Maybe you’ve just decided house sitting is the thing you but how to make sure you get the sits you apply for. The first step if setting yourself up with a great housesitting profile on your site or sites of choice.
While the word going around is that it’s super difficult to get sits through sites like Trustedhousesitters, we’ve never had a problem and I’m putting it down to two things, our profile and our application letter (which I’ll write about later.) But for now, here are the things we made sure of when we set up our house sitting profile:
We worked out our selling points.
After over a decade of managing my author brand, I approached setting up our house sit profile with the same professionalism as I set up my author website. Essentially what we’re talking about here is what’s known in the marketing industry as “trust markers.” Things about you that show that you’re a trustworthy person. Over a glass of wine we worked out what home owners would want to know about us and we came up with the following:
They’d want to know our professional qualifications
They’d want to know our experience with animals
They’d want to know our home-owning experience and about our cleanliness standards.
They’d want to know a bit about our personality
They’d want to know our travel experience
They’d want to know a bit about our lifestyle.
We Drafted A Profile.
Once we had our selling points listed, we drafted a profile, starting with an introduction to who we were that went through all the dot points I listed above. We made sure the introduction had a personable tone as that’s what we’ve responded to best in the past. We also made sure the focus was on how we could best take care of a person’s home and pets. Being writers and knowing that anything worth writing needs a “rest” before it gets edited, we popped the draft in a file and left it there for a day or so.
We Found Appropriate Pictures
Meanwhile we trawled through all of our photographs. We already had our professionally done author pictures and knew they’d be our main picture, but we wanted less formal pictures of us in addition to pictures that backed up what we’d said in our profile about being well-travelled and knowing how to be around pets. This is where we hit a bit of a catch because while Tony loves being photographed, I don’t. I’m usually the one taking the pictures! In the end I found a couple of me with the various cats we’ve fostered and one with an elephant at a sanctuary we’d volunteered at. I was a bit worried about the elephant one being irrelevant but it turned out that we picked up an amazing sit in Switzerland because our hosts had volunteered at the same elephant sanctuary! Once we had around ten pictures we narrowed them down to two of us, three of Tony with critters and three of me. Since we were signed up to a number of house sitting sites, it gave us a lot of room to represent ourselves the best we could.
We Researched What Everyone Else Was Doing
It made more sense to do this after making a draft of our profile so that we’d have all the essential stuff in and would then be able to tailor it based on our findings. The main things we got out of this was remembering to mention our gardening experience and to have something in our profiles about our larger animal experience. (I grew up in outback Australia on farms, but we’d forgotten to go into details over all the big critters I’d handled.)
We Edited Our Draft
We tightened up our profile, checking for spelling errors, reading it out loud a couple of times to make sure the tone was as conversational as possible while keeping all the pertinent details. (For anyone who wants to write a novel, the “read-out-loud” phase of the editing process is a real thing… If you’re alone you can even do funny voices!)
We Uploaded The Profile to The Sites And Checked It Looked Good.
We then popped the profile up and haven’t really changed it yet with the exception of tweaking the pictures every now and then after we take new ones while out and about on house sits. As always, Tony’s the one who is in most of the pictures but now I have to remember to ask him to take some of me!