Aussie House Sitters

The largest pet & house sitting site in Australia

7 tips for matching with the right homeowner for you

Feature photo: 7 tips for matching with the right homeowner for you

The best way to ensure you have a great house sitting experience – leading to a great review – is to match with the right homeowner for you.

In our lives we come across many different people with unique personalities and the house sitting world is no exception. Every homeowner is different and will have their own needs and expectations. By taking the time to ask questions and to get a feel for the house sit, you can make an informed decision about whether the house sit feels right for you.

Evaluating sitting jobs by finding the right homeowners for your personality and preferences is the best way to ensure you have great house sitting experience. Here are a few ideas on how to go about it.

Be upfront and honest.

It’s always best to be upfront about your house sitting skills and experience as well as your personal likes and dislikes. If you aren’t really a gardener but are great with animals, then be honest about that. The owner is trying to find the right fit for their needs, so being clear from the start will prevent anyone’s time being wasted or any issues from taking on the wrong sit.

Make sure to ask questions that are important to you. 

Every house sit is different so asking specific questions early on will help you know immediately whether the house sit, and the homeowner are right for you. Once you’ve been house sitting for a while, you’ll end up with several standard questions that you like to ask each homeowner. With each house sit, you may tweak that list depending on your experience. For example, you could ask homeowners about their communication expectations during a sit, if there are any garden care needs, and whether their pets have medication or specific dietary requirements. Keeping a question list can be a handy resource to have when negotiating future house sits and can reassure homeowners you have a high level of care and attention to detail.

house sitter and home owner standing at a blue front door shaking hands

Meet face-to-face at the home before you commit (when possible). 

Wherever possible, organise a face-to-face meeting with homeowners at their property before saying ‘yes’ to the house sit. This allows you to chat and ask questions, as well as letting you gauge their home and surroundings to make sure it’s suitable for you. It’s also helpful if you can spend time with the pets to ensure the animals are compatible with you – and you with them. If you can’t meet with the homeowner in person, then suggest a Facetime or Zoom video call so you can see each other when discussing the sit details.

Aim for like-minded people.

In life, when you meet a new person, you can usually tell pretty quickly how you think you would get on. And as a sitter connecting with homeowners it’s no different. Find where you have common interests as you read their listing and information, so you can build rapport by mentioning how you relate in your messages to them. For example, if you love walking, finding dog loving owners who need their pups walked could be a great match. If you love house sitting for the chance to be around animals, but an owner has no pets and has an extensive garden to care for, then this may not be the best fit.

It usually only takes a few minutes to know whether you and a homeowner are on the same wavelength, and it’s well worth taking the time to find out. 

two house sitters walking a brown Labrador and a golden Labrador on the beach

Make sure your cleanliness standards are similar. 

To make your life (and the homeowner's) easier, attempt to match with someone who shares similar cleanliness ideals as you. Everyone is different and what is clean and tidy to someone is not so to others. Try and match with someone who is close to your standards by viewing the house listing pictures closely and/or visiting the home before the sit starts. You might find that some people’s high expectations are not realistic for you, or you may feel others’ have untidy or cluttered homes by your standards, even if the homeowners feel they are clean enough. Visiting homes in advance or taking the time to video call can clarify whether your cleanliness standards will match.

Trust your gut feeling. 

Trusting your gut instinct is something many of us aim to do but it can be hard when you’re trying to take in a lot of new information. When speaking with a homeowner, don’t feel obliged to agree to a house sit on the spot. Ask for some extra time, then go away and take the opportunity to think about all the information you’ve been given. Modern medical research claims there's a ‘brain’ in our gut which may link to digestion, mood, health and even the way you think. Listen to your gut and if it is ‘saying no’ to the house sit or homeowner, you may want to decline the sit this time around.

house sitter wearing comfortable clothes sitting on a chair while patting a ginger cat

Don’t feel pressure to take on a house sit job. 

Never feel obliged to accept a house sitting job just because you made the first contact, or you took the time to have a face-to-face meeting. Neither should you feel pressured if the homeowner is desperate for a pet sitter and you feel sorry for them. You should always politely turn down house sits if they don’t suit you for whatever reason. However, once you’ve committed yourself as their house sitter, you should do your utmost to follow it through.

Homeowners have usually made some expensive plans based on you agreeing to house sit for them, so be sure you are fully committed when you accept.

There will always be owners you ‘click with’, who have sitting needs that really suit your skill set. And there will be others who you don’t really connect with who perhaps have expectations you aren’t sure about. By asking questions, aiming for owners who are like you and trusting your instincts, you have the best chance of ensuring both you and the homeowner have a great house sitting experience.

Interested in becoming a house sitter? Why not have a look at our house sitting opportunities and consider joining Australia's largest house sitting platform - Aussie House Sitters.

I joined several house sitting sites in the beginning, but renewed with only one - Aussie House Sitters, as most of my sits came from there. I also found the reply rate from owners was infinitely better, the site had more features and was much more user-friendly than others, and there was more choice. Congratulations! Aussie House Sitters has enabled me to successfully become a full-time sitter, booked out for several months in advance. Margo

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