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Passionate experience junkie. Lover of the arts and architecture. Want to see and share the world, one village at a time.

Create a Successful Profile to Win the Best House Sitting Assignments

To become a house sitter, here is the short list of how to begin:

  • Pay the fee on your favorite house sitting website to become a member.
  • Post your profile.
  • Sign up for daily email alerts for house sitting assignments.
  • Respond to the assignments that meet your criteria.
  • Hear back from homeowners that you’ve been chosen to house sit for them. (A great profile can help this come true.)

Number 2 on that list is to post your profile. It’s one of the first things you do on the road to becoming a house sitter, and in my opinion, one of the most important. It’s the first impression of you. It’s going to have a homeowner wanting to know more about you, or if your profile is not good, clicking “delete.”

The competition for the best house sitting assignments is fierce. A month-long house sit in a Parisian apartment or a well-appointed Costa Rican beach home may get one hundred or more hopefuls applying for them. And even if you’re not looking for a house sit in those gorgeous hot spots, you still want to be able to WOW the homeowners you apply to – whenever and wherever it may be.

I have developed the “P.A.S. the Test” system for writing a winning profile. Follow these tips for creating a profile that feels genuine, honest and thorough, so you will stand out and ultimately get the assignments you want.

First, here’s my profile:

**************************

*Mature couple promises to respect your home and property*

Your home is our home while you’re away. We live there as lovingly and carefully as you do. That’s our promise to you. Conrad and I are honored to be invited to look after your home, taking the responsibility seriously.

To help you know us better, here are the combined accomplishments of our lives:

  • Eagle Scout
  • Girl Scout Leader
  • Church Youth Group Leader
  • Career in Medical Research
  • Professional Horse Groomer
  • Manufacturing Company Owner
  • Tour Bus Driver
  • Interior Decorator
  • Parents and Grandparents
  • School Board Member
  • Leader in Community Recreation
  • Award-Winning Gardener
  • Sewing Instructor

Our view of house sitting is one of learning. Learning how you live differently than us – or the same! We love learning the rhythm of your surrounding community through extended contact. We are constantly jazzed from our travel adventures that bring us closer to other folks around the world. Conrad and I look forward to getting to know you – and helping you feel secure in knowing your home is in good hands.

Travelers, by our very nature, are born problem- solvers. Conrad and I bring you years of experience dealing with problems – on the road and at home – from birthing a breech foul, to averting a flood in our home during a storm, to establishing a remote high-altitude research laboratory on a mountain top, to keeping passengers safe and happy after a tour bus breakdown in a desert Utah town. (The incredible trout dinner at a hole-in-the-wall diner there was almost worth the breakdown!)
Additionally, Conrad and I have completed many household remodeling projects over the years. We have put in new floors, built cabinets, refinished and re-upholstered furniture, made draperies and remodeled kitchens.
We no longer own a home, choosing instead the freedom to travel. Please allow us the pleasure of staying in your home. . .

With regards,

Josie and Conrad

**********************

 

Here’s what “P.A.S. the Test” stands for:

 

1. P = Professionalism. Go the extra mile to communicate at your highest standard.

2. A = Awareness. Always know it’s not just about you. Be aware of the homeowner’s needs.

3. S = Sensibility. This is not the time to show off your wild and wacky side. Show homeowners you have sense to care for their home.

 

Let’s start on your profile. First, write a heading.

 

Above, you can see my profile’s heading is “Mature Couple Promises to Respect Your Home and Property.” This is where it’s very important to think of the homeowner – and not what YOU want. Here are three examples of BAD headings:

  • Dept of Defense employee relocating to Manhattan”
  • “Photographer looking for some peace to work on new travel and cultural projects”
  • “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!”

Those examples tell us what they want, but nothing about what they will do for a prospective homeowner. These will end up in the “delete” pile.

In the next examples, the headings tell a better story– ones I believe would be more successful. Here are three good headings:

  • “As if your home was my own…”
  • “Responsible, creative retired couple available to care for your home, pets and plants”
  • “Relax. We’re in no hurry and your property, pets and possessions are in safe, capable hands”

See what I mean? Those last three headings show me they are thinking of the homeowner. Try out a few headings. And by the way, never post your profile the same day you write it. Sleep on it, and read it over again the next day. Edit as needed.

