Spring clean your house sit profile
As we turn the corner of a new year, and anticipate new possibilities for house sits (at least in some parts of the world), now is the perfect time to put some effort into reviewing and updating your house sitting profile.
With less house sits generally available due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and lockdowns, competition is fierce for both sitters and home owners. We've put together some tips to help get your profile in tip-top condition to give you a head-start advantage.
Make your profile evergreen
Figures need to be constantly updated. If you quote numbers of sits, reviews or pets, or years of accumulated house sitting, you’ll need to update regularly to keep totals current.
Check your profile and where possible turn your text into evergreen content.
“We completed 16 sits in 2020 and have 52 5-star reviews”
“We’ve done over 50 sits since we began house sitting in 2017, all with 5-star reviews”.
You only need to change when you reach milestone numbers. There's a point you reach where people aren't so interested in individual numbers. Once you get to 50 sits it doesn't much matter if it's 53 or 57 - over 50 will have the same response, and it's easier information to absorb.
How does your profile look to others?
Try viewing your profile from an “incognito” window in your browser to see it from an outsider’s viewpoint.
Is the most prominent information still relevant? Could you freshen up your title or headline?
Remember that on many house sitting platforms, updating your profile means you are moved up the search data – a small change could mean you’ll appear in more searches, at least for a while!
Are you picture perfect?
Make sure your pictures are being viewed as they should be, and that they demonstrate your full range of skills.
- Are your pictures still up-do-date?
- Have you looked after different pets this year that could show diversity of pet care?
You’d be surprised how many profiles have upside down, or zoomed in photos that look fine to you when uploading, but appear visually weird to others. Check with your platform to see what size of photo and which orientation is recommended.
This goes for homeowners too - make sure you have good quality images of all the pets and the inside of the house.
Remember to use images with happy faces, outdoor active pictures with pets, or while carrying out house sitting duties. While travel pictures are lovely, you want to use this opportunity to convey the enjoyment you get from being out and about, or cozied up indoors with yours, or other people's pets.
Use all the pictures available to you and caption where this facility is offered. Try and show the great chemistry you have with pets and other animals.
Changing your photos is one of the simplest ways to freshen up your house sit profile.
First impressions count
The headline on your profile and the first image people see should reflect your personality and encourage the viewer to want to find out more about you and what you can offer.
First images should show smiling faces to help build trust. If you can show a first image with a pet, then all the better. We know how hard this can be - especially for house sitting couples. Trying to get the both of you with the pets in anything but a clumsy selfie is difficult. Try and arrange for a friend, family member or neighbour to take some photos of you both together, next time you are able to be out and about.
Update your house sit availability
Not all platforms have calendars and some, like TrustedHousesitters, allow you to input a set of available dates, and your calendar is automatically updated according to your availability.
Make sure your 2021 available dates are as correct as they can be.
Whilst Covid-19 continues to disrupt the travel and the house sitting communities, sits are being listed and booked in the hope of an easing of restrictions, so get your “hopeful” dates logged in advance.
Where's your base for 2021?
It’s possible you may be based in a different country this year, and with Covid-19 restrictions, that country may be your new location for longer than you had once hoped.
If you have the ability to indicate your location, make sure you update it. This will ensure you are “discovered” by owners on specific location based searches.
How relevant is your profile?
With Covid-19 very much in mind, we know many homeowners and sitters who have had to adapt their travel lifestyles. Some full-timers have hung up their international house sitting boots, opting instead for local domestic sits; others have simply decided it's all too uncertain and have taken a complete break.
How well does your profile reflect your current situation?
Do you have Covid-19 health and safety procedures in place to keep your sitters or owners safe? Pop them on your profile (briefly) to show you are Covid aware and house sitting safely.
Review your skillsets
Do a good review of your skillsets and abilities. We find every year we house sit that we learn new skills, tackle different challenges and find outselves in new locations. Much of this adds to the skills we can offer and we make sure to update both our house sit profiles and our own personal house sitting website.
What can you add to your online profile that's relevant to house sitting?
As you can see in the image above, looking after sheep and rounding them up for feeding was part of our daily duties at a house sit in the UK. Adding a picture to our profile, quickly shows anyone looking for sheep care that we have some experience.
Are there services you can offer like grooming pets, cutting pet nails, or trimming overgrown hair. Do you have experience with particular breeds, or large dogs perhaps? What about experience of cleaning and maintaining swimming pools and solar systems. Or are you an experienced gardener who can do a spring time prune of the rose bushes?
With lockdowns limiting the services that people can obtain within their homes, you might find you can offer something that might just set you apart from the others who are applying.
- can you adminster pet medications and injections?
- have you learned a new language that will give you an advantage?
Update your profile with anything that may give you an edge when homeowners view your relevant experience.
We’ve found that flexibility is key at the moment. Having a home base and not needing back-to-back sits has meant we’ve got every sit we’ve applied to so far in France. Fortunately we can be flexible with our dates because we have invested in a campervan. This means we don’t have to rely on open hotels or Airbnbs between sits or if dates change unexpectedly.
Of course not everyone will have a mobile home, but just having a flexible approach and indicating this in your profile and application may help you secure more house sit jobs during this testing time.
Have you got all your house sit reviews?
Have you got all the reviews you can get? Maybe now while people have more time on their hands you can re-approach those house sits where the owners didn't get around to doing your review.
Conversely, make sure you’ve done all the reviews you can for your homeowners, even for repeats.
Has you house sit website introduced new features?
How well do you know the platform features available to you? House sitting websites and apps are regularly updated. It's easy to miss some new options that may benefit you.
Take a good review tour of the platforms you use to see if there are any features that might enhance your profile or application process.
For example, we know that TrustedHousesitters introduced links this year for LinkedIn and Airbnb profiles. These may not be relevant to everyone, but if you have these links available, they can provide added credibility.
HouseSittersAmerica on the otherhand has had a complete overhaul of their platform, in line with other websites in the group.
Check to see if there are any new options you can take advantage of this year.
If you do a thorough spring clean and review of your profile at the beginning of each year, it shouldn’t take long to update with any new house sitter photos, skills and experience as you progress through the seasons.
During this quiet time, why not update your house sit profile so that you get off to the best start you can in 2021.
As the world slowly opens up again we're pretty sure a little extra work now will pay dividends when more house sits begin to appear on the horizon!
author - vanessa anderson
Vanessa & her partner Ian are full-time British travelers and house sitters who have published the online publication House Sitting Magazine since 2016. They provide numerous resources for the community as they continue their explorations and slow travel adventures across the globe. Find out more about their house sitting lifestyle here or at: