Our First House Sit – TrustedHouseSitters.com

What is house sitting?

You live in someone else’s house whilst they’re away and look after it. There might be a pet to look after (if you’re lucky) and some simple household chores, like collecting the mail and watering the plants/garden.

The benefits for the house owner are that their house is occupied whilst they’re away and if they have pets, the pets can continue to live at home, rather than in kennels.

The benefits for the sitter? If you love pets, you get to look after a pet, bonus, and you get free accommodation. Double bonus.

Requests go on every day from all over the World. The assignments vary from a few days to a few months.

Want Discounted Membership?

If we refer you, you get 15% off your membership and we get a month for FREE. Once you’ve joined, you can refer people too, and get your own FREE months! We need to send a special referral email to you, so comment on this blog or drop us a line with your email address and we’ll get the ball rolling!

Our Tips On Responding to Requests

TrustedHousesitters.com send out a daily email with new sitter requests and this is when we look carefully at the locations and dates the sitters are needed. The most popular destinations and dates will always attract lots and lots of responses. We stick to these rules to help us stand out against the competition:

Respond Quickly – We always read the daily email as soon as it arrives and respond to the requests we’re interested in. Finding a sitter is another task on a huge list for the owner to complete before they travel. If you can help them tick that one off quickly, it’s a load off of their mind.

Personalise the Response – It’s too easy to copy and paste the response you sent to that owner in Barcelona with the cat, to the owner in Malaysia with a bird, saves you time, right? People can see through the copy and paste, catch all responses. If it’s not personal, you don’t want it enough. We always address the person by name and when referring to the pet(s), we use their names too. The owner needs to know that you’re going to treat their pet as a part of the family, just like they do. Tell them why you really want to house sit for them, and if it’s for a pet, then tell them why you want to look after their pet too. Tell them what experience you have and what you plan to do whilst you’re there. We always makes sure that they feel they’re ok to respond with a list of questions too, whatever it takes for them to feel happy.

Keep Your Profile Up to Date – The owners will be able to review your profile when you respond so make sure it is up to date. If it’s not up to date, they won’t get the information you want them to get. It’s like sending an old CV in response to a job posting. Get it? We always include the important bits from our profile in our response anyway. They’ve got the best bits straight away and to hand that way. We’ve uploaded pictures of us and our Cockerpoo, Teds. People like to picture who they’re talking to. Keep the photos simple though, no crazy party photos, especially house parties, go for head shots or close full body shots. Keep your clothes on.

Don’t get Disheartened – You’re not going to be accepted for every house sitting assignment you apply for, so deal with it. It’s not personal. Take it as experience at applying and move on to the next request. As we’ve said, some of the most popular destinations, like Sydney at New Year, will attract hundreds of responses. Imagine having to syphon through all of those messages and choose one person.

Be one of the first to reply and stand out, be remembered.

Our House Sit

Where: Sutherland, Sydney, Australia

When: December 2014 – January 2015 (Yes, Sydney, over Christmas and New Year, for FREE)

About Our Sit: We stayed in a two bedroom apartment, south of Sydney City Centre. It took us about forty minutes on the train to get to all of the main City’s attractions. The trains are double deckers, two storey trains, crazy I know,, but loads of space, we always got a seat! Even on NYE on the way home after midnight, seats galore.

We had the pleasure of looking after Jasper, a little Jack Russell who loves walks and attention:

Apart from our dog, Teds, back at home, he’s the cutest dog we’ve ever seen!

We met with Jasper and his owner a few days before we were due to house sit, so we could make friends. He loved us and we loved him!

For almost three weeks, we were his adopted parents and he seemed very happy about that!

We spoke to Jasper’s owners about their alternatives to TrustedHousesitters.com and they said that the best offer they had apart from kennels was a friend of a friend who would come by for an hour a day for $600 for three weeks. Yikes. It looks like we saved them a packet of cash too.

Jasper had a routine so we tried to stick as close to that as we could, so he wasn’t disrupted in any way.

We took him to all of his usual haunts and we took him to new places too! He warmed to us from day one. He would often climb up and snuggle on Lois’ lap in the evening and go to sleep.

One day, when we were walking, a huuuge pit bull type dog came running towards us with his teeth out, Jasper literally jumped into my arms. It was nice to know that Jasper realised that we were his protectors!

The apartment was great and it was ours for almost three weeks. We had spent so long in bunks in hostels, that it felt like luxury to have our own place, our own double bed, our own kitchen and living room.

It was bliss.

We made sure that we kept Jasper’s owners up to date with his adventures and sent them pictures a few times so they could see how happy he was with us.

By staying here we saved ourselves three weeks worth of accommodation costs, we managed to cook for ourselves, saving money by not eating out and some nights, we just stayed in and watched a film on the TV, saving money by not being forced to go out because some hostels have no common areas.

Our membership for TrustedHousesitters.com cost the same as two or three nights accommodation in Sydney would have cost. Staying with Jasper for three weeks recovered our membership costs within days.

We miss Jasper, but it was really nice to spend a few weeks with him. We wore him out and he wore us out!

Thinking about house sitting? Drop us a line with your email address and we’ll refer you and you’ll get 15% discount!

Ryan and Lois

 

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