Step By Step Guide – How To Become A House Sitter

 Step By Step Guide – How To Become A House Sitter

We have been invited by HousesitMatch to show you just how easy it is to become a house and pet sitter.

With many people traveling for vacations, business deals, or even for medical care, their homes, and pets are left behind and require someone to care for them.

As a result, there has been an increase in the demand for pet and house sitters. A house sitter or pet sitter is a person who is offered accommodation within other people’s homes to either provide security and ongoing daily maintenance while the owners are away or to look after their pets. 

Pet and house sitting is a very cost-effective way of finding accommodation for the sitter, more so if you are trying to avoid the high expenses you might have otherwise incurred if you checked into a hotel room when traveling, or rent and utility expenses.

It is also a relief to home and pet owners who are assured that their homes are left occupied and pets are well cared for.

If you have a desire of becoming a house sitter and don’t know where to start the process, we are here to help you. 

When you break it down into a step-by-step process, it will make it clear and easy for you to achieve.

So here is our

STEP-BY-STEP guide

on how to become a house sitter

Step-By-Step Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Steps in Rio where we did one of our first house sits

Step 1: Make The Decision

Firstly, you first need to be sure that you are ready for this exciting new chapter of your life. 

So, are you really ready to be a pet or house sitter?

If YES, then you should list your desires and expectations in full and have a clear understanding of what you want and your strengths and weaknesses etc.

Let me give you a few ideas on this. 

  • Do you wish to travel or stay in your own city, state, or country? 
  • If you want to travel what countries are of interest?
  • What is your desired length of stay on a property?
  • What is your most convenient location for pet and house sitting as far as transportation?

Be sure to lay emphasis on travel distances in relation to your current location and any costs that may be incurred by your when offering your services as a pet or house sitter.

Steps
©Exploramum and Explorason – It is important to take the right steps when signing up to house sit

Step 2: Consider Types Of Properties 

From RV campervans and tiny flats to grand mansions and country estates, there is a myriad of dwelling sizes out there that folks live in.  Some homeowners are hippies with a layback lifestyle; others might be your regular suburban family, and then there is the top-end executives and professionals.

Some properties are remote – in fact, there are even properties only reachable by 4WD; or what about only by boat?  You would need to know how to maneuver a watercraft to even reach it or fetch weekly supplies! 

Each and every building and home and each and every owner has different needs and expectations, and it is important you list out what type of person you are, and what type of property you would feel comfortable caring for.

There are different maintenance requirements for different properties too. Those with swimming pools require pool maintenance, while those with lawns require mowing and watering. Also, homes with trees and animals require raking up of leaves and cleaning up of messes.

In other words, so much is expected of house and pet sitters as they move into homes. If you aren’t experienced in pool maintenance, then you might want to avoid homes with pools as this is a learned skill.

You might also want to avoid multi-story properties if you are elderly or physically impaired in some way.  Plus, their sheer grandness and size ma just ‘freak you out’ at night when all the rooms and grounds are empty and dark, and this is even more so if you are dwelling in the property alone.

Choose the pets you care for
©Exploramum and Explorason – An important part of house sitting is choosing which types of pets you are comfortable caring for. We cared for Lucy, strong, big and loveable dog in Sydney, Australia

Step 3: Pet Types

It is extremely important that you are honest with yourself on this topic. Do you, or do you NOT like animals and pets?  Because I know folks who can’t stand any dogs; others cats; and one person I know is petrified of being pecked by a hen – so why would you want to care for these creatures if you don’t have an affinity with them?  In Turkey, we looked after an aggressive male turkey who actually beat down his own pen and escaped!  It was a petrifying experience for my young son (as we guarded ourselves with a broom) from being attacked every time we had to go down the garden path.  Needless to say, I think we would think twice about caring for a male turkey again!

So, if you are a pet lover, you need to be specific about the type of pets you can comfortably handle. This helps you avoid being put in charge of pets like snakes and rats that would probably freak you out unless you love them. In other words, if you are only comfortable with cats and dogs, then list them down, and please be honest. You might want to get more detailed with this by listing the specific types of animals and even species of pets you have an experience with. For instance, if you love dogs, have you had an experience with dog species like a German shepherd, poodle or bulldog? How about the different species of birds and cats that you probably love?

So get cracking, and write that ‘pet like and dislike’ list!

Leaning Tower of Pisa steps
©Exploramum and Explorason – Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is an important part of housesitting. These steps are in Italy – we house sat in Tuscany.

Step 4: References

Homeowners look for proven people with remarkable characters. They seek those who are kind, reliable and responsible and more.  But the homeowner will require a reliable source to authenticate your purported credibility – or a referer.

