How To Become a House Sitter: Saving $60,000 in Travel Costs with Brittnay Sharman – Episode 53

How to become a house sitter with Brittnay Sharman from The Travelling House Sitters.
Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

If house sitting and pet sitting your way around the world sounds interesting, learn how Brittnay and Jayden do it. Brittnay Sharman is a professional house sitter from Australia. She is one half of The Travelling House Sitters, a travel blog sharing everything you need to know about house sitting and pet sitting. Together with her partner Jayden, they have looked after 40 homes and 90 animals over the last five years. In this podcast episode, learn how to become a house sitter and how house sitting has allowed Brittnay the opportunity to explore the world while keeping costs low.

With over 21 house sits under their belt in 15 countries, Brittnay and Jayden have experience house sitting in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, France, Montenegro, Malaysia, Thailand, and the U.K. Brittnay teaches how to start house sitting and how becoming a house sitter can help you save money on accommodation and other bills.

In this podcast episode with Brittnay Sharman, we chat about:

  • What is house sitting?
  • How Brittnay Sharman got started house sitting.
  • What do house sitters do?
  • How to become a house sitter.
  • What is expected of a house sitter?
  • Benefits of becoming a house sitter.
  • House sitting websites.
  • Why the holidays (Christmas and New Year’s) are a good time to book house sits.
  • Countries with the most house sitting opportunities.
  • How Brittnay saved $60,000 traveling the world as a professional house sitter.

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Welcome to The Thought Card, a podcast about travel and money where planning, saving and creativity leads to affording travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are the financially savvy travellers.

Brittnay Sharman is a professional house sitter from Australia. She is one half of the travelling house sitters. A travel blog that shares everything you need to know about pets and house sitting. Together with her partner Jayden, they have booked over 35 homes and looked after 65 animals in 13 countries. So in this episode, I've invited Brittnay to join us today to talk about how how sitting has afforded her an opportunity to really explore the world while keeping her costs low. Britney, Welcome to the show. Welcome to the podcast.

Brittnay Sharman: Thank you for having me, Danielle.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I'm super excited to have you because we've been online friends for a couple of years now. And I remember when we first started talking, I was just really captivated by your unique angle. And I definitely have seen an uptick in people thinking about house sitting as a way to travel the world. And you do this full time. So how did you get started and get into house sitting?

Brittnay Sharman: Oh, well, me and my partner, Jay, were living over in London. We were both working there, and we had a friend who just asked us one day to come out to walk the dog. And I kind of said, walk your dog and she goes, Yeah, I'm house sitting at the moment and me and Jay were like, wow, house sitting. So we kind of went out with her and we realised how much we missed having that animal interaction. So we kind of had a look into it ourselves. And then we booked a few houses when we're living in London. But then when we moved to Dublin, after that, we were looking at rental properties and we realised we were pretty much double the price of London. So we started looking at the house sitting a little more seriously. And that's how we booked our first long-term one there. We had a house for three months just next to Bono's place, and we've been doing it ever since.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I know. I remember you, uh, you had a guest article on my blog and you had talked about, uh, living next to Bono. and uh, being close to the water and hanging out. So if you had to sum it up in a couple of, uh, couple of words, why is house sitting so attractive to you?

Brittnay Sharman: I think it really allows for a slow, slower kind of travel. We spent a month in Rome last year, and it just let us explore the city at our own pace rather than rushing from site to site when it was 35 degrees. It really just lets us explore a place and the people more in depth.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Yes, and I know that saving money is also makes a big part of that. So we will definitely dive into the financial aspects a little bit later. But for those who are like, OK, this sounds really great, but what is expected of a house sitter. If you had to share with us like roles and responsibilities, what would that look like?

Brittnay Sharman: Mainly it is pets. So there are a lot you do have a lot of responsibility. I'm actually currently doing my first house without any animals. So I just have to water the garden, which, luckily in Melbourne right now we've had a lot of rain, so I haven't had to do much of that. But when you have an animal, it could be anything from walking it a couple of times a day feeding them. We've had a lot of older animals, that are require medication. And as me and Jay both work from home a lot of homeowners do like that because we're around the house most of the day. And sometimes animals are used to that. If someone's retired or they also walk work from home, right?

