If you are thinking of joining Housesitmatch as a house sitter, or you are already registered read this blog. It could mean the difference between you getting that fabulous housesit or not. Learn from Kelly Hayes-Raitt about how to build an irresistible house sitter profile.
Globe-trotter Kelly Hayes-Raitt shares her top tips for creating an engaging and effective house sitter profile.
By Kelly Hayes-Raitt
Your house sitter profile is your first introduction to a pet owner. It’s your on-line résumé! Here are my top 17 tips to make it irresistible — plus the photos from my profile!
There are 4 elements to your house sitter profile:
• Description that answer standard questions, such as “Why I want to housesit.”
1. Create an engaging description of yourself that answers the question, “Why I want to housesit for YOU!” Show what you can bring to the “table” in your house sitter headline. Don’t just focus on what you get out of housesitting, remember it is reciprocal. You are providing a valuable service, not looking for free vacation digs. This is really important to remember in your house sitter profile.
2. Provide a little personal background – for example, your age, nationality, career, who you are traveling with.
3. Emphasize your experiences with pets and animals.
4. Include your experiences with managing/owning homes, pools, farms, gardens.
5. Include any medical or veterinarian background.
6. Stand out by showing your personality in your photos, it is a good way to make a statement in your house sitter profile. It’s OK to take a risk and be controversial. In my house sitter profile on HouseSitMatch, I mention that I’m writing a book about my experiences in the Middle East working with Iraqi refugees. That might turn off some people, but it has floated my application to the top of some very long lists. Sound like someone the homeowner would like to meet!
7. Mention your travel experience as this conveys your flexibility and adaptability.
8. Triple check your spelling and grammar in your trusted house sitters application, particularly if you are not writing in your native language. Demonstrate that you pay attention to details.
9. Headline your house sitter profile with a phrase that sparks curiosity and inspires confidence.
10. Choose photos of yourself interacting with pets for your house sitter profile. You’d be surprised at the number of house sitter profiles that
feature what appear to be police mug shots. Or, worse, people looking like party animals with empty beer or wine bottles in their photos. In my house sitter profile, I include photos of me playing with big and little dogs, cuddling with kitties and petting rabbits. In just a glance, a pet owner can see what types of animals I have experience with.
11. If including photos taken during previous housesitting assignments, be sure they don’t include any images that might compromise homeowners’ security or privacy.
12. Smile! And make sure your eyes aren’t obscured by sunglasses or big hats.
13. Shoot a creative video. Don’t fall back on sitting on a couch saying the same things that you’ve written in your house sitter profile. We call those “talking heads” and they’re somewhat boring!
14. Don’t just tell me you’re responsible and flexible, SHOW your humor, your flexibility. Be someone the homeowners want to meet, not just a house sitter dog sitter.
15. Again, be sure to protect the privacy and security of homeowners for whom you have house sat in the past.
16. Consider telling a story in your house sitter profile – perhaps the story of how you got into house sitting, or anecdotes of your personal interactions with pets.
Since I had run for public office, I decided to include a video on my house sitting profile that looks like a campaign commercial. It’s silly, narrated by a friend of mine who pretended to be ChaCha, the rambunctious pit/Lab rescue I cared for every year in Mexico. But it’s fun and says a lot about me in a very short time.
Reviews help to optimise a house sitter profile
17. Gather reviews for your house sitter profile quickly following the assignment, while the homeowners are still feeling warm and glowy. HouseSitMatch automatically sends both the sitter and homeowner an email prompting reviews. But before posting feedback, I send the homeowners an email thanking them for choosing me.
In it, I include a draft of the feedback I plan to post asking if they have any changes they’d like made. And I include a request that they post a review. I remind them that reviews can’t be changed once posted, so I invite them to contact me first with any questions or concerns.
Following these tips should land you a memorable house sit with loving pets!
Kelly Hayes-Raitt is the author of How to Become a HouseSitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva. After 12 years of full-time worldwide house sitting, Kelly is currently committed to learning to speak Portuguese and is confined to house sitting in the Lisbon area. She’s crying crocodile tears.
Further reading on housesitting for housesitters
At HouseSitMatch.com we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters and house sitting in London useful.