A little while ago I wrote about Duncan and I house sitting so we could make our savings stretch further while we are in bootstrapping phase. We have since been dubbed by a reader ‘the travelling start up’ and I’ve found that people are really interested in how we got into house sitting when I talk about our new lifestyle.
So in honour of us being on the move again I thought I would share a few house sitting tips.
“Now, it’s easy to be excited about something like house sitting before you seriously start looking and seriously start applying. For one, you pretty much need to sign up for a house sitting website to apply to open “jobs”, and many people require a reference of previous house sits to even be considered. Hmm… well that’s no good. It’s like one of those jobs that requires experience to get, but you can’t get experience without already having some…??? Confusing, right?!”
Its true, I had similar thoughts when we started looking for house sits and I kept on thinking if we could just get one house sit under our belts, we would be right!
Applying for house sits does take time and effort. It will be frustrating - you will apply for house sits and not receive an acknowledgement or feedback on why your not right for that job. But keep at it because one day you will crack it and then suddenly you find yourselves having to say no to sits because you are booked up for the next 12 months!
I left a comment on Brooke’s post, which I thought others might find useful, so I’ve reproduced it below:
We’ve been house sitting since mid March (and are booked until end of April 2012). As I’ve written in this blog post house sitting is helping us keep our costs down while my partner and I are starting our business AND it is also all part of the adventure!
We hadn’t house sat before, so at first I was a little uncertain about how we could crack into the house sitting scene. But then I started thinking about what people really were asking for when they said they want references – they want to chat or hear from people that know you, know your values etc.
In our profile I encouraged people to look at our blogs. I also asked a family friend to write a reference for us. she had known me for about 10 years and us as a couple for 3 years. We had rented their holiday house a number of times and they were able to make a comment on how we look after other people’s things etc.
I would recommend that you just start applying for sits, even if you don’t quite fit what the owner is looking for. In my experience, owners wont have much experience in getting sitters and will just put down what they ‘think’ they should put down. But at the end of the day I think most owners want the same type of sitter – someone they get along with and they trust.
We have a house sit coming up in the Clare Valley in September & November. The house sit job for this originally said they wanted an older couple. However, I saw and it and thought I would LOVE to live in the Clare Valley for 2 months, so I threw our hat in the ring! In the end we got the sit because we sounded a lot like their adult children and they got along very well with our referee. Asking for an older couple was because they wanted there dogs to have company during the day and of course we can offer that because we work from home!