Where to start- local or no

Brand new here! Advice, please. When you started out sitting, did you stay relatively local to get more comfortable with doing this? Or did you dive right in and go far? I know it’s ultimately up to me and my preferences, but I wanted to get a feel for what others have done. Thanks!

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@dana_sitter Welcome to the community forum, and to TrustedHousesitters. You might find this post helpful.

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Hi there.
No doubt you’ll get a plethora of different answers to your question.

My personal experience was to just start applying for sits around the UK, where I am based just to get started.

I have since sat in France and multiple times in the USA but I wouldn’t have applied for the overseas sits straight off the bat.

I think there is something to be said for starting locally if there are sits available to help you get some reviews and experience.

Of course if you want to try for a sit on the other side of the world, then go for it.
Nothing to lose!

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Hi @dana_sitter and welcome to the forum. Our very first sit was for 3 months during the winter in Ontario, Canada. While It was not local for us, it was not the most desirable time of year for many people to visit this part of Canada. We had no competition (according to the HO) and secured the sit. We figured that we had to start somewhere and it was a most fabulous sit. That was in 2018 and we still remain good friends with the homeowners. Maybe consider less popular locations during less desirable times of the year. All the best to you and your future sits!

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Hello and welcome! We did a few local house sits to start off and get a feel for it and to gain references. We lived just an hour outside of Vancouver, B.C. so did sits in the heart of the city. The following year we did a couple of sits in the U.S. and the next year we did a sit in Ireland and Australia and the following year did a sit in the Caribbean. We tend to do more local sits within our own Province and personal international travel that doesn’t involve house/pet sitting.

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Welcome… I live in California and decided to do sits in and around the state… ie., AZ and NV. l did this first just in case something went wrong. I love it and will be adventuring international next year. Good luck and stay safe.

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Welcome to this great pet-loving community! We started back in October, and our first sit was local. I’m retired but he was not (at the time), so he was able to work each day. We were actually approached by the HO to sit, so never even applied. I didn’t find the process of applying for other out-of-state and international sits intimidating as a new sitter. Our calendar was full for the time overseas we wanted to be sitting, rather than touring. If you see an interesting sit, that’s far from your current location, go for it. It can be an amazing adventure!!!

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Hey Dana,

Dive in as deep as you can. Don’t try local cause you will easier find sits when you go worldwide. What happens local will as well happen elsewhere. We prefer long sits 1 month+ because that will give you a bigger chance to get a sit and of course it is less traveling and costs.

Easiest sits to get is Australia, USA, United Kingdom, France.

And don’t step back when there are farm animals. Mostly it is pretty easy to care for them.

Have fun
Kerstin and Frank

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That’s great advice. We’re heading to SE Asia for 6 months next year but our current location/home is “Turkey” even though we’re in Europe/Africa sitting - shall change it when we get closer :+1:

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Hi @dana_sitter - Having a few good reviews are essential for sitters to get their sits which makes the first couple of sits most difficult to get.
For this reason, starting local is by far the best option. Also take on short sits so that they start, finish, and review you very quickly.

Once you have started to collect some good reviews then it is totally up to you. The world is your oyster! - Good Luck

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It might help to start local, since you will have no reviews yet and you could meet the HO in person (very reassuring). But if you are going to travel to a location where there is a lack of sitters or you are going during high season than you might also be able to secure a sit without reviews.

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There can’t be a general answer to your question.
Even if it’s common here on the forum to suggest local sits for the beginning, it completely depends on your profile, your experience and situation.
We just had first timers without any reviews yet looking after our home and pets for three weeks and we couldn’t have wished for better sitters.
I chose them because they used to be homeowners and know how it is to have strangers staying in your home, because they used to have an elderly cat with health issues, they arrived with their own (rented) car and because they planned for a 5 days buffer in case we would not be able to travel home as planned (plane delay or Covid-19 infection).
These were of course reasons not every sitter would be able to meet so that’s why it’s impossible to give advice.
Try everything and don’t leave out the attractive sits, because you never know if the one little thing you can provide might be just the one to make the home owners hit the confirm button.

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So sorry I am @Colin , but that only half of the truth. We have no review and are booked out for 1 year already.

The key is to communicate open and don’t drop a standard copy/paste application. HO knows when you didn’t read the sit page carefully. And of course you need to be willing to take “not so popular” sits as well.

And on the other hand. Look on the thread with the honest review question. Its is quite tricky to figure out, if the review is a good one or only made to get no trouble…

Sorry again Colin, no offense but reviews are only 10% of the deal. The very much rest is how you “sell” yourself.

Cheers
Frank

Exactly! I don’t give that much about the reviews, because there are too many 5* ones.
Ok, if people have 50+ 5*reviews they obviously must do something right, but this doesn’t mean they are perfect sitters for everyone.

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We will have to disagree on this one - Many home hosts will want to see a trail of prior reviews before handing over their pets and the keys to their home to a complete stranger.

This is the reason that we check out the reviews before purchasing almost anything nowadays whether that be a hotel, restaurant, movie, new car, TV…and housesitter

In my opinion, Reviews are THE most important thing that a sitter needs to help them get accepted for the sits they really want to do
.
Once you have good reviews then you no longer have to take the not-so-popular sits

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@dana_sitter Welcome. I’m relatively new sitter myself having joined mid May. I decided to start local as it seemed easier to get sits and I could meet HO’s if needed. It still took my 23 applications to get my first sit. Since my first sit I’ve done another local sit, a sit in Copenhagen and have sits coming up in Italy, Oxford and Greece.
I think the main thing is to try and get great feedback from sits asap.

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I guess, due to the reason we are booked for 1 year already, we are the best proof, that this is only half the truth.

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@Colin Agree with you. I’ve only got 3 reviews (all 5 star) which has definitely helped me get my next popular sits. From my initial conversations 2 HO’s mentioned my feedback.

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I agree completely! Reviews are not the most important thing for me to decide who is a good fit.

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Thanks for the replies, everyone! It’s really helpful to see the points of views of others.

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