As a freelance writer, I never turn anything over for publication until I’ve had at least one night to sleep on it. I call it, “Trying it on for size.” There’s something magical that occurs in your brain when you leave a project alone for a while. The next day your words feel and sound quite different, and your editing is always superior than the original.

 

Now on to the body of your profile.

 

The main part of your profile is very personality-driven. Whether you write a poem, essay or simply have twenty-five bullet points, must be up to you. Show who you are.

I have learned that either a homeowner will connect with you or they won’t, so you’ve just got to be yourself. Just keep in mind that while you’re telling about yourself and being yourself, it must be in the context of what you can do for them. It must answer the question, “Why should a homeowner trust me with their home?”

Wording can be vital. I’ve learned how to “show – not tell.” Here’s what I mean. In terms of writing a profile, using terms like “responsible” or “trustworthy” don’t say anything. They are ambiguous words that hold different meaning for different people.

So if I want to let you know I’m responsible, I might say, “I’ve owned two homes in my life, one of which I completely renovated and made a 230% profit on when it sold.” To show I am trustworthy, I could say, “As a youth leader, I took a group of high school kids on a mission trip to Mexico where we helped build a camp for under-privileged kids.” Or, “I received the ‘most valuable employee of the year’ as a comptroller for XYZ Company.”

Give an example that describes your good traits rather than just the word “responsible.” People love stories – and it helps keep their eyes from glazing over in boredom reading your profile. Remember that a homeowner may be reading through dozens to hundreds of profiles.

Be yourself, be honest, and “show – don’t tell.” Take your time. A meaningful profile is your foot in the door to the house sitting assignments you want.

And remember “P.A.S. the Test”

1. P = Professionalism. Go the extra mile to communicate at your highest standard.

2. A = Awareness. Always know it’s not just about you. Be aware of the homeowner’s needs.

3. S = Sensibility. This is not the time to show off your wild and wacky side. Show homeowners you have sense to care for their home.

 

And finally, a word about profile photos:

Post many. Included in my profile are 8 photos – some of Conrad and me, and some of the lovely homes where we house sat. Showing those homes illustrates we are experienced and proud.

If you found this helpful, THE HOUSE SITTING BOOK (2014: no longer available. Email me if interested), goes into more detail about every aspect of becoming a successful house sitter and world traveler. I love getting people excited about the low-cost budget way of traveling called house sitting! Conrad’s and my life have been changed forever.

I started this website to help others discover and succeed at this really fun low-cost way to travel the world. You’ll find many more tips and hopefully some inspiration to begin on your own journey. Click here for a list of house sitting articles.

I wish you happy and safe travels always and all ways.

~Josie

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4 Responses to “Create a Successful Profile to Win the Best House Sitting Assignments”

  1. During his 3 month sabbatical in Hawaii, my husband is learning that he can telecommute very comfortably. So, although I didn’t think we would ever be able to house sit or be house sat for because of our dog, the truth is, I’d love to take care of other people’s pets. do, maybe, someday……
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted..Hawaii Quilt Guild Show: E Ho’onanea I Ka Mili KapaMy Profile

    April 9, 2014 at 9:19 am Reply
    • From all I have read from you Suzanne, I know you would enjoy house sitting. Looking after someone else’s pets is really fun — kind of like grandchildren — you get to enjoy them temporarily and then hand them back!
      Wishing you safe and happy travels, my friend!
      Josie

      April 9, 2014 at 10:18 am Reply
  2. Alba #

    Hi, Josie – Saw your post on the FB group Urban Travel Europe and thought I’d read your article: very nicely done. My husband was 100% against someone house sittting for us – until I showed him that kenneling our dog & cat was going to cost us about $350/week while we were gone. Suddenly – he was open to the idea. Our house sitters weren’t ideal – kitchen counter got stained – but it is an old counter which needs replacing, electrical cord was run over with the lawn mower but we fixed it with electrical tape, etc. They took forever to pick us up (pre-arranged & confirmed when we landed) from the train station (12 minutes from our house).ALL of those quibbles aside – I would use a house sitter again in a heart beat – and now I’m curious about becoming one myself someday. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    January 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm Reply
    • Thank you so Much Alba! And welcome. I appreciate your honest appraisal of your not-so-perfect house sitters. But yeah, saving $350/wk is pretty darn compelling!
      I wish you many happy house sitting assignments for your future.
      Good to connect with you,
      Josie

      January 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm Reply

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