I'm sharing my top 3 secrets to landing your first housesit on Trusted House Sitters with no references. This is exactly what I did to land my first sit after applying to sit and after sit and getting rejected.
You’re sitting outside on the patio of a gorgeous french home with a puppy at your feet… sipping your morning coffee. You get to stay in this amazing house for an entire week, without paying a thing. And did I mention the puppy?
Sounds like a dream come true right?
Well with Trusted House Sitters, this dream can become a reality. In my last post, I introduced you to what Trusted House Sitters is, but if you haven’t read that one yet, you can find it here.
In this post, I want to guide you through landing your first house sit. Landing your first house sit is much like landing any new job. It takes a lot of trust for someone to leave their home and their pets with strangers, so they have to know they can trust you.
But how do you prove that to them when it’s your first house sit!? And you have nooooo referrals?! When I first started using Trusted House Sitters, it took me ages to find my first house sit. I’d done house sitting before, but that was just by chance, it was never really organized, so I didn’t have a single referral on the platform.
I’d apply for a sit and people would reply, sorry but we’ve decided to go with someone who’s our area, or sorry but we’ve found someone else who seems like a better fit. And no matter how flexible I was, and how many sits I applied for, it seemed I just couldn’t land one.
So listen up! Instead of waiting around, hoping you’re going to get a housesit with no referrals… I’m going to let you in on my secrets.
Already know you want to join Trusted House Sitters? Get 25% off your membership here.
How I landed my first House Sit with Trusted House Sitters
Step One: Make an Introduction Video
I’ll let you in on a secret about myself... I HATE videos of myself. I’m always overly critical of myself on video. Hence why there are so few videos of me anywhere… When I first joined Trusted House Sitters, they kept sending me these little reminders, saying things along the lines of, “Sitters with videos on their profiles land more house sits.” And I would just tell myself… no way. I’ll be fine. People will still pick me, I don’t need a video.
But finally, I caved. I sat down at my computer and made a short video, introducing myself to people, and letting them know why they should pick me to watch their pets and home. And you know what? Someone actually reached out to me on the platform and asked me to housesit for them!
Videos are way more personal than a description of yourself and photos are. It gives people the chance to feel like they are getting to know you before they let you come stay in their house for whatever length of time.
Secret #1 to landing your first house sit with Trusted House Sitters: Add a video of yourself to your profile. It gives people the chance to get to know you even better.
Step Two: Focus on the Housesit, not the ‘Trip’
My problem is that I always get so excited about the location of the trip. When I applied for housesits, I would say things like, “I’ve always wanted to visit…” and “that’s my dream location!” Instead of focusing on where you might be headed, focus on the family and the pets that you are going to be taking care of.
When you’re applying for a house sit, it’s important to focus on them. Ask about their family and their pets. Get to know their routine. Give referrals and talk about the relevant experience you’ve had on another house sit. You can say things like, “A walk every day? Perfect, the last time I was house sitting I would take Bobby for a run every morning to get the day started.”
Always ask them questions and make sure that they know that you are interested in watching their pets and treating their pets and their home like it was your own. Yes, it’s your vacation, but when applying for house sits, don’t focus your energy on that. It’ll come through in your application and that will make you less likable. Trust me.
I was looking back over the hundred or so applications that had been rejected when I remembered this amazing house sit for a month in Mauritius. It was the dream house sit. Obviously, I didn’t get it. But I went to look back over my application and I can see clearly now, why someone wouldn’t have chosen me. I was focused completely on the house, and the beaches and the garden. And not on the fact that they had a dog that needed extra assistance… and other pets as well. I blew it.
Don’t make that mistake yourself, trust me, changing your perspective when applying for house sits will really come through.
Secret #2 for landing your first house sit with Trusted House Sitters: Focus on their pets and how you can help them. Provide relevant experience and ask lots of questions about their home and their routine.
Step Three: Apply for a few local housesits before going crazy around the world
When you head onto Trusted House Sitters, you might get pulled in, like I did, to the amazing sits around the world. A housesit in little old Utah might seem boring. But that’s a missed opportunity to land your first house sit and start getting some referrals on the platform.
I’ve learned over my time using Trusted House Sitters that people like to have someone from their own area. I always get house sits in Switzerland now because I’m based there. And people like that I’m just a drive or train ride away. It makes me more reliable than when I’m coming from all the way around the world.
So that being said, it can be really helpful when you’re in need of referrals, to apply for housesits in your area. Close enough that you could meet people for coffee before heading to stay in their home. Think of a close house sit like a staycation. You get to get out of the house, play with someone’s pets for a few days and maybe explore an area of the city or countryside that you don’t normally see. Or maybe it’s just a weekend for you to cuddle up with someone’s dog and watch movies (I’ve totally done that!).
Not every house sit has to be in an exotic location halfway around the world (I’m mostly reminding myself of that)... so make sure you apply for sits in your own area to gain some experience and show people on Trusted House Sitters that you are reliable.
Secret #3 to landing your first house sit on Trusted House Sitters: Apply for sits in your home town or city.
With those three things in mind, you’ll be on your way to landing your first house sit in no time! Ready to get started? Get 25% off your House Sitters membership when you sign up here! Or use promo code: justynjen at checkout.
Interested in learning more about Trusted House Sitters? Watch this video to learn more about Trusted House Sitters and how the platform works!
Before you go, check out my last post on Why 2020 is the Year for Travel with Trusted House Sitters.
Thanks for following along the adventure. Don’t forget to get social with me. Comment on my last post on Instagram and tell me what your favorite animal to pet sit would be.
Happy housesitting! Drop any questions in the comments below. I can't wait for you to land your first housesit with Trusted House Sitters.
Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post in a recent collaboration with Trusted House Sitters. However, I only promote products that I love and this is one of my favorites. I've used Trusted House Sitters for years and that's why I've decided to share them with you. My opinions are always my own.