7 Steps for Securing Long Term House Sitting Jobs

Photo: Cortez13 via Pixabay

Who would not like to spend a few weeks in that gorgeous beach-side penthouse apartment in Barcelona, with just a hibernating turtle to look after? Or that charming country mansion that offers challenging mountain walks with some lovely dogs? These offers are readily available on the various house sitting websites, but how do you go about securing long term house sitting jobs? I have been house sitting for years. Here are 7 steps to help you on your way!

7 Steps for Securing Long Term House Sitting Jobs

1) Sign up for one (or more) of the house sitting websites

There are a number of good websites that offer house sits. Most of these sites offer paid memberships to ensure safe house sitting for all parties. When you have chosen your preferred provider, you can start putting in applications for assignments that have been posted by the homeowners.

Some websites to start your house sitting adventure:
  • TrustedHousesitters - Offers a wide variety of house sits around the globe. Mostly in the United Kingdom but there are plenty of options in North America and Australia. You can easily filter the search results. The annual fee is €99 (US$135), which includes a free 24/7 vet advice line. This is the website I use myself for most of my house sits.
  • Nomador - A nice website with many house sits to choose from, you can easily filter the results. Most sits are in France but also many options in the United Kingdom and North America. You can start with a free trial option, or pay €65 (US$89) for an annual membership.
  • MindMyHouse - Has house sits all over Europe, but also in the United States and Canada. You can filter results to select the type of pet etc. At an annual fee of €15 (US$20), this is one of the cheapest.
  • Mindahome - House sits for the United Kingdom only. They have a modest website with no filtering options for search results. The membership fee is also very modest at £15 per year (€16/US$18)
  • Housecarers - Website for house sits mainly located in North America, Australia, and Europe. The annual fee is US$50

On all of these websites, you can browse available long term house sitting jobs. You can filter results for a desired location, duration, type of pets, etc. After completing your profile page on the website where you introduce yourself, you can put in an application for the house sit of your dreams. I have been using TrustedHousesitters for years and am very happy with their service. I have used MindMyHouse on one occasion and found they offer fewer potential house sits than Trusted. The other two I have no experience with.

trustedhousesitters logo
Nomador logo
Mindmyhouse logo
Mindahome logo
Housecarers logo

2) Create a great profile

The most important thing for securing long term house sitting jobs is to make a great first impression. Especially if you are one of many applicants. Make sure you create an impressive profile on the house sitting website, explaining who you are and why any homeowner should be picking you for their next assignment. You can only make a first impression once so give it all you've got! Include a number of friendly photos of yourself and of you with animals to show the owners you are great with animals. Don't forget to mention your personal experience in taking care of animals.

Tell something about yourself so people can see what kind of person you are. I always explain that I am self-employed and work from home. Which means I am home all the time to look after the animals. This can be a huge bonus.
Don't forget to mention that you are vegan. Some homeowners specifically look for vegan house sitters as they don't want any non-vegan food in the house.

3) Carefully read the assignment before you apply

Before you put in your application you have to carefully read the assignment as posted by the homeowner. Ensure yourself that you can offer what they are asking for. This is especially important for long term house sitting jobs, you will be spending quite some time there. For example, if the assignment includes taking care of chickens, be aware they have to be let out of the hen house at dawn and to be locked up again at dusk. That means getting up pretty early in the summer!

Some homeowners ask you to take care of some gardening work. Depending on the size of the garden and the time of year, this can mean quite a bit of work. If you are not up for it, don't send in your application but look for alternatives instead.

The application will normally mention if there are animals that need special care, for instance, medication. Always ask if animals need special care, even if it isn't mentioned in the description. Make a list of things you need to know before you can apply, to make sure you are the right person for the job.

4) Don't wait too long before applying

You are not the only one out there looking for a great house sit. Keep a close eye out for new assignments and send in your application as soon as you can. Some homeowners will grant the house sit to the first one to apply. I have missed a few great assignments because I responded hours too late!

Some of these house sitting websites will give an indication of how many other sitters have already applied. Don't let that deter you from sending in your own application. Not all applicants are deemed suitable by the homeowner and they still might be looking for the right person, and that could very well be you. I have secured multiple house sits where more than 10 people sent in their applications before me.

Show up and do as you have promised. The homeowners most likely have flights scheduled, so you cannot cancel at the last moment without a very compelling reason. Once you have committed to an assignment, stick to it. Don't go looking for even better opportunities once you have agreed to a sit.

Communication is key here. Always answer messages from the homeowners very promptly and honestly. Show them they can rely on you and that they have made the right choice by choosing you for their house sit.

Photo: Digital Marketing Agency NTWRK via Unsplash

5) Write an inviting introduction letter

The first thing homeowners will read about you is your application letter, so it has to be inviting. Use this introduction to explain to them why you are the perfect person for their house sitting assignment. If they have requested specific qualities in their assignment, don't forget to mention that you possess (some of) these qualities. If they are looking for a quiet, trustworthy vegan who loves looking after two very demanding cats that have to sleep on your bed then that person is you!

In my introduction letters, I always include the names of the animals that I will be looking after. It is a personal touch that most homeowners appreciate.

6) Make sure you have good references

Many homeowners prefer house sitters with great references. They want to make sure you are the right person and that you actually offer what you claim in your profile and introduction letter. So make sure you acquire excellent references from past house sits. If you do your job well, homeowners will help you ensure your next house sit.

When you have just signed up and are looking to secure your first house sit, this can of course be a bit tricky. You have to work a bit harder to find a house sit and you might not be able to secure that great house sit with the pool just yet.
Some house sitting websites allow you to leave character references from people who know you well. For instance from family or friends, or a neighbor whose pets you have looked after in the past.

7) Be prepared for an (online) interview

After the homeowners have read all the applicants' letters and have decided that you might be the one, they will most likely propose an interview. This is most commonly done through Skype or WhatsApp. It is a great way to get to know each other and ask questions.

Not only do they get to check you out, but it is also an opportunity for you to get to know them and ask them about things that are important to you. As a vegan, I am always very curious to know if the animals eat raw animal meat: this is a real deal-breaker for me.


Preparation is essential for securing the perfect house sit. When you have been chosen for the assignment and the date of your house sit is near, make sure you have all the information you need. Kindly ask the homeowners for emergency contact information, feeding schedules for the animals, instructions for the house and equipment, etc.

Be dependable...

Keep in mind that you should take each house sit very seriously. The homeowners depend on you to show up and do as you have promised. They most likely have flights scheduled, so you cannot cancel at the last moment without a very compelling reason. Once you have committed to an assignment, stick to it. Don't go looking for even better opportunities once you have agreed to a sit.

Communication is key here. Always answer messages from the homeowners very promptly and honestly. Show them they can rely on you and that they have made the right choice by choosing you for their house sit.

... and have fun!

Don't forget to have fun and make the most of your experience as a house sitter and who knows, you might even turn house sitting into a lifestyle!

Hey there! If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends!