Free accommodation while you travel? Yes please! But why would someone just give you free accommodation?
Because you are awesome!
If you have read our post on What is Housesitting you are probably wondering what the next step is. “Nicole”, you ask, “how do I find these housesitting gigs you so frequently talk about?”
Well, after you have joined your preferred house sitting website (see here for details) the next step is showing the world how awesome you are!
Building a profile is essential to scoring housesitting gigs. Without it homeowners don’t know who you are or how to reach you. They won’t know what makes you so awesome and why they should choose you to house sit. So what you need to do is build a killer profile. A profile so amazing that homeowners everywhere approach you to look after their home.
So what exactly is a ‘profile’? Well, a profile is a presentation of yourself, which homeowners can find on the housesitting websites. Think of it as resume of sorts.
If you do not have a profile a homeowner can not find you. Many homeowners do not post their own ads. They simply search the websites database and approach the housesitter directly with the details of the sit. So it is extremely important to have a profile on these websites so you do not limit yourself and miss out on amazing opportunities.
You need to grab the attention of the homeowners and stand out from all the rest. You want the homeowner to read your profile and say “I have found the sitter, no need to look any further!”
First impressions are very important. In fact, if you don’t impress the pants off the homeowner in your profile you won’t make their short list, let alone be chosen as their sitter.
After many edits of our own profile to see which works best, the one that always works for us is when we tell our story. We want the homeowners to feel like they know us even before the initial Skype or phone call. We have been told by a few of our homeowners that this has been the reason they chose us. They felt like they got to know us before they had met us. It made them feel comfortable knowing our story.
But of course you also want to ensure your profile talks about how you can help the homeowner. You need to make it about them too. How can you help THEM. What qualities you possess that will be good for THEM.
The next thing you want to include in your winning profile is photos. You absolutely must have a photo of yourself but it’s also good to have a few photos with you and pets (walking the dog, petting the cat – that sort of thing).
Then, to give yourself more a little more credibility, upload a video.
Introduce yourself to your potential homeowner, tell them a little about who you are and why you think you are the housesitter they are looking for.
It doesn’t have to be long, just a few minutes, but it’s definitely a way to set yourself apart from the rest. (Please note; Not all of the websites have this option available).
Here are some items you should cover in your profile:
- Are you, or have you been, a pet owner?
- What kind of experience do you have?
- Do you have an international driver’s license?
- What special skills do you have?
- What are your hobbies?
- Are you competent at home repairs?
- Do you like to work in the garden?
- What do, or did, you do for work?
- Do you have a website or social media feed?
Think about what would set you apart from the other applicants and include it in your profile. You don’t want to be seen as just another applicant. You want to stand out in the crowd!
If you need some ideas (or what I like to call ‘creative inspiration’) why not search the house sitters database on any of the websites we have talked about. Of course, do not copy their profiles word for word, but it sometimes helps to see what others write to get you started.
You may want to type it up in Word or similar as there is no spell check on the website forms, and it wouldn’t look good if you had spelling or punctuation mistakes all throughout your profile.
Do not overwhelm them with a novel but at the same time make sure you include enough information. When we were looking for our house sitter we had applicants who barely put two sentences together (we deleted those without ever seriously considering them).
Just remember, you want to stand out from the crowd so make sure your profile is enthusiastic, honest and full of useful information for the home owners. Focus on all the wonderful things about you, what makes you unique, special.
Never lie in you profile, people can see right through the lies. If you don’t like animals, please do not say that you do! If you do not like gardening, don’t tell them how excited you are to weed for them. Never be untruthful. You will never get referrals or rebookings if you are dishonest.
Just be yourself. Homeowners just want to know that you are capable of taking care of their home and pets so they can have a worry-free vacation. They are not looking for Wonderwoman or Superman. They just want someone who is honest, reliable and domesticated! So don’t try to be something you’re not, just be your awesome self and you will win them over!