It’s unanimous. Every house sitter agrees. There is one vital action you must take when applying for house sitting assignments.
So if you slack on having the greatest profile photo, or in getting that third letter of recommendation, okay, but you can’t ignore this one action. Without it, you will not be house sitting.
Here it is:
Get your introduction letter to a homeowner within a few hours of their post going live.
So here’s how the procedure happens:
- Mrs. Homeowner needs a house sitter, writes up a nice post explaining where they live, how long they’ll be gone, and what they expect in a house sitter. She posts it on one of the house sitting match-up sites, such as HouseCarers.com or TrustedHouseSitters.com.
- As a house sitter, you receive daily email alerts letting you know all the new posts. You see Mrs. Homeowner’s post and it sounds good.
- You must warm up your fingers and set them to work on the keyboard immediately writing a professional letter of introduction to Mrs. Homeowner. Not after walking the dog or having another cup of coffee. Not after you get back from yoga class. Not after reading about another assignment. Write the letter immediately.
- After posting a need for house sitters a homeowner starts receiving letters of introduction right away. They are anxious to find a good candidate so start reading.
- There are boatloads of qualified and wonderful house sitters out there. After reading 10 or 15 letters, the homeowner already has several people to choose from.
- Some homeowners stop right there are don’t even read any more letters. (I’m sure it has happened to you that you never hear back from homeowners, and indeed find out they never opened your letter.)
- By the end of the first day of posting the need for house sitters, many homeowners have already narrowed their field to a short list of three candidates.
What this all means is that you must jump on the new posts right away in order to get your introduction letter in front of the homeowner immediately.
James Cave from TrustedHouseSitters.com takes this action very seriously. To that end, the website has implemented options for house sitters in active search mode. To gain a competitive edge you can sign up for real-time alerts which send them to your email the moment the post goes live. Normally, email alerts arrive in your email at the same time each day. All listings from the previous 24 hours are listed.
Additionally, when you are a member of TrustedHouseSitters and logged in at the site, you see a more current list of new assignments. The trick there is to remember to log in!
Nora Dunn, aka The Professional Hobo, a veteran house sitter had this to say,
“If you’re extra eager and know where you want to go, then visit the site and search daily. There’s often a delay between when a listing is posted on the site and when the email alerts go out, allowing you to get in with your application before the masses who are only monitoring their emails.”
Put yourself in the homeowner’s shoes. If your email inbox is filled with introductory letters, how would you approach them? Chances are you’d start with the one that came in first and move up the list. If the letters are from experienced and qualified house sitters, is there a need to slog through a hundred or more? Probably not.
Colleen and Rick Ray from OurAdventuresHouseSitting.com have house sat their way across several continents. The recently won a tony assignment in Hawaii, an extremely competitive location for applying for house sits. Coleen answered my recent question about her method of applying this way:
“It is so timely that you e-mailed with that particular question because we’ve just had (again) an experience that underscores the need to apply as soon as possible after a sit is posted. We applied immediately (same day) for a house sit in Hawaii and by the next morning the ad had been pulled because the homeowner had over 100 applicants in the first day. I can’t say how many people were actually considered but I am under the impression that they went through most of them (especially because this is their first time using a house sitter and they are being very cautious to do it properly). The field was narrowed to three which were interviewed, references checked, etc. We are very happy to tell you that we were selected! But I’m sure that would not have been the case if we hadn’t responded so quickly. It’s a cliché but with house sitting the early bird does get the worm.”
I’ll leave you with words from Chris and Brian Forster, first-time house sitters who just returned from their first assignment in Australia. I asked if she found it important to respond quickly to house sitting posts.
“Josie – hmmm – would not this be common sense to do this? Folks that don’t get their application off immediately can’t be too serious!”
Here are more articles with tips for successful house sitting.
I wish you safe and happy travels always and all ways,