How to Attract Good House Sitters

Are you wondering how to attract good house sitters when you list your house and pet on platforms such as TrustedHousesitters? As of May 2023, we have been housesitting full-time for 14 months. At last count, we have completed 32 house sits around the world. All those were also pet sits. How do great house sitters decide which house and pet sits to apply for? We can’t speak for all, but here are six things that attract us to a listing.

Attract good house sitters who will look after gorgeous dogs like Minx at the beach
We looked after Minx for a month

1. Feature the Living Space With Quality Photos

As experienced house sitters we look carefully at the pictures you post illustrating how we will be living. It is important to us to know what sort of bed we will be offered, what the bathroom is like, and what the kitchen space is like. Make sure to take your photos when you’ve done a little tidy up. A cluttered kitchen does not do you any favors. Think of it like staging your home for sale. You want the listing to make your house look like somewhere we want to live for a week or a month, whichever the case may be.

How Do You Pick a Feature Photo?

Decide what would best attract great house sitters. If your home looks impressive from outside, use that as your feature photo. If you have a pool, an impressive media room, a dream kitchen, or other feature, highlight that aspect. You can also have your pet posed in these home focused photos. Show where they normally are in the sitting room, kitchen etc. It gives potential pet sitters a great sense of how the pets live in your home.

Lili the Devon Rex was allowed on the kitchen counters
Lili the Devon Rex at home in her kitchen

More Pet Photos or More Home Photos?

Experienced house sitters will not always agree on this one: Should you emphasize your pets or your home with more photos? Personally, we like to see more photos of the home than of the pets. Half and half is ok, but more pictures of the pets than the home is not necessary. A few good photos is enough. Which brings us to number 2.

2. Showcase Your Pets to Find a Great Pet Sitter

The reality is that a vast majority of housesits are also pet sits. What can you do to make sure you attract the right kind of sitter for your individual pets? We know that your pets are really your beloved family members, and it is important to you to find sitters who will love them too.

Choosing Photos of Your Pets

Select one or two photos of each pet that truly showcase their personalities. When showing off your dog, find photos that show how big they are and what they are like both at home and out and about for exercise. For dogs, two or three quality photos of them are great. Cats can be tricky to photograph, but try to find a picture of them looking comfortable and doing what they typically do. If you have poultry, rabbits, or other small animals, find photos that illustrate their living space. Pet sitters like to see in what kind of environment the animals live.

Great house sitters like knowing your animals have a good living environment
Do your small animals have a good living environment?

Describing Your Pets

Try to be as honest as you can when describing your pets, their temperament, and their routines. Painting a rosy a picture may attract great sitters but not good reviews. Good reviews are important if you want to use the service again.

Homeowners may be worried that mentioning any potential negatives will drive applicants away. On the contrary, it will mean you attract good house sitters that are right for your particular pet and situation

Petey is a 20 year old cat
Petey is nearly 20 and needed extra care and attention

Do Your Pets Need Medication?

Pets needing medication and who don’t take their medication easily does not deter us personally. We have lots of experience with giving pets all sorts of medication, so it doesn’t really worry us too much. An otherwise great petsitter, however, might not have a good experience at your home if you either haven’t mentioned the medication or mentioned that it might be tricky to administer.

Your Pet’s Schedule

Do they wake up super early requiring to be let out? Will they wake up barking or meowing in the wee hours? Do they go to bed easily? Where do they sleep? In your bed? Do you expect your house sitter to sleep with your pets? Finding great house sitters will be easier if everyone knows what to expect. There are so many different house sitters out there, and it is good know you’ll be attracting someone who knows they are coming to. This brings us to number 3.

Pet sitter with dogs
Great house sitters love a pet pile

3. Be Upfront With Responsibilities

You will attract experienced house sitters if you are upfront with what the responsibilities will be. If you only describe the house and pet responsibilities vaguely, experienced sitters may be weary that you are not giving the complete story. When you describe what is involved in “feeding your pets” and “keeping them company”, you are more likely to get applications from the right people. “Generally keeping an eye on things” can mean different things to different people. Do you walk the perimeter and check the fence line every night? Mention that.

4. What Does Your Location Offer to Attract Good House Sitters

Your home does not have to be a luxurious mansion with a swimming pool for your listing to be attractive. Do not be afraid of emphasizing what you love about the area where you live. Many house sitters are committed to slow and immersive travel. The attraction of housesitting for many is the chance to see the world through a local’s eyes and experience. We have chosen sits based solely on their location more than once! Descriptions of your favorite walks, pubs, and anything else can really make a difference.

Walking a dog in the Esk Valley, North Yorkshire Moors National Park
We totally leapt at the chance to sit for wonderful pets in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park

5. Keep the Title of Your Listing Up-To-Date

This tip may sound obvious. However, we see several listings proclaiming “Emergency Last Minute sitter Wanted” that are nothing of the sort. That was how they wrote their first listing when they started, but that emergency sit was long ago. Others we see that are no longer relevant include: “Fancy a long weekend in the country?” – this one was now a two week sit. If you worry you won’t remember to update your title, make it something more generic: “Look after our menagerie in Bath,” for example.

6. Respond Promptly to Applications to Find and Keep Great House Sitters

We cannot stress enough how important it is to respond to applications quickly. If you are not ready to read applications, you should not list your dates. We often cancel our application if the owners do not responded promptly. It raises a red flag. It indicates that they are unorganized and would not communicate well during our sit. Sitters want to know that you will be responsive in the unlikely event of something going wrong.

Molly the jack russell

How quickly? The same is day is perfect, but we understand if it takes a day or two. If you are not ready to make a decision, send a message communicating that you are looking over applications and indicating when you’ll get back to us.

We recommend checking out TrustedHousesitters if you are interested in trying out a travel exchange to find care for your pets while you are away!

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We Hope That Has Helped You Attract Good House Sitters

Do you have any other questions about how to make your listing attractive? Are you a house sitter or home owner that has other suggestions? We’d love to hear!

9 responses to “How to Attract Good House Sitters”

  1. This is such useful information; I would think that being really honest about pet temperament, etc is so helpful for those trying to get some sitters. I will pass this on to my Mum as she sometimes needs this for her dog, Maisie!

  2. Great article. It would be worth mentioning for owners to have their THS Welcome Guide (using the template) ready when their listing is made live so the responsibilities discussed and agreed during the application process / video call can be formalised as soon as the sit is confirmed by sending the WG to their bew sitter straight away. There’s nothing worse than agreeing verbally on the responsibilities only to find they have changed by the time the sit comes around. It doesn’t bode well for either party. An owner risks their chosen sitter cancelling the sit or leaving a bad review.

    • This is SUCH a great suggestion!!! It should maybe even be a requirement to have the WG ready before making a listing active? I think that’s a fabulous idea!

  3. What a sensational guide. Agreed fully on everything.

    We rent places here and there but have largely did sits all over the globe for 9 years now. For homeowners, being fully transparent is the key to finding caring, skilled, experienced sitters who render the most loving, mindful service for their pets.

    Fabulous points about the house or apartment, from clear pictures, to explanations, location, etc. Ditto on the pets, their behaviors, quirks, and their schedules and/or routine.

    Great breakdown!


  4. This is great as I am currently looking to become a sitter and would have just applied without going through these details. I want to make sure both our experiences are positive. And it seems like such a great way to go about slow travel and exploring.

    • Best of luck to you! When we first started we applied to anything and everything! Once you get a few reviews though you can start to be more discerning and that’s when we started realizing what we look for in a listing.
      Thanks very much for your comment!

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