House Sitting in Australia is becoming a hot topic among international travellers and locals alike. Indeed there is an increasing demand for house sits, because of the many benefits offered to both parties: homeowners and house sitters. Homeowners can travel longer with peace of mind, by leaving their house and beloved pets in trusted hands, while they are away.
Likewise, travellers and locals can travel and stay for free in someone’s else house.
Furthermore, thanks to house sitting, many people can improve their lifestyle. They become more flexible while they are location independent and travel longer while cutting costs on accommodation.
A guide to finding good house-sits in Australia
If you have decided to try out housesitting in Australia, you may wonder what the necessary steps to make it happen smoothly are. When I started thinking about house sitting, I honestly had no idea whether house sitting was the right thing. I had read many articles about the good, the bad and the ugly house sitting experiences.
When it comes to getting things done, and finding your first house sit gig, you realise that you need a proven process. Right at the beginning, I made a few mistakes. Trial and error naturally belong to it, but it also shows you what’s works for you and what doesn’t.
The four cornerstones of housesitting that work well for me
While there are different ways of approaching house sitting, these are my four cornerstones for getting housesits in Australia. They have helped me find a great home sits over the last two years without too much effort. I hope they can help you. Of course, they may not suit you 100%, but I hope they will show you how to get started and get it right from the beginning. Once you have these few things in place, everything will be more natural, and house sitting opportunities will start rolling into your mailbox!
Know your why and your purpose of housesitting
Why do you want to become a House Sitter? Is saving money on accommodation your answer, then take a minute to think over your response. Because there likely will be a deeper meaning and motivation for you wanting to house sit in Australia. If you consider this at a deeper level, you will see your primary purpose. Either travelling long-term and working location independent. Or taking a career break and wandering around Australia to find a new place to settle in. Or enjoying retired life and the benefit of no fixed address. No matter what your ultimate purpose is, the common denominator is the willingness to live in someone’s home, take care of their house and house-pets, and enjoy the freedom of moving around without worrying about renting a place. This results in free accommodation and zero cost of the rent. So staying for free is the consequence of a more significant purpose.
Use the best house sitting websites to promote yourself
Once you have decided to tap into the realm of housesitting and try out a nomadic life, you need reliable tools to put it into place. It would be best if you had good ways of promoting yourself to start with the house sitters lifestyle. You need a trusted website with a large pool of diversified home-owners located all over the territory in Australia. Some sites cater for house sits.
I have used Aussie House Sitters to find a top house sit in the last three years, which helped me much. In my opinion, this is the best website for finding a house sitting job in Australia. If this is the only country you mostly want to housesit, this site comes in very handy, with an affordable yearly fee and an excellent service.
Get leads and potential gigs with a killer housesitter profile
As good as a house sitting can be, websites will not trigger miracles for you. It’s up to you to communicate and sell yourself and make the most of the platform’s functionality. It would be best if you created a killer profile that can convey all crucial information about your person, i.e. your purpose, personality traits and your skills and experience. You don’t need any fancy tools; you need a short and effective presentation of yourself. Your profile must stand out among the crowds and get the eyeballs of many suitable homeowners.
Last year I wrote an article on how to create a successful house sitter profile that works!
Grow your connections and get advice through House Sitting Groups on Social Media
If you are not familiar with housesitting, yet, it may sound a bit daunting. So reading blog posts about house-sits and learning from fellow travellers or bloggers is, in my opinion, essential. I read a lot of articles that finally made me take the plunge. You can also search for a House Sitting Facebook Group to familiarise yourself or clear up doubts and fears. It took me a long time to get my first gig, as I had no house-sitting experience.
Here you can read how it started with my house sitting experience as a solo female traveller.
Single house sitter vs couple house sitter – Chances to get a house-sit
How are you planning to house sit? As a solo traveller with your partner or a travel companion? Chances are the home-owners tend to prefer single house sitters to look after their house and beloved pets. However, while solo travellers are yet a minority, – and most people travel with a companion, most house sitters are couples with no kids. It also depends on the amount of work required and the number of house-pets to take care of. While one pet is perfect for the single house sitter, two or more pets – and more house-work – best suit a couple. No matter how experienced you are with pet-and house-sitting, you shall always consider house sitting jobs that are a good fit and avoid to take on too much work.
House sitting jobs are unpaid, and as such, there must be a fair balance between the mutual exchange of free-stay against house-and-pet-care.
What you shall know before considering house sitting in Australia
House sitting may sound like a fun and exciting experience. It has many benefits. However, it does also bring a high level of commitment. As a long-term house sitter, you must commit to the requested work and the length of time. Once you commit, you cannot change your mind, and you must stick to the work involved. It is your responsibility to clarify any doubts and fear before accepting a house sit.
That’s why meeting in person is golden, and you shall plan it all the times. However, it may not always be possible, so a conversation over the phone or via Skype can be the right way of getting to know more details and ask questions.
While on one side you must be 100% sure that you feel confident with the job, you must also make sure that a safe and free stay and all things ticked off your list are guaranteed. Signing a house sitting agreement can be a good thing to consider. I am not a fan of house sitting arrangements but if this makes sense for you, go with it. There is a standard form on any house sitting website that you can download and adjust to your and your home-owners’ needs.
Taking House sitting little by little
If you plan to get your first house-sitting gig in Australia but are unsure, I would suggest starting with a short-term house sit. One or two weeks will be enough to give you an idea of how it is. I wouldn’t start with a long-term commitment to your first house sit gig.
Long-term housesitting requires a higher level of commitment, and it can be risky to start with a few months house sit if you haven’t done it before. A short-term test is always an excellent way as a start. While on one side you can see if this is the right thing for you, it will show you what you like and what you don’t like.
Not getting house-sits – How to handle rejections
As said before, the demand for housesitting is rapidly growing in Australia. The offer is higher than the market, though. So you may be finding yourself struggling to get your first gig. And you are likely to get lots of rejections at the beginning.
So what to do? Don’t despair. It’s not the end of the world. As long as you get a reply with the rejections, that’s always a good sign. That means you have been shortlisted – out of hundreds – and notified about it. Building rapport and thanking people for getting back to you, it belongs to the best practice. I do appreciate people and ask them to stay in touch for future house sit needs. Remember that home-owners always pick the ones who – in their eyes – are the perfect fit for them.
Tools to help you find the right house-sits in Australia
There are many online resources that you can check out and use to get advice on how to deal with issues that may arise while searching for house sitting jobs. On Facebook, there are house sitting groups where you can start a discussion and look for unbiased, expert advice.
Conclusions on how to find the best house sitting jobs in Oz
In 5 years, I got six housesits, 2 short house sits and five long-term housesitting gigs. While I have been travelling for many months, house sitting alone not only saved me thousands of dollars on accommodation and that great saving on my solo travels in Australia.
It also gave me the priceless opportunity to savour the Aussie lifestyle. While living immersed in a local community and exploring places like a local, I could experience Australia from a different perspective.
I’m thankful for this and look forward to more exciting house-sitting gigs in my solo trips.
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The article was first published in August 2016, updated in Nov 2020.
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