We were able to secure a 3 week sit in West Vancouver within 7 days of joining our first house sitting site and a second 2.5 week sit in Squamish just days later, using the steps below:
Step 1. Research
We spent lots of time reading the getting started guides from House Sitting Magazine, they have an excellent Facebook community as well and even offer a course (which can be found on their site). This was very helpful in learning more about the best way to start, and also learn more about the different house sitting platforms. We also spent time reviewing available house sits via http://housesitsearch.com – this allowed us to see which house sitting sites the most relevant sits were showing up on, so we knew which were the best fit for our personal circumstances and preferences, we could filter by locations, dates and the types of animals we felt comfortable and capable caring for.
Step 2. Join the platform most suitable to you.
We found the majority of the sits we were drawn to were listed on the Trusted House Sitters site, and we liked that the homeowners also had to pay to join, as we felt this meant they were more committed to finding the ideal sitter. We then began creating a thorough profile, we are asking homeowners to trust us with not only their homes but also their beloved pets so we wanted to make sure they know as much about us as possible and we answer lots of important questions right off the bat, including that we are non-smokers and we’ve had plenty of experience with animals and living abroad.
3. Understand the requirements
Carefully read the sit requirements in detail before applying, many pets need regular company and are used to having their owners around so make sure you can accommodate, we both work remotely so can easily care for anxious pets. Also watch for anything unusual and know your limits, such as pet tarantulas, erm no thank you.
4. Personalise your application
When you get in touch, always makes sure to mention the pet’s names and summarise the requirements, this will show the homeowners you have their best interests and needs front of mind. I also find it’s helpful to share a little about yourself and why or how you have come to be in the area and the reason you started house sitting, this helps to build rapport. For example; we’re excited to take part in more winter sports such as snowboarding and Canada has always been on our ‘must visit’ list. We are able to work online from anywhere in the world with an excellent internet connection, and we will spend a few months in Japan for the Rugby World Cup, so we’re house sitting until then.
Ben and I met online so you could say we’ve had some very successful experience writing online profiles.
5. Build Trust
Provide references, ask questions and meet with the homeowners as soon as possible. If you are in the same area you can meet in person but if like us your sits are on the other side of the globe then you can meet online via Skype or Zoom. Make sure to use a global meeting planner to find times that work across the time zones! This is a good time to ask questions and request more photos and information on the pets and home you’ll be looking after.
You can also create a personal website like this one, where you can share all about your journey and experiences and link to a personal video (coming soon).
Want to join secure Trusted House Sitters – Click Here to save 25% off your membership and we receive 2 months extra free as well.
I hope you find this helpful and if you find a house sit after reading this I’d love you to leave a message! Best of luck and happy house sitting!