Living rent-free isn’t a dream; many savvy travelers keep costs down by living like the locals, and without paying rent. How do they do it? House sitting is an exchange where vacationing homeowners allow house sitters into their home. In return, the house sitter looks after the house, yard, and pets. Travelers who start house sitting can experience new countries, while living on the budget of a local.
Why did we make this house sitting infographic?
We shared how epic our first house sit was with everyone. And then we found out just how many people had never heard of house sitting (including a suspicious border guard).
Adventurous folks, this house sitting infographic is our way of introducing you to the exciting world of house sitting, and encouraging you to start house sitting yourself.
The idea of being responsible for a stranger’s pets & property is daunting, but it’s amazing. After we got the nerve to apply we scored a posh house sit in Mexico. Check out our first house sit here: First Time House Sitting: It’s like You’ve Won.
How to Start House Sitting
Getting started house sitting seems too easy compared to the responsibility taken on. To start, sign up with one of the top house sitting websites. We use Trusted Housesitters (~$90/yr), but many long-term travelers are members of multiple websites for more opportunities.
Popular house sitting websites:
Creating a trustworthy house sitting profile that stands out is the secret to getting house sits. We didn’t mention this is the house sitting infographic, but homeowners can get hundreds of applications from house sitters. You will have lots of competition.
Our house sitting profile tips:
- Smart pictures. You have a limited amount of pictures you can use on your profile, so use them wisely. Upload photos that show your professionalism (working in an office), adaptability (you while traveling), you with a pet (even if it isn’t yours), and being handy (using some type of tool).
- Upbeat video. Make a 2 minute video that is upbeat and informative. Pre-emptively answer a few questions about yourself, like what pets you had growing up and why you’re a great house sitter.
- A concise profile write-up. Homeowners don’t want a novel about you, but they do want the highlights. The point of your write-up is to show how you’re the most responsible, trustworthy, fun-loving house sitter out there. Edit, edit, edit. Good writing that homeowners read is concise and error free.
Applying for a house sitting job
Don’t let a lack of house sitting experience deter you from applying. Experience is important, but homeowners often select the candidate that gives them the best feeling (that is, reminds them of themselves). However, you need them to read your application.
To have the best chance of getting a house sit be one of the first house sitters to apply. Imagine this, you’re a homeowner with 50 house sitter applications and you find a few suitable candidates in the first 10 applications, would you keep reading? I wouldn’t, and I don’t think most homeowners would either. This is why you need to setup email alerts and apply quickly. Doing all this, it’s still common not to receive a response from the homeowner. After a day move on and try again.
Getting started house sitting is simple. You need a membership to a house sitting website (this is typically less than $100 per year). To have homeowners consider you, create a house sitting profile that conveys trustworthiness. To give yourself an edge include an introductory video and smart photos, and study the above house sitting infographic.
Follow these steps (and be one of the first house sitters to apply) and you’ll soon be living in a new location rent free.