Answer These 3 Questions
Before You Sign Up For Housesitting
Question #1 Why do you want start housesitting?
WHY You House Sit v WHERE You House Sit
My reason for housesitting was simple. I was moving half way around the world, with limited $$ and nowhere to live. This guided my research to my first, very successful, housesitting sign up.
1. If you want to save money on accommodation while you study then proximity to your college/university has to be a priority. As does internet connection and what the homeowner expects you to do on a daily basis.
2. Your desire to travel the world on a budget does not mean you have limitless choices. Public transport and everyday living costs are every bit as important.
3. Staying in one place to avoid “suitcase” living is a big plus but the down side is it can get boring if you thrive on variety. Think carefully about committing your self to long stays.
4. Most home owners are looking for house sitters who want to indulge in their love of animals so choose animals you are happy to spend time with.
5. Looking to gain new skills? My new skills have included taking care of a cattery, caring for pigs and selling hair!
6. Want to learn a new language? Go somewhere where no one speaks English!
7. My first housesitting experience allowed me to stay for three months before I committed to living in the area permanently. My search was focused on the best place to park my boat!
8. Finally, there are those for whom travel is not about visiting tourist sites! House sitters can experience the country by meeting people rather than photographing monuments. Your choice of house sit will likely be far away from high density tourist areas.
Two more questions before you move on to make housesitting a full time lifestyle choice! Will you be a housesitter or a housecarer?
Question #2 Which Housesitting Site To Join?
The best house sitting site is the one that has your dream job!
As most sites allow you to “look before your buy” you can spend as much time as your have doing just that. Each site has it’s own focus……you need to find one that is the best match for you.
1. As Aussie House Sitters is my “Go To” I have listed it first. There is an annual fee of $84 (2018) for housesitters and no charge for homeowners. They claim to have the highest number on their books. They have associated Sites for America, UK, New Zealand and Canada. There is easy access to personal one to one communication with prospective clients. I have found no spam just alerts that you filter to your own wish list. As they are Google ranked page one it reflects in the house sitter and home owner numbers. There is also options for a “baby sitting” site and an “Aussie House Swap” site.
2.. Trusted Housesitters is the most well known probably due to having the best marketing strategy! However, they are the most expensive to join. $13o AUD a year (2018) for both house sitters and homeowners. Surprisingly even with a higher joining fee they also claim to have the most homeowners on their books! They offer world wide house sits and the site is easy to follow. They provide access to a Vet Advice Line and a 24/7 members support.
3. Mind My House has a sign up cost to house sitters of $20 AUD with free sign up for homeowners. They have global listings where I found 31 for France and 9 for Australia. A sitter agreement document and resource samples. I particularly like their support page which covers all FAQ’s as well as downloadable legal agreements.
4. Nomador offers 3 free browses for house sitters after you have opened an account and $99 AUD annual fee for signing up. There is no charge to homeowners.
One more question before you move on to make housesitting a full time lifestyle choice! Will you be a housesitter or a housecarer?
Question #3. Are You Ready?
Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail!
Many prospective housesitters are surprised at the amount of material that has to be collated. The good news is that if you do it right in the beginning you won’t have to do it again! You will get responses from home owners from Day One!
1. Have all your paper work in one file attached to your profile/resume. It saves the homeowners having to ask for it and it makes you look organised and trustworthy.
2. Make yourself stand out from the crowd. My first house sit was arranged while I was in the UK and my prospective homeowner lived in Australia. I’m sure that my personal video and photographs had a lot to do with overcoming the potential negatives of being in the wrong hemisphere.
2. Be honest. If housesitting is your lifestyle choice and not a one off experience, honesty really is the best policy. It only takes one negative review from a homeowner to put paid to your dreams. Agreeing to looking after horses when you do not know the difference between a forelock and a fetlock is never a good idea. Although I must admit to “winging” it with turkeys! (See photo!)
3.Some sites have police checks as a pre-requisite and if you can have one ready before they ask it will add to their perception of your professional approach to house sitting
4. Always make sure your referees will accept check ups from homeowners. Nothing will guarantee loosing a placement more than a referee who declines to speak for you!