Find how to be a great house sitter, get the most out of your FREE accommodation and impress your hosts.
House sitting is a great way to see the world for everyone whether they are on a budget or not. And the benefits to both sides are incredible.
For house sitters the benefits include:
- Free accommodation
- Free utilities
- Being able to stay in the local community
- Meeting new people and making lifelong friends
- Longer stays in great locations
- Having the comfort of a home away from home
- Pets to enjoy the company
For those offering their house the benefits include:
- Having their pets stay in their own home
- Dedicated care for their pets
- Having their home lived in to reduce opportunistic crime
- Having their home maintenance and gardens looked after
If you need more reasons as to why you need to check out house sitting visit this blog on how we are saving thousands while living the life we always dreamed about.
So you’ve decided to join Trusted House Sitters and give house sitting a go, but you’re not sure of what is expected of you?
Join up to Trusted House Sitters today and get 25% off the membership! Pay less than a night in a hotel!
What can house sitters do to ensure everyone is happy, they get the most they can out of their sit and they receive positive reviews? Nothing is always going to be perfect but there is some things you can do to ensure your house sit runs smoothly and you can enjoy your new surroundings.
Here are some hints and tips to think about to ensure you have a great time, and that your owners are happy with your services.
- Make sure it’s somewhere you want to go before you apply. There is no point applying for somewhere in Thailand in the monsoon season if you hate humidity and rain.
- Make sure you like the kind of pets and animals that the homeowners own.
- Make sure you have experience with the kind of pets and animals they have. It may be difficult to learn everything there is to know about horses in one afternoon.
- Clarify the homeowners leaving and return dates. If they are returning late in the evening they may offer to have you stay an extra night.
- Don’t sign up for something you can’t do or have no interest in such as if they have a large garden that requires a lot of upkeep and you have a black thumb.
- Be reliable. If you apply for a house sit and accept, unless you have a death in the family, never let the house sitter down. They may not be able to get someone else in if you change your mind. And you could get a bad review which could affect future house sits
- When you apply and when you speak with the homeowner be truthful about your abilities, your expectations and how you will spend your time. Let them know if you need to be on call for particular hours, or whether your work is flexible. Make sure they know whether you can take the dogs on long walks or whether you prefer to run with them.
- Find out if the homeowners will be there for a day or more to give you a rundown on how things work in the house. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to have house sitters arrive a couple of days before they are due to leave.
- Make sure you have a list of who to contact and when to contact them if something goes wrong.
- Make sure you check the wifi and tv etc before they leave so you know you’re connected.
- Make sure you know how to use all the appliances, and find out if there is any odd quirks for them.
- If the homeowners are friendly with the neighbours get them to introduce you before they leave. You may need their help!
- Find out if there is any specific rules for the house or for the animals.
- Don’t just hang out in the house. Take advantage of the great location you’re in. Even if you are fairly local, having a new base for a while can really change your view on the world. So embrace it!
- Have a daily and weekly to do list so you don’t forget anything. It’s a new routine for you, so easy to forget something. And it’s not like the cat will tell you that you forgot to put the rubbish out!
- Keep in contact with your homeowner as much as possible. They want to know that everything is going well in their home, plus no doubt they are missing their pets. We would usually email once a day, or keep in contact 1-2 times a day via WhatsApp. We make sure to include lots of photos.
- Don’t make too much mess! You don’t have to be perfectly clean, but at least make an effort to not destroy the joint.
- If you want to have guests come and stay with you, make sure you discuss it with the homeowner.
- Accept that while it will be your home for a period of time, it is not your home, so the homeowners will probably do things differently to you. Don’t move things around or dig up a garden.
- Don’t teach an old dog new bad tricks! Like feeding them under the table or food they are not allowed.
- Make sure you lock up when you go out even if the homeowners don’t usually do so.
- Restock the cupboards and the fridge of any bits and pieces you have used.
- If you are leaving the day the homeowners return, wash your sheets and towels, and remake the bed before they return.
- Make sure the house is clean and tidy for the homeowners return.
- If possible give the dog a bath for the homeowners return
- Offer to cook the home owners dinner or lunch if they are returning from a long trip.
- Leave something behind for the homeowner. It doesn’t have to be expensive, a bottle of wine or even just a card telling them how much you enjoyed their home and pets.
- If you have questions or concerns ask! It will be better in the long run
Most of all, enjoy your time in your new location! If you are like us you will be planning your next house sit before the first one ends.
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Thanks Zachary and good luck with your blogs too!
Hi there! Such a great post, thanks!
Thanks so muck Lenard!
I enjoyed your post about what to do once you’ve landed a sit, and I definitely do almost everything you listed — when I am lucky enough to be selected. I always get excellent reviews (I’m up to ten 5* reviews now) but still find it incredibly difficult to actually get sits. With covid, of course, there are hardly any sits available, but even before covid I was rarely even getting shortlisted. Would you mind sharing an outline or even a sample of your typical application letter that’s clearly getting you noticed above other applicants?
I customize the letter for every application, focus on their needs for their pets and home and only talk about myself with respect to how I can meet those needs. But I just can’t seem to get my application noticed.
Thanks and happy travels!