House sitting is one of the best parts of my lifestyle, along the possibility to see great places around the world – and these two are heavily connected. I have been house sitting for last couple of years and it has enabled me to live in three continents in amazing locations around the world. House sitting is great option for digital nomads who can take their work anywhere in the world.
My secret to house sitting success have really been persistence, perfecting the application process and offering superb house sitting services to house owners.
House Sitting for Digital Nomads
House sitting is pretty competitive business, but saying that is does not mean its not doable. Quite the opposite actually especially for location independent freelancers. Freelancer can offer bit more to the house owner than that just someone who sleeps in the house. I work while I am on the assignment which means that I spend considerable time in the house, meaning its secure and more importantly pets have constant company.
What is my secret to house sitting success?
For me it was first taking time to write my profile to make it as appealing as possible with clear information of what I can offer as a house sitter and what I am looking for as a house sitter. I read many house sitter profiles and learned what worked and what not – what successful house sitters had on their profile. From there I applied to short assignments near me so that I could meet the owner and so one. And as they say, rest is history… I am about to start house sit in wine region in France for the summer.
Is to win first assignment. This may take so time and persistence but its well worth it. You also may need to lower your expectation of your first assignment – it just may not be five bedroom beach house you’ve dreamed off. But that is ok – anything good in life usually takes time and once you have one references its way easier to get second.
So how can you get over that first hurdle? Lower your expectations and try to get assignment that is close to your location so that you can see house owner in person (makes huge difference) and take on short assignments, a weekend for example. Short assignments are generally less popular so you have less competition. Also think about the location – of course its great to have beach house but its not bad being in county side to start with.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Just like when wanting to win a freelancing contract in competitive market its important to stand out. House sitting is no different – it is critical to stand out from the pool of candidates. House owners get hundreds of replies and only reply to those that caught their eye from the crowd.
I recently got an assignment in Southern France, in wine region I might add, because I stood out from the massive applicant crowd. The house owner had 200+ replies to their add, but I stood out and got the owner to open my message and read what I can offer and to make the call to me to talk more. And now in six days I’ll fly to Paris and then take train to the wine region and call it home for the summer.
Leave professional impression
This does not mean professional in a way the you need to have your resume ready and wear a suit but make sure that all communication you have with owner oozes professionalism, trustworthiness and you being serious about the assignment. Owner is leaving their house, loved pets and basically their whole life to your hands. You would want that person to be responsible who takes pride in themselves. Being a freelancer gives me an added advance as house sitter as since I take work seriously it means I take assignment equally serious.
Here are four of flat mates while house sitting around the world:
What is my goal in the process?
- My first goal is to get house owner to open my message – I take time to write title of my message to ensure it is personalized and appealing, plus different to the average – “house sitter available” title!
- Next goal is to get them to read my message – I make sure my message has information about me, my experience and most importantly what I can offer and what owner gets when they choose me as their house sitter.
- Followed by owner clicking on my video link on the message – this short video is an introduction about me, my experience and what I offer. Its very general in nature and took 10 minutes to do but house owners have loved it! It it great way for them to get a feel of who I am – its their first impression about me.
- Last – get them to call me. In all my communication I make sure its easy for owner to contact me. I have my contact details everywhere. Owners gets many replies and I want to make it very easy for house owner to contact me when they have made the decision.
House sitting is great option for anyone who wants to travel and reduce costs, and especially for location independent freelancers as you get free home office too! For freelancer its great way to reduce your cost base while living in new location and perhaps work on a new project.
House Sitting Websites:
and many, may more (do a Google search: house sitting website). Membership at house sitting website ranges $20-75 depending on the website. I am currently subscribed to three that in total costs me $150 per year. I find that pretty cheap living cost compared to rental fees for services apartments. Plus I’ve had amazing experience, met great people and wonderful pets.
Of those three I wholeheartedly recommend the first. Why?
Because its only one with a reference system that really puts house owners at ease. I have got many house sits thanks to references from verifiable house owner members of Trusted Housesitters.
Check out great offer to sign up with Trusted House sitters (its less than one night in nice hotel by the way)