Last updated on December 17th, 2019
Do you remember when you were first trying to get started as a house sitter? What stage of life were you at?
Was there a reason why this idea became suddenly viable and fantastic all at the same time?
Think carefully, it might have an influence on which house sitting tribe you belong to.
My name is Lamia Walker and I run an online house sitting and pet sitting website, so I meet all kinds of house sitters on a daily basis. In some respects, my vantage point has given us a unique perspective on the kaleidoscope of people to whom house sitting appeals.
Indeed, some of our members have become so addicted they’ve made it a lifestyle, full-time!
WHAT MAKES A GOOD HOUSE SITTER?
We know that as a collective, house sitters share some common behaviours. We hear the same descriptors used over and over by homeowners, especially when describing their favourite sitters.
So, as a first step we decided to try and define what makes a good house sitter. We asked a few house sitters and homeowners what they thought the most prominent characteristics of a good sitter might be. Here’s our summary:
Love domestic animals and have experience in caring for them
Perhaps it’s no surprise to anyone that a love of pets and caring for them came top as both a desired and prominent characteristic. Popular sitters simply love animals and usually have had pets of their own. If a house sitter joins us and they are hesitant about pet care, they simply don’t get many sits! it must be the law of natural selection, or something similar for house sitters.
House sitters tend to work well with other people for mutual advantage
Here, collaborative means they will flex their plans if they can to help a homeowner and care for their pets and property. They don’t mind helping in the garden or checking the post or whatever the homeowner needs while they are away. So, build a good profile explaining what you are willing and able to do as a sitter.
Enjoy discovering new locations and visiting new countries
Many house sitters also find that living-like-a-local is a preference, over staying in an anonymous hostel or inner-city hotel. If you like touring and visiting places local to the house sit, there is an opportunity to glean top tips directly from the owner.
INDEPENDENT OF MIND
Sitters often demonstrate lateral thinking
Whether you work as a digital nomad while you travel, or you house sit to enable your travel, many house sitters have an independence of mind which empowers them to lead a bespoke and independent lifestyle. They find very affordable and ingenious travel options.
DEFINING THE HOUSE SITTING TRIBES
So, when did you first think about house sitting – when was it first a “thing” in your mind?
This may affect the tribe you belong to.
HAD – Holiday Adventurer – your tribe?
Were you reading a newspaper article or watching a video about someone saving money while travelling on a working holiday offering their services as a house sitter? Then possibly you possess HAD tribal characteristics.
GRAD – Grey Gap Year Adventurer – your tribe?
Or perhaps you were a classic empty-nester, kids have left home and you’re semi or fully retired. You have more time available to you, you still have lots of energy and you want to travel, perhaps an adventure on an affordable budget? Then you might feel more like a GRAD tribe member.
Have you found yourself travelling and finding a way to work to sustain a travelling lifestyle? Do you work online, either in IT, Marketing, Teaching, Coaching, Writing or something else possible via remote digital logistics? Then you are a Digital Nomad. This is a large and a fast-growing group with various motivations.
DIGITAL NOMADS – MAD, TRAD, VLAD or BRAD?
As a digital nomad, could you spot yourself in a line-up? Digital nomads who house sit come in all shapes and sizes. How and why did you start house sitting and how to you sustain your lifestyle while on the road? It’s worth giving that a thought as you consider which tribe feels like the right fit. So we ask you the question, are you a MAD, TRAD, VLAD, BRAD or even a FRED..?
The MAD Tribe
Did you start house sitting when you decided to take a Mid-careerbreakfor Adventure? Perhaps you found yourself between projects or jobs. It occurred to you that perhaps you had established enough credibility in your profession to take a little break. Perhaps the plan was for a six-month break, perhaps a year’s sabbatical, perhaps longer.
You’ve built hard skills in your chosen profession, but you want a complete change to refresh, try something different. Money is tight so you need to rent out or sublet your flat, apartment, duplex or house so that you can afford your house sitting adventure.
As a MAD, house sitting enables you to travel without expending too much of your hard-earned savings. And if the blog or vlog takes off you might have some passive earnings to lean on via You Tube. Better tell your friends to subscribe. You need 100 subscribers to get your own channel url!
The TRAD Tribe
As a trained teacher, you have portable skills. With personal tutoring on the rise in key stage skills like mathematics and literacy, you’ll become popular as an online tutor. And as a teacher your police and background checks make you a safe prospect for anyone looking for a trustworthy sitter.
Perhaps as you look at your stacks of books to mark each night, and new lesson plans for your class of 30-35 pupils each September, you might consider alternative ways to earn your living.
There are many people who take a TEFL qualification or similar before they start travelling as house sitters in order that they can support themselves as online teachers of English as a foreign language, while they travel. TRADs have various options offered through their many transferable skills.
Find out more about teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) at myTEFL.com – We used and now recommend this organisation, and you’ll get a 35% discount with code HSM35
The VLAD Tribe
If you love to care for animals and have spent time volunteering at animal shelters near home, then you might find you can volunteer and support animal shelters across the world.
Rescue shelters are always in dire need of support not simply in the pet care and management skills but often also in the business skills they need in order to stay solvent so they can continue their charitable work.
There are many house sitters who love volunteering near where they house sit, and stay longer after the house sit to help at that pet rescue shelter. Some people combine house sitting and volunteering at rescue shelters as they travel around the world.
The BRAD Tribe
If you experience an unexpected break in career, perhaps through redundancy, or a relationship break up that takes you by surprise, sometimes an opportunity arises in house sitting to help you take a breath from your daily challenges.
House sitting is something more people are turning to when the unexpected happens and you need somewhere new to stay. Suddenly as a house sitter you become a solo professional traveller with a change of scene to enjoy.
The FRED Tribe
These days we see increasing numbers of families travelling as digital nomads sometimes as a way for the parents to experience travel with their children for a year or two. However, we know of a number of families who live full time as Families Roving Everywhere as Digital nomads. These are the FREDs.
Children in a house sitter family can help stimulate and care for the pets. On our network the largest families we have placed have three children, although this is unusual it does happen. We regularly post house sits in our assignment list where the owners happy for house sitting families to apply.
More often than not one or two of the parents in the house sitter family will be working online as a digital nomad. They will therefore choose a house sit with good WiFi and space for a part time desk worker.
The beauty about technology today is if you have transportable skills you could take your family everywhere by house sitting. You can experience the world with them, living new locations and cultures with them, tasting the extraordinary variety the world has to offer with your family.
House sitting today is made safe and expansive by house sitting platforms like HousesitMatch.com. The house sitting platforms offer each and every one of us in whatever life stage an opportunity to enjoy affordable travel. This can be an active holiday caring for someone’s pets and property, or expanding your horizons either as a Grey Nomad or a Digital Nomad.
House sitting has a lot to offer each and every one of us, whichever House sitting tribe we belong to.