I often get asked about whether it’s harder to get assignments house sitting alone as a solo male. Do homeowners prefer couples over solo house sitters? Wouldn’t they prefer a female house sitter?
These are fair questions.
And the thing that works against the younger generation of traveling house sitters (say, 20-30 somethings), are the general stereotypes:
- They’ll party in the house
- They aren’t as responsible
- They won’t keep the place clean
And the list goes on…
When I first started, I had these same concerns. I wondered how hard it would be to break into house sitting.
BUT, after a year and half of full-time sitting as a solo male in my early thirties, I can honestly say these perceptions haven’t been a factor in getting house sits. In fact, I’ve had house sits nearly back-to-back through four continents and seven countries.
What’s surprising is that I now have home and pet owners reaching out to me directly to special-request me for future dates. So I really don’t think you’ll find it hard to get started if your plan is to house sit without a travel partner.
House Sitting Couples Do Have Some Advantages
There are some very good reasons why couples do often have an edge over single house sitters.
As a solo house sitter, it’s much harder for me to take care of a lot of animals all at the same time. Unless they are perfectly behaved, I can’t easily take care of 3-4 dogs who need multiple long walks each day. Whereas, a house sitting couple could share the work, or even take turns.
Along these same lines, I tend not to apply for house sits on very large properties that need a lot of upkeep. It would be much easier for two people sharing the house sitting duties.
Couples also have the advantage of splitting up for a few days if they have house sits that overlap with dates. One partner could stay at the current house while the other goes to start the next.
House sitting alone can also be seen as a benefit!
A lot of the homes that I’ve house sat for are truly best suited for a single person.
There have been apartments or guest bedrooms that are only meant for one person. These places wouldn’t be very comfortable for a couple.
With my current home base setup in Vancouver, BC, my only expenses are the occasional flight, bus or train ticket to and from my next house sit. Just think about how much more economical it can be when you only have to purchase one ticket!
Another thing to consider is that some pets get anxious around people they don’t know. In which case, homeowners may prefer to select a solo house sitter so as not to have too many new people in the house.
These are just some of the advantages of traveling and house sitting solo.
There’s a House Out There For Everyone
Simply out of curiosity, I’ve been asking pet owner’s why they chose me as their sitter, to get some insights into their decision making process.
A lot of the feedback boiled down to the photos and video that I have posted on my profile. One owner in particular said she picked me because she wanted someone strong enough to handle the dogs who pulled hard on the leash.
When I asked if they preferred solo house sitters to couples they confessed that they hadn’t really considered it. In fact, it wasn’t even a weighing factor into their decision.
That was a big eye opener. It just goes to show that some of these perceived disadvantages are just in our heads.
Keys to Successful House Sitting
If you’re new to house sitting or just getting started, here are some quick tips to help get things rolling:
- Apply to as many house sitting assignments as you can. There is a lot of competition out there whether traveling and house sitting alone, or not. It is safe to say that you won’t get replies from all of your applications. So, it’s best to reach out to as many as you can that fit your dates and desired location.
- Make sure your profile is complete. Detailed profiles are essential. Home owners like to get to know applicants as much as possible before considering them for the job. Be sure to include all of your experience, qualities, photos and references.
- Be one of the first to apply. This will require some extra effort but do your best to apply to house sits as soon as possible from the time they are listed. The majority of applicants will apply within the first 24 hours. You raise your odds by being one of those first applicants.
- Make personal applications. It’s OK to have a bit of standard template message to owners when you apply but it goes a long way to personalize the message. Include the names of the pets or comment on something specific from their listing. This shows them you actually read the listing, and all of their requirements.
- Be persistent and stay positive. Keep at it. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a little while to get your first assignment. Once you’ve had a few house sits and build-up a number of reviews and references, it gets easier and easier.
Enjoy the journey and happy house sitting whether you’re house sitting alone, as a couple or a family!
If you want to learn more about getting started as a house sitter, you might find it useful to first read our article “Is House Sitting Right For Me?”
For the last 6 years, Allen Trottier has been traveling the world as a digital nomad running a printing and eCommerce company in Vancouver, Canada.
Since discovering the house sitting community in early 2016 he has been house sitting full-time through seven counties and four continents. His current passion projects include a house sitting blog and podcast which can be found at: ReliableHouseSitters.com