There’s a wide variety of global and regional listing services on-line, and each has a slightly different Membership process for House Sitters. But the following article is intended to give you the generic steps you’ll follow to sign up as a house sitter with a Listing Service:
- Choose your Listing Service
- Register as a House Sitter
- Select your Preferences
- Create your Profile
- Search for House Sitting Assignments
Let’s look at each of these steps in detail:
[important]1. Choose your Listing Service[/important]
There are a handful of established sites in the House Sitting arena, and many smaller ones, but choose the one that meets your particular requirements and fits your budget. I’d recommend visiting a few different sites to see which one you’d prefer to use (it’s really a matter of personal preference)
Most Listing Services allow House Sitters to peruse assignments, before committing to paying membership fees. This gives you the opportunity of assessing the volume of assignments in your desired location. Some Listing Services even offer a limited access membership to House Sitters.
Read my assessment of the different Listing Service Sites (coming soon)
[important]2. Register as a House Sitter[/important]
During the registration process, you’ll need to pay a membership fee, and will probably need to validate your email address before your account is activated.
Decide whether you want to use an existing email address, of set up a new one specifically for house sitting notifications and correspondence. If you want to segregate all of your house sitting emails, it’s easy to set up a free email account (i.e. gmail).
[important]3. Select your Preferences[/important]
Most house sitting memberships come with the option of signing up for email alerts, which notify you when new assignments that meet your criteria, are posted by homeowners.
So as part of your membership process, you’ll need to set up your preferences:
- Desired Locations
- Dates you’re available
- Which pets you’re willing to look after
A key reason to spend time filling in accurate preferences, is that many homeowners prefer to search the listings to find a house sitter, instead of placing an ad. So accurate preferences will increase your chances of making the first cut in the selection process. This is also why it’s also important to spend time creating an intriguing Sitter Profile.
[important]4. Create your Profile[/important]
- Profile: Fill out all of the sections in your profile, with succinct and descriptive information, but steer away from sounding too clinical and businesslike. The key to a good profile, is to strike a balance between professional and friendly. To achieve this, let some of your personality shine through.
- Photo: Select an in-focus photo that represents “you”. Steer away from posting a group photo, and instead, choose one where you’re center-stage and smiling!
Try looking at your profile and picture from an outsiders perspective – if homeowners didn’t know you, what assumptions would they make about you?
Spend time creating your profile. This, along with your photo, could be your first introduction to the homeowner – and you know what they say about ‘first impressions’!
[important]5. Search for House Sitting Assignments[/important]
Be proactive. Don’t just become a member of a house sitting listing service and hope that homeowners will contact you with assignments. Sign up for daily or weekly alerts, and when an assignment piques your interest, send a letter of interest to the homeowner.
These 5 Steps should arm you with enough information to get you started with your house sitter listing service membership, but check with the individual sites to find out if any of their steps differ.