Danielle Desir Corbett: But do you ever feel like awkward, like going into a new home? Like how does that first time encounter experience, like, do you meet the host? Or I guess it's varied depending on the house that changes every time.

Brittnay Sharman: For a lot of our international houses we've done is usually a Skype call. But when I'm living in Melbourne, I do always go meet the homeowner just because I like to see the animals that I'll be looking after and the home just so I'm comfortable there and I think they like to meet me. So I'm comfortable. So it is kind of it is like an interview. I just ace any job interview now because I'm so used to being questioned and then questioning someone else about my my role and my responsibilities.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I see. OK, so originally and maybe my listeners would have been thinking this, but I was thinking like a Airbnb, and which you just like, kind of like roll up there and then you just kind of open the door with a you know, a key. But I love that you're saying that Uh, there is either an interview process.

Brittnay Sharman: Yeah, it it's definitely changes for different people. Some people will just straight away read your application and lock you in. Some wanna have a chat with you? Some wanna meet, wanna meet a whole bunch of different people, so it kind of it varies every time. So what are some of the questions that like when you're on these chats that they might, uh, ask you like some of the typical questions? Usually, how often are you gonna be around the home? And do you have any experience with medication or experience with bigger dogs? Smaller dogs, older dogs? Kind of It always varies to their situation, but it mainly is around. If it's medication and how often we're gonna be there, right?

Danielle Desir Corbett: OK, that's great. That's great. So can you walk us through what a normal day as a house sitter would look like.

Brittnay Sharman: I'll take, for example, the last house that I just did and I had a lovely little cat. He didn't use a litter box. So get up in the morning. And he did like to sleep in my bed, which was he was really, really cute. and get up, feed him, make sure the house is all clean, and then I work from home. So I just start working, and then in the afternoon he just needs to be fed, so it's quite simple. But then sometimes I did have a dog. She needed to be walked twice a day for at least 45 minutes. So you'd be up early, take the dog out for a walk, feed her, and then she was on quite a lot of medication. And so just kind of monitoring the her the whole day after she has the medication. um, and then fading again. So it's and then sometimes some people have large gardens which need to be watered.

Danielle Desir Corbett: OK, great, great, great. So it's it sounds like you are the caretaker of the home. Now, do you keep in touch with the homeowners while you while you're there and they're away it varies from each person.

Brittnay Sharman: It is something I do like to ask. We have some handover notes we always give to the homeowner. How often do you want to be contacted? Because we have had some houses where we did have a pair of cats who were pretty instagram famous, so their homeowners wanted photos every day, three or four photos every day, that they could upload to their Instagram? And then we'll have some home owners who will say, uh, miss me once, Let me know. Oh, just let me know you're in the house and you know we don't have to chat after that. So it all kind of varies from person to person.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Insta famous kitties. Wow, that is that is really, really cool. I love that we're having this conversation because it really dives deep into what a house sitter does. Um, I know a lot of people, especially like nowadays. House sitting is definitely on the map now as something that a lot of travellers are thinking about. But it's just painting a clear picture for me as to like, OK, what a house sitter actually does. And like you said, your responsibilities will vary depending on the house sits. We talked about what a normal day looks as a house sitter, but I know that one of the perks of house sitting is that you have an ability to live like a local, explore and venture out. So can you talk a little bit about what you would do on your free time and how you're able to see a new city and really still live out that travel dreams while your house sitting in this responsibility?

