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Here are the secrets to long term house sitting Brisbane-wide (and beyond) from a full-time house sitter. I’ll show you what can you do to succeed, save money and spend time with fun-loving animals.
What Is House Sitting?
House sitting is a trust-based transaction between a homeowner and a housesitter, who cares for the home and pets while the owner is away, in exchange for free rent and utilities*.
*A minority are paid, but mostly for short periods, or when the house sit requires additional pet health care or property maintenance.
Homeowners save money on boarding for their pets, while increasing security in their homes by having someone there. You save money on accommodation while travelling or saving, all while receiving endless pet snuggles and sniffs. House sits can be short-term (a few days) or long-term (up to a year or more).
After house sitting almost full time for the past two years in Australia, this post contains the secrets that I have learned during that time, so you too can successfully score long-term house-sitting in Brisbane (or further afield).
Why House Sitting Brisbane?
Brisbane often has as many listings as Sydney or Melbourne with (anecdotally) less competition and a lower cost of living. On Aussie House Sitters, there were 108 Brisbane house sits listed in the proceeding 7 days, compared to 90 in Sydney and 114 in Melbourne, but for every $1000 you spend in Sydney, you only need $888 in Brisbane.
Brisbane is a gateway to the Gold Coast and Byron Bay just to the South, plus Sunshine Coast, Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach just to the North. Even further North, you can access tropical rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef and adventure-packed Cairns. It has a subtropical climate with year-round periods of warm to hot weather.
Long Term Brisbane House Sitting Secrets To Success
If you want to stay in Brisbane for a while, you might want to house sit long term (which I’ll define as a month or more). These are the minority of opportunities overall, and even with less competition than in other cities, you’ll need to know a few secrets to succeed. Just …don’t tell anyone, ok?
Queensland (QLD) and Brisbane Public Holidays
Many people plan their holidays around public holidays, adding any accrued leave from their jobs to the dates in which their workplace is closed. Or, they leave at this time so that they can spend time with friends and family during ‘the holidays’ – especially Christmas and Easter.
If you want to secure a long term house sit in Brisbane, being available during these times means that you are much more likely to ‘lock something in’ and will have greater choice than at other times of the year.
|Australia/Queensland Public Holidays
|New Year’s Day
|Easter (Good Friday, Easter Saturday/Sunday/Monday)
|1st Monday in May
|Royal Queensland Show (Brisbane only)
|1st/2nd Friday in August
|1st Monday in October
|Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)
#The Holidays Act 1983 provides for an extra public holiday to be added when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day falls on a weekend.
Brisbane House Sitting Locations
Inner city Brisbane suburbs like West End may be popular, but applications for long term house sits in these areas can quickly add up and lead your application to fall to the bottom of the pile. If you are willing to move a bit further out in the city, you’ll find that you’ll have a much better chance (especially in Brisbane’s west and north).
Meet With Homeowners
While Brisbanites are generally a relaxed bunch – homeowners like to get to know the house sitters that will take care of their home – especially long term. For house sits over a month, as soon as I’ve spoken to the homeowner over the phone, I try and organise a ‘meet and greet’. If I’m in another city, I let them know the dates that I will be near them and schedule an approximate date to meet.
I believe that this shows commitment to the house sit and this gesture will make you stand out from other applicants. It’s a great opportunity to be introduced to the pets and to get a ‘feel’ for the house, its location and what will be required from you during your stay.
If you meet with difficult or disrespectful homeowners, I’d rather know this before I spend months in their homes! Yet, you often meet with people in person only to find that you quickly bond and agree to the house sit.
Finally, if you want to maximise your chances of getting that long term house sit in Brisbane, here are some tips:
- Use the ‘Alert’ feature on Aussie House Sitters to be notified via email when house sits of 2-4 weeks/1 month or more are listed and apply as soon as you can – Go to ‘My Account” > ‘Useful Tools’ > ‘My Alerts’ > ‘New Alert’;
- Apply for a QLD Police Certificate ($42AUD) to reassure homeowners of your suitability;
- Provide a link to your social media accounts and/or full name in your application, so homeowners can ‘Google’ you;
- Keep it all about them – ask questions about where they are going, how they like things done around the house and their preferences. Read their ad, listen carefully and take notes of these for later. Clarify anything unclear about their expectations.
In a trust-based exchange like house sitting, the more that you show yourself to be a considerate and trustworthy house sitter, the more success you’ll have. Once you have a few good references (in addition to being available on public holidays, meeting with owners quickly and being flexible in your choice of location), you’ll be long-term house-sitting Brisbane-wide before you know it.