Without a referer – regardless of how good you are – you will not be able to convince most of them that you are worth the total trust they intend to bestow on you.

But don’t be alarmed – if you have never house sat before and have no house or pet sitting references, there are several ways to address this.  Have you pastor, a sports coach, a neighbor, a teacher, an employer or longtime friend write the reference for you.  Do not use a relative.  Try and attain several references from different sources.  If you rent a home ask the agent or owner to write a reference for you on your level of property care.  There are many people you can seek for this reference as long as they know your character well enough to vouch for you.

Leaning Tower of Pisa
©Exploramum and Explorason – Choosing which countries you would like to house sit in is one of the important steps to successfully housesitting. These steps are in the Leaning Tower of Pisa – not far from where we house sat in Italy.

Step 5. Police Clearance

A Police Clearance (also known as a Police Certificate or Police Background Check) is always required to house and pet sit.  It is proof of your expected high integrity and vital that you are transparent about your ‘legal actions’. You can get Police Clearance from a Police Station near you at a fee payable when ordered. In certain regions of the world, this can also be done online. The Police Clearance document lasts for approximately 1 to 3 years depending on the country of origin.

A Police Clearance assures the homeowner that the sitter can be trusted.  It comes as a relief to them as they will be leaving you in charge of their sentimental and valuable possessions. Remember, the two of you together – homeowner and house sitter – are probably complete strangers to one other and are therefore only brought together by the assurance that your integrity is not questionable.

Brasil
©Exploramum and Explorason – A Police Clearance ensures you and the homeowner don’t have a rocky path ahead.

Step 6: Selecting Where To Register

The internet is like a ‘fertile ground’.   It produces high yields – regardless of what is planted in it.  So now it is time to find the right house sitting site for you to be ‘planted’.  A site where homeowners can find the perfect sitter they are looking for, and where house sitters can seek the confidence and comfort that they are using a secure and trusted site that cares for them as an individual, not just a number or monetary value for their subscription. 

Whilst many think that it is better to only register with the largest sites, I find the opposite can also be true.  Using a more personalized and smaller site means that you are not lost in the thousands of other sitters and that you have a greater chance of securing a sit that is right for you.

With a smaller site, you will find that the actual site itself is keen to grow and nurtures their sitters and homeowners with care.  If you have any problems or concerns they are easily reached and will address all matters promptly and professionally.

Housesitting Sydney
©Exploramum and Explorason – Use caution when signing up to larger housesit sites as often there are unseen pitfalls or you are lost in the crowd.

Step 7: Registering To House And Pet Sit

So now comes the fun part.  You need time to sit and focus and to ensure you include the correct information that best presents you to the prospective homeowner.

We use Housesit Match and will show you Step-by-step how to sign up easily and what you need to include.

  1.  Go to secure website URL https://www.housesitmatch.com/register/ and select the membership type you’d like. You can always upgrade or downgrade later.
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  2. Use the 50% off code displayed at the base of this article SUPERB50 (refer notes at the base of this article).

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  3. When you register remember your username can’t be changed and is on display so select one wisely.
  4. Keep a record of your login details in a safe place.

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  5. Once you have logged in https://www.housesitmatch.com/member/xxxx/?profiletab=verification Follow Step 1 ‘FREE ID VERIFICATION’.
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  6. Here you will enter two photos and they do take a minute to load so be patient.  The first is a longer photo – a banner and should show your face clearly. the second is a smaller profile picture.  You should have 3 photos on the Standard, and up to 9 (inc masthead) on the Premium.

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  7. Next, you have the chance to write a captivating paragraph to the prospective homeowner about yourself.  It is short but needs to be personalised just for you, so think this through.
  8. Then comes your profile description.  You have 150 words.

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  9. Next fill in several fields pertaining to your experience and personal details.
  10. Then update profile.
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  11. The next step is then to go to ‘Hooyu Verification’   A. ADD YOUR SELFIE  B. ADD YOUR DIGITAL IDENTITY C. ADD YOUR PHOTO ID.  Now before you get alarmed that this is a whole lot of personal information, please consider that firstly this is a secure site, and secondly, you are applying to care for someone’s property worth probably more than you have in the bank.  Generally speaking, you are probably more of a risk to the homeowner that they are financially a risk to you.  The minimum data required for ID is – Selfie, Passport or Photo Id + 1 digital footprint (Facebook, Linkedin etc).

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  12. Should you wish to upgrade or downgrade your account to enable more photos and features, follow these easy steps.

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Go to MY ACCOUNT (top right orange button) Click MY ACCOUNT in drop down
You should see a button that says UPGRADE. Scroll down if need be.

