APPLYING FOR HOUSE SITS
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Although the temptation may be to fire off the same email to every person, making it personal when applying for house sits really does make a huge difference. You may have a paragraph about yourself that you’ll send to every homeowner (and copying and pasting will save you a lot of time here) but at the very least your opening paragraph should be unique to the house sit that you’re applying for.
ADDRESS THE HOME OWNER NEEDS
Homeowners may get many responses to their advert and if so, may end up skimming your message to see whether or not to put you on the shortlist.
The easiest way to make sure you make the shortlist: show that you’ve read their advert and can offer them what they need when applying for house sits.
If they’re looking for someone with pool cleaning experience and you have it, make sure you mention that in the first few lines. If they have a dog that needs looking after and you have experience looking after dogs, make sure you mention that. If they’re in Canada and you already have the legal/visa requirements to stay in Canada for the duration of the stay, make sure you mention that.
Take the following house sitting assignment, what needs could you address in your email?
Even though it’s tempting to want to be able to offer the homeowner everything they need, don’t offer to take on anything you’re not qualified to do (cleaning pools or DIY work for example).
KEEP IT SHORT
It’s a challenge to get all of the information you want into an email whilst keeping the whole email to a few paragraphs but you’ll get good at it.
APPLY STRAIGHT AWAY
Some homeowners have a good idea of who they’re going to pick for the house sit (or at least a shortlist of possibles) within 24 hours of a house sit going live. Often the biggest challenge a homeowner will have will be picking a sitter from so many suitable candidates.
One of the simplest ways they can make that decision easier is to limit the number of people they’ll consider, so some homeowners will get twenty applications and then decide they’ll pick someone from that batch (even if the house sit is still listed as live and accepting applications). To get around this make sure you get your application in early.
Most people are usually so excited when applying for a house sit that this doesn’t apply but for those that don’t check their emails regularly, make a special effort to do so when you’re applying for a house sit. Applying quickly shows that you’re eager and professional.
Offer to meet the homeowner face-to-face (if you can)
Although house sits are arranged over the internet, it’s an agreement that’s all about trust, and at the end of the day, homeowners find it easier to trust someone they’ve met in person.
If you’re applying for a house sit that’s local to you, you should definitely offer to meet them beforehand (and make sure you offer in the first email that you send). This will almost certainly guarantee that you will get offered that house sit.
Overseas house sits are a different story. Obviously if a house sit is the other side of the world it would be impractical for you to meet the homeowner first, but if you do see a dream house sit that’s within a short travel time, it’s worth seeing if you can find a cheap flight as making the effort to meet with the homeowner beforehand would make you stand out from all of the other house sitters who are applying.