Brittnay Sharman: So probably I can use Rome again. As a good example, we had a month there, and every day was over 30 degrees. We had a few sites we wanted to see, like the Colosseum and all those kinds of places. We also want to explore each neighbourhood. So probably we'd head out nice and early, seven o'clock, go see the site we wanted to see, and we'd head home by then. And but we'd always be able to head past our favourite bakery, our favourite cafe. So they're the kind of perks that we find. You really get to explore a place and not feel rushed from place to place. And we're gonna leave here in two days. We need to see all these things. And sometimes that can leave a bit of a negative kind of, um, vibe on the city if you are just working the whole time. But and then another thing. When we were living in Greece, we also the, uh, homeowners returned on a Saturday and they asked us to stay for their Sunday lunch so we weren't going to accept because we don't usually stay on after a house, but they they really wanted us to stay, and they were lovely people. And so the next morning she had us in the kitchen. She was showing us all of her traditional Greek recipes. We made stuff to Mark, photos. We made a Masaka, and then in the afternoon, we sat down with the whole family and ate and drank and really had a good chat. So that's what we love about it. We really good to go in depth and meet people that you wouldn't normally meet when you're travelling, right? Right. And it's a a very intimate setting because this is their personal home versus like, a hotel or like a short term rental.

Danielle Desir Corbett: So I love I love those real world stories, and you're able to connect with the homeowners. So let's kind of pivot a little bit and talk more about some of the the challenges that you faced when you just got started house sitting and what other people who are just getting started might end up facing in their path.

Brittnay Sharman: I think one of the biggest challenges is just getting references. It's kind of like starting a new job. No one really wants to take a chance on you. if you don't have any previous experience. So we were just well, we didn't really realise at the time, but we were actually looking around Christmas time, and we managed to lock one house our very first one. We locked it in over over the Christmas and New Year's break, and the girl did ask. She says, You guys live around the corner. Why do you want to do a house? Why do you want house sit for me? And we said, Oh, we're just trying to build our own references because in the in the future, we we might want to do this more. And now that I look at it, I always. Whenever my friends and family ask about getting started in house sitting, I say, Look at Christmas and Easter and those holiday periods because you'll find that the demand starts to outgrow supply and people will take you on with less less, uh, references and reviews. So just looking at those holiday periods is a good time to get started for people.

Brittnay Sharman: So Brittnay dropped some gems right there because she said number one, the holiday period is a really good time, because I'm sure these hosts are travelling. You know, these homeowners are travelling at that time, but number two you also mentioned that your first house sit was actually local. and it just allowed you to get that experience without having to travel to a completely different country. So I really love that you can You can house sit. And I think you're house sitting right now in Australia right now. So you're still in your local country and you're house sitting without having to go venture very far. So can you talk a little bit more about that strategy? Like if someone does want to get started house sitting like how they can start locally or maybe in their their state or in their country instead of going internationally?

Brittnay Sharman: Me and Jay, my partner, we spent uh, all of 2018 in Melbourne. We were actually saving for our. We wanted to head to Europe and house it for the year. So we spent a year in my home city of Melbourne. We pretty much had back to back house sits for the whole year and they were 23 months you'll find in your own local city. People are always heading away, whether it's on business trips on holidays, emergencies. There's house sits everywhere around the world.

Danielle Desir Corbett: And when you're planning for your year like when you're looking at 2020 how are you figuring out what countries to visit? Are you following the house sits or are you very strategic about where you are going to go and based off of the destinations you look for house sitting opportunities there.

Brittnay Sharman: We always try try and pick where we wanna go and then see what's in that area. Uh, we spent all of last year like I said in Europe. So we did. France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece. And when we were in Greece, we actually got an email from a woman who asked if we would like to, uh care for her catamaran in the Caribbean. And I said to Jay, Look, we've been living in this camper van and house sitting for a year. I'm I'm ready to go home and see my family in Australia and he said, do you mind if I go? So he went and did that one. So that's kind of the first time he's ever travelled to a house sit.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Are there any like particular countries that you're like these countries you could totally find a house that's regularly, or is it very random at this point?

