Hi, we are Rachel and Chris.
House sitters, bloggers creators of Just Living The Dream or JLTD and
alternative lifestyle livers.
First and foremost we pride ourselves on being the best house sitters a home owner could ask for!
Seriously, we work our bums off to be the best!
Secondly, we are seriously Just Living The Dream.
So we figured we would talk about all the JLTD stories, processes and revelations.
What made you chose housesitting as a way of life?
We were always house sitting for friends and family but still renting our own place. Chris was studying at the time and as part of his course, he would be sent away (to anywhere in the state!) for a 20-week placement, paying two lots of rent with only one income was not going to be achievable. So while on a house sit we thought, what if we house sat all the time and not rent our own place…. And from there a whole new world opened up.
What was the process you went through to become a housesitter?
Getting references together, setting up an awesome profile on house sitting sites, creating our own website and social platforms. Then the big task, selling all of our stuff so that we could live light while we house sat, only taking what we could fit in our car.
How long have you been housesitting?
Just over 2 years.
For yourself, what are the positives and negatives to housesitting?
Are all of the animals (we love them all and their individual personalities).
Flexibility the lifestyle offers us.
We don’t have that many, though sometimes we miss out attending family functions together or commitments as we are already committed to a house sit. Most of the time there is the two of us, one person will stay and one will go to the function. I guess you never sleep in your own bed and sometimes both being over 6ft that can be challenging.
What do you look for when choosing your next housesit?
A really good “vibe” or rapport with the homeowners and pets.
If we don’t feel comfortable with the homeowners we won’t accept the house sit. Obviously, dates and location are always important too as we like to plan out a year in advance on where we would like to see and visit.
Do you prefer long term or short term sits? The pros and cons are?
We initially only liked longer term house sits as we were both still working our normal jobs however now that we run our own business and can work where we are housesitting. Shorter sits are now an option.
We much prefer to generally stick to 3-4 week house sits for now.
Enough time to get completely settled into a routine but not too long that we get itchy feet (a terrible habit of mine, I like to be on the move)
What website do you use? Or have you developed your own?
We use Aussie House Sitters and the equivalent sites in other countries. We also have our own website but we find most of our house sits come from word of mouth now.
If you’re a serious house sitter, you need a website. Good news is we know exactly how to build them with everything you need.
When not housesitting, what sort of accommodation do you mainly use? Or do you have your own home or motorhome to utilise in between housesits?
We will occasionally use AirBnB if we want a mini-break for ourselves but otherwise, we use it as an opportunity to see friends and family as while we are on house sit we don’t have any guests to the home so it can be difficult to keep in touch with everyone. We don’t have our own house or motorhome.
What’s one piece of advice you would share with someone who was contemplating their first housesit?
House sitting is not just about free travel it is very much about making sure your care for the home and the animals with the utmost respect and love. When pets are left with new people, they will always experience a little bit of stress (much better than kennels or pet motels) but still some stress. If you are not an animal lover and can’t make them feel at ease, this job is not for you.
If you don’t LOVE animals, like really love them, don’t do it!
We treat it as a job even though we are not paid and make sure we do our best to follow all of the home owners instructions.
“Leave it better.” It’s a great all-around concept of making the world a better place and leaving things better than when you found them. Here we apply the rule to house sitting, offering the homeowners a phenomenal and positive experience.
However, this also has the added benefit of:
Improving word of mouth referrals
Increasing positive reviews on house sitting websites and social media
Improved repeat house sits – Being invited back again
A warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing you have left a good impression and have made someone smile!!
[to read more go to www.jltd.com.au ]
At the end of the day, it is all about giving the homeowners peace of mind!
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