House sitting is an amazing way to see the world and meet new people. This post will cover exactly how to write an awesome house sitting application message that will make you stand out and help you land your ideal house sit.
As a house sitter, you take care of someone else’s home and pets while they’re away. You get a free place to stay and they get free pet care and peace of mind. I started house sitting and traveling in 2018, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
House sitting jobs can be found all over the world for any length of time, making this the perfect option for travelers looking to get off the beaten path while still having the comforts of home. You’ll also likely meet a new furry companion, which is always a plus!
But before you can experience this exciting way of traveling, you have to apply to some house sits.
I know sending off that first house sitting letter can feel scary. This post will help you know exactly what to say to make a great first impression.
If you’re totally new to house sitting, you can check out this House Sitting Overview post first for more information about how it works!
Applying to House Sitting Jobs
To find house sitting jobs, I recommend checking out a house sitting platform like Trusted House Sitters. Create a profile and browse the listings to find house sits that work with your schedule and skill set. (You can read my full Trusted House Sitters review here.)
Once you’ve found some house sit jobs that interest you, it’s time to apply. Remember that each listing gets dozens of applicants so there is a good chance you won’t hear back from everyone.
To improve your chances of getting your dream house sit, you’ll want to send an application message that impresses the homeowner and makes you stand out from the other applications.
When you apply to a house sit with Trusted House Sitters, the homeowner gets to see your profile and your application message. While your profile will have basic information about you, your application message is really where you can let your personality shine.
It’s your first chance to make a great first impression!
Pro Tip: Apply Early
Check the house sitting website you’re using every day. It is very likely that your ideal house sit is going to get a lot of applicants and your host might close their listing quickly.
A few weeks ago I saw this awesome listing in London. It was right in zone one, I’d be caring for a sweet kitten, and it was an all-around gorgeous home! I went about my day, making a mental note to apply for it later in the evening, but when I logged on, the listing was gone.
Apparently, the homeowner got so many applicants they decided to close it off to new ones. Ya snooze, ya lose.
What to say in your house sitting application message?
You found it. The house sit of your dreams. Maybe it is an awesome flat in Paris with an adorable kitten. Maybe it is an open-air retreat on the beach of Costa Rica with two huge sloppy dogs. Whatever it is, you found it.
If a house sit appealed to you, there is a good chance it appealed to many other people. More than one of our hosts have told us that within hours of listing their house sit, they were flooded with applicants.
This means that you need to make yourself stand out in your house sitting application message.
Your message should show that you read the listing carefully.
Greet the hosts by name and explain why you want to apply for this house sit. When I first started applying for house sits, I accidentally called the host by the wrong name in my greeting.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t hear back from them.
When asking questions about their pets, refer to their pets by name. Why does the house sit appeal to you? If the house sit is in the rainforest, you can emphasize your interest in hiking and nature. If you have always wanted to learn French, mention that to your potential Parisian hosts.
Always be honest, and help them understand why this specific listing caught your eye.
Tell your host about yourself.
Even though there is lots of info about you on your profile, the homeowner doesn’t have time to comb through the profile of each applicant. Save them some time and explain who you are.
I always mention where I’m from, my interests, and my remote work situation. I tell them about my job and my travel experiences so far.
If you plan to work from home most of the day, let them know. Working on a book of poetry or novel? Mention it! Give your host some insight into what you will be doing in their home all day.
Emphasize your experience with animals, especially if you have experience with the same breed they have.
Owners are happy to see sitters with pet experience. You can talk about pets you have had or pets you have taken care of in the past. Explain any unique animal circumstance you have experience with.
For example, you could mention that your childhood dog was afraid of thunderstorms and explain what you did to comfort him. If you had to give one of your cat’s medicine, let them know that is something you are comfortable doing.
If you happen to have experience with the same breed of dog or cat they have, talk about your experiences with that breed.
State what your needs are.
In every application message, I include a paragraph explaining that I need a high-speed internet connection for my job. I ask the host to give me the internet specs if they can.
I also say that I don’t have a car and I ask about access to public transportation. Being clear and upfront about your needs helps to ensure you get a house sit that is actually feasible for you.
I’ve been tortured by an amazing Greek island house sit that looked STUNNING but had “basic internet.” It’s a no-go because I wouldn’t be able to work. It is sad to say goodbye to our favorite dream house sit, but it is much better than getting there before realizing it won’t work for you.
It is also a courtesy to your host. Think of it from their point of view. They have dozens of potential sitters to sort through. If you say you need high-speed internet and they don’t have it, they can cross you off their list of potential candidates.
If you don’t say you need high-speed internet initially and mention it later, maybe during your Skype interview, they might have already turned down other candidates in favor of you. That isn’t fair to anyone.
Being upfront about your needs saves everyone time and prevents inconvenience.
I always ask a few house sitting questions about the pet’s routine to make sure it is in line with my abilities. Most people will say in their listing if their pet needs injections, or medicine, or a three-course handcrafted meal, or a five-hour walk, but it is always a good idea to double-check.
Usually a simple, “can you tell me some more about Spot’s routine” is sufficient.
If there is anything vague in the listing, ask questions to clarify. For example, if the listing says “light gardening required,” make sure your definition of light and their definition of light are the same.
Offer to do a Skype interview.
You’ve written a beautiful application message that is sure to win their hearts! A great way to close your message is offering to meet via Skype or FaceTime. It shows that you are serious and you are willing to get to know them beyond just a message.
Since your hosts are taking a leap of faith on you, it is nice for them to see that you are a real person. I usually say “If you think I might be a good fit, I’d love to discuss more details over Skype or FaceTime” and suggest a time and date.
A few tips before you press send on your fancy pet sitter application
My application messages usually look more like mini-novellas by the time I’m done, and I’ve been told by homeowners that they like this because it moves the process along faster. They feel a connection with me from the start and there is less emailing back and forth, saving time for everyone involved.
Sending a detailed message shows the homeowner that you’re a serious candidate, that you’ve read their listing thoroughly, and that you’ll make a great house sitter for their home.
Before you hit send, make sure to check these elements of your message:
- Did you address the homeowner by name in the introduction of your message?
- Did you address the pets by name and ask questions about them?
- Did you tell the host about your experience with pets/home care
- Did you tell the host what unique skills you bring to the table
- Did you explain any specific needs you have? (Fast internet, use of a car, etc)
- Did you ask for more information about the sit?
- Did you offer to schedule a virtual meeting with the host to discuss further?
Applying for house sits can be quite exciting! Homeowners get A LOT of applicants to each house sit listing, so make sure to put your best foot forward with a solid application message each and every time. Your dream house sit is out there!