Brittnay Sharman: Uh, there are places which have a lot of houses. I'd say the the top place is France. It seems that It's been hundreds and hundreds there, and I think it's because a lot of, uh, English and Americans have holiday homes there. Same with Mexico as well. A lot of Americans have their holiday homes down in, uh down down south, so they're the kind of places you will find a lot more, especially places with expats I've found have a lot more, uh, opportunities so places like Singapore and uh, Disney has quite a few as well.

Danielle Desir Corbett: All right, guys, that is gem number two that Britney dropped. That is, France and Mexico are popular, so that is very, very good to know. Especially if you are just getting started. So thanks so much for sharing that all right. So let's talk now about money, which is my favourite topic. And I know that you've saved thousands of dollars along the way as you've been house sitting so approximately. How much money have you saved over this time.

Brittnay Sharman: So now I've been house full time for three years. We've set around $60,000 just because we're not paying We haven't paid rent since we started in Dublin and we haven't had any bills.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Wow, that just blew me away. Because that was like my student loan. It was just $63,000. So I That is amazing.
So OK, I just want to backtrack a little bit because when you say that you're a professional house sitter, how do you time it where you're house sitting, like from one house to another? And if that's not the case, do you, like, go on to Airbnb? Or do you stay at hostels in between? So how how are you? Timing all of this?

Brittnay Sharman: Well, when me and Jay are together. If we've we've only ever had an overlap when we're in Melbourne and being a couple does work really well because one person can go to the next house, sit. But this year, I've managed to have them back to back. And then when we were in Europe, we actually bought a little camper van that we, uh we bought it in. up north of England, and we drove it to France. But that allowed us to move from place to place and also have somewhere to live in between. So when we finished up our house at in Provence, we had about two weeks before our one started in Rome. So we just spent two weeks driving through the country like the French countryside and then all the way down south to Rome in the camper van. So we had a little home with us. I kind of know what I'm doing two months ahead because a lot of homeowners, they are quite organised. They know when they're going away, so they will post their, uh, their job up, and I apply. But I I have a calendar, so I kind of just know the dates that I need to fit in. So sometimes I might have a week between one. So I'll just check every day every second day if anything pops up in the area that I'm in. But just constantly checking the platforms that I'm using is playing. I'll do every day.

Danielle Desir Corbett: That's fantastic. So let's talk about in terms of your $60,000 saved. What does that comprise of? So we talk about rent and electricity and all the day to day bills. But can you talk a little bit more about, like, details like, what are some of the things that you're able to save money on because you are house sitting 80% of it is your living cost, which is your rent. So we're not paying that. So other than the rent and the bills, that's kind of where we are saving. But we don't. We don't charge anything. We don't make make any money from the house sitting, but I think our main savings is just the rent and the, uh the bills and such.

Danielle Desir Corbett: And I really love your strategy because you're saving on rents or people like me who have a mortgage, right? Like you're saving on the cost of, uh, your housing and the bills. And you're also working on your own. You know your business on the side, So I think that is a great strategy because you're you're reducing your expenses and you're still earning money and earning income. So I think that just is a perfect a perfect fix. So, do you have, like, a house sitting community and in your community, or the friends that you have that are in this space? What are some of the types of jobs that they have that allow them to work remotely, house, sit and still make income?

Brittnay Sharman: So I found a lot of our community. There are a lot of people who are, so they've kind of finished up work. The kids have left the home and they want to travel, but more of a comfortable pace, which housing allows for them. So they're not really looking for work. But I have some friends. They also do some web development like me and Jay. And then there's all sorts of work online as well. You could be looking at everything from email management for a company to designing things. And there's a lot of platforms out there that actually let you work remotely?

Danielle Desir Corbett: Great. That's really, really good to know. So if you are location independent or you work remotely like this is a good opportunity for you, OK? And this is like a silly question. But I just thought about it like, where do you sleep when you're house sitting? Usually, I always have spare beds. We don't really ever sleep in their bed.

Danielle Desir Corbett: OK, so they have spare beds or will they have, like, a blow up bed or something for you?

Brittnay Sharman: I never had a blow up bed, but always have a spare bed, and what we find is a lot of these people who are heading away on extended trips do have quite nice houses, so they always do have a lot of room.

