to the owners better than you received them.
Like everything else in life, being a house sitter is all about building a reputation for yourself. The more successful experiences you have looking after an empty house and the more know-how you’ll accumulate from them and the more opportunities you’ll have. You might have many positive experiences, but a calm sea never made for a skilled sailor, you’re going to have to face these issues to learn and be a better house sitter.
How to Get Started
Ok, now that you know what a house sitter is and who can become one, the time has come to get started. We are going to go through the basics and where to sign up to be a rockstar of the house sitting business. Let’s jump right into it.
Create an account on each site
There are many sites currently working with house sitters. The most effective approach for this is not to choose one site and put all your time there, but doing the entire opposite: create an account in each site. You will soon realize that there are different properties in different places in the world in each site, and by making your approach broader, you’ll find a larger amount of options geographically.
We are going to go through the sites in a little while, let’s talk about what you need to do to have a killer profile that will guarantee being accepted by every homeowner.
Create a killer profile
This is the first thing you need to do to be eligible by the owners of the houses you’ll be taking care of. The more quality time you invest in this first step, the more your chances of being picked will be. Think of your profile as your presentation card; what would happen if you were judged by this alone? With this question in your head, try to make the best first impression you possibly can.
An approach that is being adopted by an increasing number of people is to hire a professional freelance writer to do it for you. This will only cost you a few bucks and will guarantee that the quality of the text is superb and that your ideas are coming across. Writing is an art form and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Do you have experience taking care of houses? Throw it in the mix since your references, reputation, and ability to take care of a house without setting it on fire will be required and welcomed by homeowners. It is an excellent approach to include in your profile every time you’ve done it successfully. You want to sell peace of mind to the people leaving their property to you, and the best way to do it is by saying, “I’ve done it before successfully this many times.”
Write amazing introductory letters
Most homeowners will ask you to go through some interviews before giving you the keys for their house, but it will all start with an introductory letter on your side. We have some tips for you:
- Try to make it as personal as possible – This can be a game-changer. If you only copy and paste from one ad to the next and add absolutely no particular info on why you want to take care of THAT house and what are your strengths for it, then you’ll probably be missing out on a big chance.
- Let them know about your genuine interest – Why are you choosing to be a home sitter in that property and not in any other one? Let them know about your traveling itinerary and why it is convenient for you to stay there. If you can convey the message of it being a win-win situation for both of you, you’ll be increasing drastically your chances of being picked.
- Be yourself – This is important for any introductory letter you write in your life. Let them know who you are, your tastes, hobbies, and why that beautiful combo makes the ideal caretaker for their lonely home. Be yourself at all times, and it will be a great, genuine way of doing business.
Try to apply to those opportunities you want to catch and think of the money you’ll be saving. Invest quality time preparing your proposal, and the ROI will be huge.
This can be another game-changer for home-sitters: fast response. Remember that it is you who wants to be in that house taking care of it, so you need to be attentive to the responses and questions of the owners. If you are quick in the responses versus other candidates that take some time to answer, you might be the picked one for the job. Also, bear in mind that it is a great way to show genuine interest; responding fast means that you are taking it seriously.
Now that you know how to go about them let’s reveal the best sites to take your first steps as a house sitter. All these sites are verified and full of real opportunities for you and homeowners to fulfill your wishes.
This is the best place to get your house sitting career started since it costs only $20 a year to get your membership. It is considerably smaller in the available homes database compared to other sites but is also the cheapest way to get started. If you want to test the waters before diving completely, pay these 20 bucks and check it out.
Go to: MindMyHouse’s website
This site has a very low fee of U$S25 a year to allow you to access their matching services. They have available properties in many countries, including the UK, Australia, South Africa, and Thailand, among many others. There is a 60-day refund policy if you happen not to be happy with their service. If you are planning to go elsewhere than Europe or the Americas, it is the best bet.
Go to: LuxuryHouseSitting’s website
With the “discover” feature, you can apply for three homes without paying the fee to discover the wonders of their services. If you are a French-speaking person, you have to try this site that is present in most French-speaking countries in the world. The yearly fee is U$S89, and it is becoming increasingly popular in places like Australia.
Go to: Nomador’s website
If you’re planning to go to North America or Europe soon, then you’ll have a lot of properties to choose from on this site. The annual fee is quite high on U$S130, but the amount of available options is quite high too. Since it is growing fast in Australia and other, more remote places, it is a great way to travel the world with a single membership.
This site focuses entirely on house sitters that do it in exchange for free accommodation. If there are other duties posted in the ad, then a payment for those can be settled between the involved parties. The fee to have a membership for a year is $50 and is very popular in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The drawback of this platform is that the user interface of the site is really poor and makes it difficult to navigate.
Go to: HouseCarers’ website
This is a site that is ideal for pet lovers since there are a lot of opportunities for pet sitting as well as house sitting. The membership goes from $49 to $79 per year, and it has a strong presence in France, Spain, the UK, and Australia for the moment but is in continuous expansion. It might work wonders for your upcoming Eurotrip!
Go to: HouseSitmatch’s website
House Sitting Pros and Cons
Some of the pros of house sitting:
- Save all accommodation costs wherever you are traveling to.
- Get to know the locals and have an immersive experience rather than shallow tourism.
- Make some extra money doing some chores for the homeowners.
These are some of the cons of house sitting:
- There is an initial investment needed to create the profiles in the dedicated sites.
- For those who are not pet lovers, it might be a burden to take care of them.
- Not available in all destinations; this is not a common practice in all continents.
House sitting is a great way of saving money and making some extra with easy chores for homeowners. Being a responsible person will open the door for you to be an eligible candidate for house sitting and slowly build a reputation to be able to take on better opportunities.
This is a great way to save money and gather new experiences traveling like a local everywhere you go. If you add up all the money that the sites require for the memberships and then compare it to how much you would have spent on accommodation, there is no comparison possible, and you’ll save a ton.
Before you embark on your next worldwide adventure, make sure your profile is up and running on these platforms; the road awaits, be ready!
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