Are you struggling to find your first house sit after setting up your house sitting profile? Despite messaging many homeowners, you haven’t received any replies.
Ultimately there are two things homeowners refer to when trying to choose a sitter: their first message and their profile. Your first message may get their attention, but your profile is your chance to seal the deal.
It may seem straightforward, but time and time again, people who use apps or sites based on having a profile underestimate the importance of creating a solid profile.
Why should you listen to us?
We’ve been house sitting since 2016 on TrustedHousesitters, the biggest worldwide house sitting platform – and the most competitive.
Here are our top tips for creating a successful house sitting profile.
Your profile needs to include important details about why you would be a great house sitter.
We like to say that applying to house sits is like applying for a job. This is your résumé and cover letter in one. So take it seriously. But also make it fun.
Include relevant details about yourself that will help pet owners connect with you. This includes what you do for a living and maybe some hobbies. Let them get to know you a bit! House sitting is all about connections. The more connections to you a homeowner can make, the better.
Lifestyle habits are important too. Are you active? Do you like hiking? Do you like going out a lot? Or are you low key?
Homeowners don’t expect you to spend your entire day in their home, but they likely want someone who will spend a significant time with their pets. Otherwise, they’d just have a friend poke in now or then to feed the pets and leave.
When you’re almost done, look at your house sitter profile but imagine a different face, and name. Would you hire this person to watch your home and pet while you’re away? Look at other pet sitter profile examples for inspiration if need be.
Include an Appropriate Photo
We all like to say don’t judge a book by its cover until we need to choose a book to read. When it comes to housesitting, first impressions really do matter. A pet owner is looking to entrust their most precious belongings to another person they’ve never met.
So, what does your photo say about you? Consider how a photo of a person in a poorly lit basement with a stern face compares to a photo of someone outside on the beach with the sun shining on their smiling face.
Don’t worry – this doesn’t need to be professional quality work. Take a look at all top house sitting profiles’ photos for inspiration. Look at the camera and make sure the entirety of your face is completely visible. Make sure you’re mostly in the center and the photo is clear. It’s that simple.
Your photo should also be you. You think this goes without saying, but a quick search through sitters on TrustedHousesitters and you’ll see the occasional photo of a dog or cat. Unless they’re the ones doing the sitting, you should probably put up a photo of yourself. A photo of yourself with a pet is great – just make sure that your face is visible and Mr. Fluffy isn’t covering it with his floof.
This photo (along with a couple of others showing us with animals) has gotten us 16 successful housesits so far:
Experience – Keep it Relevant
Saying you love animals does not automatically make you a qualified sitter. Being a fan of saving money definitely does not need to be explicitly expressed either.
Saying you have a zest for life is great. Those exotic locales you’ve been to sound great too. Yet every pet owner is wondering – how experienced are you with actually taking care of animals? How will you fare with daily walks, grooming, litter cleaning, or poop scooping?
You need to list your experience in clear, concise details. The key here is to have actual experience taking care of homes and pets.
Don’t have experience? Then try sitting for friends and family first. People are always going away, even if just for a weekend. Put a call out on your Facebook profile saying that you’re offering free house sitting services in your area. You might be surprised with how many offers you get.
Having experience owning a home and your own pet matters too. Often, mature house sitters mention this in their profile. Owning a home is an experience that may assuage fears of other homeowners.
However, we have never owned a home and we have had no problem getting house sits throughout Europe and the U.S. One reason for this may be that we focus on city house sitting. Read more in our article on city house sitting in House Sitting Magazine.
Also be specific about your related life experience. Are you comfortable in rural settings? Or do you need to be in a city? Ever been outside your country? An expat may be hesitant to take you on if that’s the case – and a ton of sits are from expats.
We were once picked over another traveling couple for a sit in New York City because the homeowner liked that we used to live there – knowing how to navigate the concrete jungle definitely gave us an edge. It was the homeowner’s first time using house sitters, and she preferred to have us over an older couple that had never been to the city. Mention where you have house sat, and where you want to continue sitting. It’s always helpful to point out what you’re not interested in, so browsing homeowners can quickly move on.
Have the Appropriate Tone
Our tone is fun and jovial, but also serious when it needs to be.
How does one do that? Maybe a joke making fun of yourself. Essentially it’s knowing your audience. We definitely like to throw in a corny but clever joke on our house sitting profile.
Outright you can see our tone in our headline: “We give your pets all the pets.” It tells you we have a sense of humor (and sooo clever) and that we are all about spending time with animals. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good headline on your pet sitter profile!
Include Why You Want to House Sit
Again, saving money isn’t reason enough to want to house sit. Animal haters need not apply. There’s no real way around this. There are the rare homes that have no pets and the owners still want someone to watch it for long periods of time. But these are the exception.
So you love animals? Why do you love animals? Why are you willing to care for animals for free? What does free accommodation via someone’s home do for you?
House sitting allows us to experience the world from a resident’s perspective. For example, in Florence, one would love the city for a long weekend. However, we had a much different experience seeing it from the outskirts of the tourist center, having to navigate the constant construction and lack of public transport. Some parts of Florence we enjoyed, but we knew right away we would never want to live there.
House sitting continues to be a learning experience for us. It continues to improve our skills, like how to interact with people you’ve just met. You need to be ready to present yourself as a win to essentially complete strangers, as they hand over the keys and responsibility of taking care of their home and furbabies.
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