Danielle Desir Corbett: OK, very, very nice. I know that there are, uh, quite a few websites that, uh, you use to find house sits. So can you share with us the best places for folks to get started with house sitting.

If you're looking in America, I'd probably recommend trusted house sitters. I find that they're great worldwide. But then sometimes when you go to a Pacific country, there are better platforms, to use. And then in France, there's a really great one called Norma. So kind of when you're going to a location, you will find there are more specific ones so you can just search online for those. Or we do have a post of all our favourite ones in different countries, which you can have a look on there because there are a lot because sometimes one's for Spain. There's a whole bunch for Spain, then some for Mexico.

Danielle Desir Corbett: OK, this is like another gem that you dropped because I had no idea that there were a specific websites per the country that you're gonna want to house sit at. I just thought trusted house sitters or like house carers were the the two. But it's great to know that there were quite a few out there as well.

Brittnay Sharman: I just say there's sometimes there's less competition on the smaller ones as well, which we find is really good when you're starting out.

Danielle Desir Corbett: That is very good. We want less competition Can you talk a little bit about competition while we're on that subject? Has it increased? Like are you seeing that there are more house sitters and that there are less houses like, What's the trend, like for what you've been seen so far?

Brittnay Sharman: I would say there are a lot more people wanting to get started, and I think over Christmas in Melbourne I did notice there was a lot more competition, but and I was thinking about it. But it seems like I'm I'm looking further into the year in Australia there. It just seems to be hundreds and hundreds popping up, so people are never gonna stop going away, and they're never gonna stop having animals. So I think that the trend is gonna continue to be a lot of houses out there for everyone.

Danielle Desir Corbett: If someone is getting started and they they're really struggling with, uh, figuring out how to make themselves stand apart, what would be a piece of advice that you can share with them?

Brittnay Sharman: Setting yourself apart is, I think a good thing to do is create your own website because you can have your profile on all these different house sitting places. But when you have your own website, it's something that you own and you can control. And you can kind of collate all your information about yourself and put it there. and it's kind of like your resume online, which you can send potential home owners to. They can have a look at and just kind of. It shows a little bit of, uh, authority on your part as well.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Definitely. Guys head over to the show notes. We will have all of the links that Brittnay mentioned as well as access to her course. So feel free to sign up. If this sounds super super interesting to you and one of the things I think for me that this conversation really opened my eyes? Is that at least for me, it It brings me to the fact that, like if I want to retire, which I want to retire early like this could be something that you do for retirement. You know, um, it could be something that you do professionally. um, as like as a profession. So it's like pick your own adventure, which for me is like super exciting. So thank you so much, Brittnay, for coming on the show for sharing so many gems, like just really opening up and sharing with us how to get started and some other important things to know. So let us know how to, uh, how listeners can connect with you.

Brittnay Sharman: Yeah, you can find us at, uh, the travelling house sitters dot com — that's our website. And then you can also see us on instagram. So at the travelling houses.

Learn how to travel the world while saving money with Brittnay’s course How to Become a House Sitter. This course has all sorts of resources, such as all the application templates they use, interview prep questions, tips for building the most appealing profile, as well as the best house sitting platforms to use in different countries.

How To Become a House Sitter

Brittnay Sharman House Sitting Professional

What is house sitting?

House sitting is caring for someone’s home while they are away traveling. House sitters look after the home, care for pets, and tend the garden. The length of a house sitting job varies from several days to several months.

While some house sits don’t have pets, most homeowners have pets and are looking for someone to care for their cats, dogs, horses, chickens, or lizards.

Open to individuals, couples, and families, house sitting is available to anyone willing to take on the responsibility of looking after someone else’s property or pets, and communicate with the homeowner while they are away.

Since most home sitters provide these services in exchange for free accommodation, house sitting is an affordable alternative to pricey pet kennels. Plus the animals will have a companion, maintain their schedules and remain in their homes, a familiar environment.

