Learning how to become an international house sitter may be a relatively easy task, but actually becoming one may not be so easy. If you want income from being an international house sitter (because other people do this for free), consider the following:
- Learn what an international house sitter does and acquire additional skills to improve your chances of getting hired. Put simply, an international house sitter’s job is to maintain the homeowner’s household while he is away, pay the bills, tend the pets and like tasks. The sitter stays in the owner’s home, but pays for his other personal expenses or a reduced rental to the home owner, and a deposit for security, all depending on their agreement. Some of the skills that could come in handy for the job are taking care of pets and gardening, to name but a few.
- Identify your goals or motivations for wanting this job. People sign up for an international house sitting job for a variety of reasons, ranging from desire to travel, education and the need for extra income for retirees. These motivations will shape your flexibility for the job.
- Register with one or several international house sitting agencies. These agencies match their roster of house sitters to work assignments, and charge homeowners fees for this service. Be ready to be scrutinized by these agencies before they let you sign up.
- References, police background check reports, previous experience as a house sitter are some of the things you must be prepared to divulge to your agency or prospective homeowner. The object of providing these information is to give the homeowner the opportunity to get to know you—a total stranger to him.
- Advertise your services. Don’t wait for homeowners abroad to advertise for your service—the chances of finding a homeowner’s ad online are close to nil. Send out emails, pay for local ads in your country of choice or enlist an advertiser. An effective advertising strategy is to advertise with an online house sitting directory. These online companies either collect an annual fee from their house sitters so the individual sitter can create their own advertisement on the website, (thus allowing homeowners to shop for preferred sitters) or the companies themselves contact the homeowners to advertise the services of their member-international house sitters.
- Never underestimate the power of a well-written advertisement written by you personally, or someone else who is capable.
- Make sure you enlist into a reputable company. You know you are enlisting into a reputable company judging from the ease with which you can navigate and obtain detailed information from their website, testimonials of their customers and other sitters, and the fact that their website is among the top 50 page returns if you make a generic search for international housesitters.
- Although this is not required, it’s great to have your own webpage, with a link to the online house sitting companies you are a member of. Relying on a website you made on your own without this link will not amount much because your ad will not likely be found by target homeowners.
- Before signing up to be someone’s sitter, talk about the details and negotiate for better terms. Have a sit-down interview if you can.
A professional international house sitter knows there is no such thing as a free lunch in this profession. The way to becoming and international house sitter begins with learning how to be an international house sitter. Good luck!