What if I told you it's possible to live rent-free and travel the world at the same?
Sounds too good to be true, right?
But thousands of travelers are house and pet sitting right now thanks to the popularity of house-sitting websites connecting homeowners to house and pet sitters.
In this article, you'll learn how to start house-sitting and traveling rent-free.
What is house sitting?
The concept of house-sitting is simple.
Homeowners lease their homes to house sitters in exchange for various duties like pet sitting, watering plants, or sometimes just the comfort of knowing their home is being looked after.
Thanks to the growing popularity of house-sitting websites (listed below), finding homes to sit has never been easier.
Both homeowners and house sitters can create online profiles and view and accept houses from their phone or computer.
Is house-sitting safe?
Safety standards vary from house-sitting platform to platform.
As TrustedHousesitters.com is the most popular house-sitting platform, I'm using their safety procedures as a basis, but I recommend always checking the safety standards of each individual platform.
House sitting is generally safe for both house sitters and homeowners. However, there is always a level of trust involved between both parties.
Due to this, it's important to use trusted house-sitting platforms. On these platforms, you can view profiles, photos and read reviews to learn more about the house-sitting job.
As there tends to be more risk for the homeowners, sitters are verified and reviewed by previous homeowners.
TrustedHousesitters.com gives house sitters access to a 24/7 vet advice line should they need it.
Do you get paid/pay to house sit?
Generally, it is not common to pay or receive payment for house sitting.
However, house-sitting platforms usually have a yearly fee to join and contact homeowners.
Is it common to have chores?
Homeowners should explain everything involved with the house sit in their profile.
Common chores involve feeding, walking and caring for pets, tending to plants, and basic cleaning and maintenance.
It's always a good idea to message your host with any questions regarding their expectations during your sit.
Is house-sitting always pet-sitting?
In the world of house sitting, pets are definitely at the center.
This is because a common reason homeowners need house sitters is to care for their pets.
However, there are some homeowners who simply want their houses or plants to be cared for while they're away.
With that in mind, not all house sitters are pet sitters... but most are.
How to become a house sitter
Becoming a house sitter is easy, but becoming a successful house sitter takes a little more effort.
So, what do I mean when I say, 'successful house sitter'?
A successful house sitter is a person, couple or family who manages to house-sit the very best homes and can travel the world due to their house-sitting presence.
Joining a house-sitting website
Most house-sitting websites allow free viewing of available homes, which means you can find the right opportunity for you before subscribing.
While there are a number of house-sitting websites, I personally recommend TrustedHousesitters.com as it's the most popular house-sitting website with the most opportunities available.
The annual fee is more expensive than other sites, but it's worth it in my opinion.
Best house-sitting websites & fees:
TrustedHousesitters.com | Annual Price $129
HousesittersAmerica.com | Annual Price $49
House Sit Match | Annual Price £69/89 year
Mind My House | Annual Price $20
Nomador | Annual Price $7.41/monthly
Creating the best house-sitting profile
When it comes to house sitting - first impressions matter.
Your house-sitting profile is crucial for landing great house-sitting opportunities.
Tips to creating a standout house sitting profile:
Photos: Ensure you upload lots of photos on your profile that show homeowners your personality. A good idea is to include photos with animals, especially from any previous house sits.
Show enthusiasm: Using positive and enthusiastic language in your profile will show a homeowner you're passionate and you care about house sitting. You won't hurt your profile by saying too much about yourself, but too little could.
Be transparent: Homeowners will no doubt question each applicant's motives for the house sit. Being honest and upfront about your reasons for the sit will go along way to building a trusting relationship from the get-go.
Reviews: While you don't have control over reviews, these are likely the biggest factor for homeowners deciding on a house sitter. This can make starting out difficult, but by building up some great reviews, you'll be setting yourself up for a strong profile and landing some incredible house sit experiences in the future.
How to get great reviews as a house-sitter?
As reviews are such an important part of house sitting, it is vital to maximizing your chances of getting a fantastic review.
Communication: Remember, homeowners are leaving you with their homes and pets. It's normal that they will expect frequent communication. Always being available and responsive will go a long way to securing a great review.
Responsibilities: Knowing exactly what you will be responsible for beforehand will ensure no confusion or disappointments for both parties during your stay.
Be respectful: By caring for someone's home it's important to respect their home and not take advantage of it. Homeowners feeling their trust was abused will surely leave a bad review which will hurt your chances of house-sitting in the future.
Leave the home clean: Returning to a clean home is a great way to get an awesome review.
How to get the best house sits?
Unsurprisingly, luxury and in-demand house sits don't last long before they get snapped up.
But that doesn't mean you have to sit on TrustedHousesitters.com clicking refresh.
There is an email alert feature that will shoot you new opportunities right in your inbox.
Time is crucial. If a luxury home or opportunity in a major city becomes available, it could be just hours before it's gone.
However, do make sure to personalize your application message. Generic messages are often overlooked, so spending the time to read over their profile and relate their needs back to your own is a good way to stand out.
Tip: Have an excellent application template written out with spaces to personalize. This will maximize your time when applying.
To get the best house sits you'll have to:
- Be flexible on dates and location
- Have an outstanding profile
- Have set up email alerts
- Personalize your application message
- Act fast
Why do homeowners hire house sitters?
Pets: Pet sitting is the most common reason for homeowners seeking house sitters.
Security: A lot of homeowners don't like to leave their homes empty for long periods of time. The security a house sitter provides is sometimes the sole reason for hiring a house sitter.
Maintenence: Homes often require maintenance. This could be swimming pool maintenance, lawn mowing, or just general upkeep and by hiring house sitters, homeowners can rest assured their home is in safe hands while they're away.
Plants: Another common reason for hiring a house sitter is the daily watering and care of plants.
How to travel the world as a house sitter
An incredible aspect of house sitting is you could be living in New Zealand's mountains one month and on Hawaiian beaches the next.
However, becoming an expert house sitter doesn't happen overnight. And to really travel the world as house sitters, you'll need to develop a solid house sitting profile and gain experience and reviews to appeal to a wide range of homeowners.
Tips for traveling as a house sitter:
- Join a worldwide platform
- Be flexible
- Create a great profile and build-up reviews
- Set-up email alerts
- Plan your sits in advance