Do house sitters get paid? While some house sitters provide this service in exchange for free accommodation, others get paid for their services. Word-of-mouth referrals are one way to build a house-sitting business and get paid to house sit.

Stephanie Perry breaks down how to get paid house sitting in this video.

House or pet sitting offers homeowners peace of mind that their most valuable possessions or loved ones are safely being looked after as they travel for a few weeks to several months. 

Brittnay Sharman: People are always heading away, whether it’s on business trips, on holidays or emergencies. Homeowners around the world need house sitters and look to hire house sitters frequently. There are house sits everywhere, all around the world.

Types of professional house sitters

From long-term travelers to digital nomads, retirees, remote workers, and weekend warriors with traditional 9 to 5 jobs, house sitting is open to all types of people.

Ideally you love pets — maybe you have your own or have pet sitting experience.

For many, house sitting is more than a gig that provides free accommodation, it’s a lifestyle.

Brittnay Sharman: There are a lot of retirees who house sit. Their kids have left home and now they want to travel, but at a more comfortable pace.

I have some friends who do web development (a work from home job), like Jay and me. And then there are all sorts of work online as well. You could be looking at anything from email management for a company to designing, freelance writing, or social media management.

House sitting benefits

While house sitting isn’t a traditional vacation, it offers the opportunity to live rent-free and bills-free.

Slow Travel

House sitting also allows for slow travel. Live like a local and discover places you would have never been able to see if you were only in town for a few days. Explore a place while not feeling rushed. Get a real sense of what it would be like to live at that destination.

Brittany Sharman: House sitting allows for a slower kind of travel. We spent a month in Rome last year, and it let us explore the city at our own pace rather than rushing from site to site.

As a house sitter, we can explore a place and make deeper connections with locals. You meet people you wouldn’t normally meet when you’re traveling.

Travel Savings

Because house sitters stay overnight for the duration of the stay, save on accommodation and utilities like heating, electricity, water and sewage. Eliminate other bills like internet, cable, or phone bills. With a full size kitchen, slash your food budget by cooking at home instead of eating out often.

Brittany Sharman: Another advantage to house sitting is that we are able to live in homes that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. For example, house sitting in Ireland allowed us to live in three luxurious homes in the most expensive parts of Dublin.

You may not assume that household goods are much of an expense, but cutting out the need to purchase things like shower cleaners, washing detergents, toilet cleaner, and toilet paper adds up. By house sitting, we managed to cut out a large chunk of our shopping bills.

Responsibilities of a House Sitter

House sitters bare a lot of responsibilities. In addition to looking after the home and keeping it safe, house sitters may care for pets or the garden. Basic chores like cleaning and collecting mail may be asked of you.

Brittany Sharman: When you have an animal, it could be anything from walking it a couple of times a day to feeding them. We’ve had a lot of older animals that require medication. Since Jay and I work from home, many homeowners prefer that because we’re always around the house and can maintain their pets’ schedule.

Day in the Life

Brittnay Sharman: I’ll take, for example, the last house I just did. I had a lovely little cat. So we get up in the morning, feed him, make sure the house is all clean, and then I work from home. Then he needs to be fed in the afternoon, so it’s quite simple.

Another time I took care of a dog. She needed to be walked twice a day for at least 45 minutes. So we’d be up early, take the dog out for a walk, feed her, and then she was on quite a lot of medication. I monitored her throughout the day and administered medication.

Some people have large gardens which need to be watered.

Watch the podcast episode here.

Tips For Becoming a House Sitter

The best time to book house sits for new house sitters is during the holidays. Many people go on vacation during holidays, so there are usually more house sitting gigs.

Also, consider house sitting locally in your city, province, or state before going internationally.

Offer your house sitting services to family and friends to get experience and references. With high quality references that show off your trustworthiness, you’ll be able to land even more gigs in the future.

Read Next: Tips for Landing More House Sits

Brittnay Sharman: One of the biggest challenges for new house sitters is getting references. It’s like starting a new job. No one really wants to take a chance on you if you don’t have any previous experience.

