As John and I travel engaging any and everyone into conversation about our house sitting travel lifestyle, there's two, actually three questions I get asked all the time
“Where do you find your assignments?” “Can anyone do it?” and “How do you get started?”
First question is easy to answer www.housesittingperfected.com existing clients, recommendations, word of mouth, housesitters network and www.trustedhousesitters.com of course. We've been combined (sitter/home owner) members since Andy and Rachel started. TrustedHouseSitters.com really is like a large family but still retains a personal ethos, a very special organization to be part of.
With listings in over 50 countries it's the largest house sitting website in the world and growing by the day as more and more home owners become aware of this win win concept of home and pet care. Opportunities are wide and varied there is something for every kind of sitter whether looking for a city centre apartment, family home in the suburbs, ocean front living, quiet seclusion of the country, working farm even the odd castle or two, from a weekend assignment to a year in one of your wish list locations. Registering is easy the website contains all the information you need to get started on your own adventure …..
and Pet Sitting Directory
Just another example of why house sitting works. Check out this pics of this fantastic waterfront house sitting opportunity.
Second two part question is a little more complex, first ask yourself WHY you want to house sit a free holiday it's not more travel with purpose, a chosen travel lifestyle if you'll looking for relaxation, kicking back, freedom to indulge in whatever pleasure you fancy, take a cruise pet and house sitting isn't for you!
- Personal attributes you'll need:
- totally trustworthy, reliable and dependable
- professional and comfortable with responsibility
- adaptable, at ease in any environment
- good communicator
- people person
- animal lover – all animals not just your own! 80% of sits have pets
- a sense of humour
- practical and organised
- respectful of others personal possessions
- financially independent
- have a back up plan – there are no guarantees in life house sitting is no exception!
No experience? Start locally, friends, family, work colleagues, let them know you'll look after pets and homes when they go on vacation, take weekend breaks chances are someone will be going away soon and may never have thought of going the sitter route THE best pet care option in the world, no the universe!! Volunteer with an animal shelter, rescue organisation anything that gives you animal involvement kudos and favourable references.
- Create a personal profile market yourself just as you would for any job highlight any special skills/experience (don't make it a personal life history lesson)
- Express your genuine love for animals
- Browse through other profiles as a guide
- Provide good character/previous employment/landlord references
- photographs are very important especially ones that show your personality, do a “Selfie” post a video profile make it appealing and interesting.
House sitting isn't rocket science as anyone who's ever maintained a home will tell you. Home owners are encouraged to provide a working manual of their home together with complete bios of pets removing any guess work and no one is out of touch for very long.
Finally it's not about oodles of house sitting experience John and I have sitters all the way from New Zealand in our lovely BC home and this is their very first assignment. For us gender, age, house sitting experience or home location is not our first consideration it's simply do we feel comfortable with them? Are they right for our needs and home? If they tick all the boxes they're our chosen sitters.
2014 is shaping up to be an even bigger house sitting adventure with many more assignment opportunities around the corner and across the globe and I really should be keeping this all to myself after all you could just be our next competition but then I never could keep a good thing to myself!!
Angela has been traveling the world for the past 40 years. Her career in International Marketing took her across Canada and the US and since the mid 80s has lived in Italy, N. Africa, India, Singapore and other parts of SE Asia with husband John, a Petroleum Engineer, now retired. Self-professed nomads with a shared passion for travel and animals, they continue to travel the world having adopted an affordable travel lifestyle: Pet and house sitting. Some five continents, many amazing homes and wonderful four legged friends later, Angela is the resident in-house expert, advising home owners and house sitters at Trusted House Sitters and a regular contributor to travel blogs sharing experiences of life away from the travel brochures, living like the locals. You can read more at www.housesittingperfected.com.