Select  Housesitter – Premium – £79.00 –  1 Year  HouseSitter – the Premium level of membership.

Romania
@Exploramum and Explorason – You’ve finished taking all the steps – now get ready to pack your bags and explore the world like we did when we house sat in Eastern Europe.

All Complete!

Now that the hard work is done, you are ready to house sit.

With trusting a secure site like Housesit Match you will also have the option to select the newsletter and be notified when new sits are posted.  

You can also follow them on Facebook for up to date news, tips and tricks and fun competitions that they host too.

From us to you – Good Luck! House sitting is a LOT of fun, and a great way to see the world too.  We hope you enjoy it and it enriches your life and brings you many memorable experiences.

Special Offer / Code

And with 50% off their joining fee, today is the perfect day to sign up on their website.

50% off special deal

Use discount coupon code SUPERB50

(Discount code must be written in capitals with no spaces as seen)

Please feel free to share this article with anyone you know that might be interested in becoming a house sitter too.

Going Away? Find The Perfect House Sitter

 

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21 comments

  1. My husband and I started housesitting this past year and have done two housesits. I agree that it is important you be honest with yourself about what you can handle. I am allergic to cats, so sits with cats are out. The two sits we did had dogs and were wonderful experiences. People also need to realize it comes with responsibility. That being said, it can be a great way to experience another part of the world.

  2. You definitely have some good tips here. I would add that you might consider asking the homeowner for references as well. And possibly write up a contract although if you are a foreigner you may have no recourse.
    We have had some great experiences house and pet sitting but we did have one horror story where the homeowner decided to charge us for heating, water and, internet (having never mentioned this in our 3 skype calls and multiple emails previous to the house sit) and continued to harass us for months after we had left. They ended up being banned from the house sitting website but eventually just changed their email address and there they were again, advertising for a housesitter.

    1. Yes – good points – I once had a homeowner walk up at the end and hide an internet bill behind her back like I’d been a naughty little girl – she ended up making me pay before we could leave. It would have been nice to know ‘up front’ if that was going to be an issue and just how much internet we were permitted to use. Considering it was in UK in winter and they provided no wood for heating it as a rough deal. The housesit was a difficult one because it was our early days. I think a good housesitting site can help avoid these dramas as they vet their homeowners well and also have them complete a lot of detail. I know people think it is time consuming completing a lot of detail when first enrolling on this site but it is worth it as knowledge is king.

      1. I’d also suggest not being blinded by the location of the housesit and listening to your gut. In our case, there were a few times where we thought the questions they asked were strange like “do you have liability insurance?” to which we answered no and the response was “well what happens if you break something, like a glass?”.
        Ask all the questions before you accept that way you only have yourself to blame or congratulate 🙂

  3. I haven’t done any house sitting yet, but it’s something I’ve been considering to help make travel more affordable. There are good considerations to think about before taking on the responsibility.

    1. Cindy – I hope you do get to housesit – it is definitely a wa to make travel more affordable and a great way to immerse yourself in local life and meet new friends too. Thanks Ruth

  4. Nice collection of pointers (and I like all your photos of ‘steps’)! We’ve housesat before and it is good to hear these important points again. It is a job, after all, and requires a considered approach. Glad to learn of this company which we’d not heard of before. Thanks.

  5. House sitting sounds like a brilliant way of experiencing how people in that country/area live. It sounds very appealing to me but I’m also a bit nervous about applying to do this for the first time. This blog post has been extremely useful for me.

    1. Thanks, Ingrid – It can be a big decision but I love housesitting – you get to see the world and live like a local. Some even leave you their car to drive! Cheers Ruth

    1. Hi Carly – I love your name – did you know in Aboriginal it means your child will always return to you! Good luck if you decide to husesit. We are here to help. Ruth

  6. I have looked into housesitting as being an option for our family of 6. Have you found that you can find great opportunities with children? That’s our hesitation.

    1. I know several families that housesit. What you need to do is to apply for the family-friendly sits that do come up. I even know a family with 10 kids – so 2 all up that have housesat around the world – so they are out there.

  7. Great article! I have been doing housesitting for about a year and I am presently on my 4th assignment. It’s been amazing so far. All great families and I fell in love of all my pets. However, I have found them on facebook groups only and it ‘s been great and easy so far. Happy housesitting!:)

    1. That’s really great that you are enjoying your housesitting. Facebook groups are a good way to stay connected with housesitting too and a lot of the bigger sites also have their own homepages you can watch for upcoming sits too

  8. I’m really interested in housesitting, but in the past I always thought it sounded too good to be true and there must be a catch. Thanks for the information!

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