If you want to start house sitting, look around Christmas, Easter and other holiday periods when supply surpasses demand. During that time, people will take you on with less references and reviews.

I’ll also say there’s less competition on the smaller house sitting websites.

Lastly, to set yourself apart, create your own website sharing all your information, lots of photos with pets, and highlight your house sitting experience. Demonstrate you are reliable, caring, and love pets.

Listen Next: Pros and Cons of the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

House sitting websites

Wondering how to find house sitting jobs?

The easiest way to find house sits is by signing up for house sitting websites which match homeowners with house sitters. While some sites are free, others require a membership fee.

Fill out your profile completely and when applicable get a background check.

Here are some websites for how to get house sitting jobs:

Brittnay Sharman: When you’re going to a location, you will find more specific house sitting websites so search online for those. There’s a whole bunch for Spain and some for Mexico.

Read Next: The Best Housitting Websites Reviewed and Ranked

Countries with frequent house sits:

  • France
  • Mexico
  • Singapore
  • United States (southern)

Brittnay Sharman: Places with large retiree communities or expats usually have more house-sitting opportunities.

Scheduling for full-time house sitters

As a full-time house sitter, Brittnay plans back-to-back house sits by staying organized.

Brittnay Sharman: I know what I’m doing two months ahead because many homeowners are pretty organized. They know when they’re leaving, so they will post their jobs accordingly. I have a calendar, so I know what dates I have openings for.

Sometimes I have a week between house sits. In addition to getting alerts, I’ll check every day or every second day if anything pops up in my area. Constantly checking the platforms for new gigs helps.

Also, being among the first to apply will increase your chances of securing gigs.

Interviews with homeowners

Some people will read your application and lock you in right away, while others want to chat with you or check your references.

Brittnay Sharman: The interview process varies.

The most common questions homeowners will ask include:

  • How often are you going to be around the home?
  • Do you have any experience with medication or experience with bigger dogs? Smaller dogs or older dogs?

Other best practices include asking homeowners how often they want to be contacted and what numbers to call in case of emergencies or issues that may come up during your stay.

Can you have guests over? Do you have to be home by a certain time? How’s the Wi-Fi connection?

Are there any cameras inside the home? If so, where?

Any rooms or spaces off limits?

For example, there was a house sit where we cared for a pair of cats who were pretty Instagram famous, so their homeowners wanted photos every day, three or four photos every day that they could upload to their Instagram profile.

Others want to know you’re in the house and don’t have to chat after that. It all varies from person to person.

Connecting with homeowners

While most of the time, Brittnay hops on a video call to meet the homeowner, when possible, she will meet the homeowner and pets before confirming a house sit.

Brittnay Sharman: We’ve done Skype or Zoom calls for many of our international houses. But when I’m living in Melbourne, I meet the homeowner just because I like to see the animals I’ll be looking after and the home so I’m comfortable there. Homeowners appreciate meeting us too.

Think of it like an interview. I ace any job interview now because I’m so used to being questioned and questioning someone else about my role and responsibilities.

Resources Mentioned:

How to Become a House Sitter Course: This course by Brittnay Sharman teaches you everything you need to know, from how to house sit, how to acquire new skills, earning money on the road, and more.

Brittnay Sharman is a professional house sitter and the founder of The Travelling Housesitters .
Brittnay exploring Altona Beach, Australia.

Connect with Brittnay Sharman:


Course: How to Become a House Sitter

Facebook: @thetravellinghousesitters

Facebook Group: The Traveling House Sitters Group

Instagram: @thetravellinghousesitters

Twitter: @travelhousesit

Listen to this podcast episode on Spotify.

Listen to these episodes next:

If you enjoyed this episode, listen to Episode 49, where we chat with Stephanie Perry about taking an adult gap year.

How To Become Location Independent – Episode 71

Digital Nomad Lifestyle Pros and Cons – Episode 84

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