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TrustedHousesitters Review (And Tips for Using It!)

written by Sam and Veren December 7, 2017
TrustedHousesitters Review (And Tips for Using It!)

Do you want to save more money while traveling, and travel more sustainably, while making real local connections?

House sitting checks all of the above boxes, and like responsible tourism, has become one of the latest travel trends, especially for budget travelers. 

If you came here looking for a TrustedHousesitters review, chances are you already know what house sitting is. 

On the off chance that you don’t: housesitting is an exchange in which a person, the housesitter, stays at someone’s home and cares for their pets and property while they are away. Usually, no money is exchanged between parties. If you’re still confused about what house sitting is and isn’t, read our article, Common Misconceptions About House Sitting.

So if you’re sold and you’re on board – what’s the next step? 

The most definite route to tackle house sitting is online. As more people are trying to get on the house sitting bandwagon, even more people are writing articles on how to house sit, despite the fact that they’ve done only one or two house sits or none at all.

There are a variety of TrustedHousesitters reviews floating around online, but they’re usually super positive as people try to reap affiliate benefits, haven’t been updated in years (Ed note – we last updated this April 23, 2018), or sourly negative because the site didn’t work for them. Regarding the latter, there’s always some excuse – no one contacted them to offer a house sit (that’s not how it works), they were too young (guess what, we started house sitting at 23 and 28)…the list goes on. TrustedHousesitters can absolutely work for you – with the right strategy and attitude.

We’re firmly of the belief that before you start giving advice – have some experience.

We’ve done over 15 house sits through TrustedHousesitters over two years. Almost every house sit we apply for – we get. We’ve house sat both full-time and part-time, and in various countries in Europe as well as the United States. 

Our point? We know a thing or two (or several) about house sitting.

So let’s get into it – the pros and cons of using TrustedHousesitters, and how to balance them to use the platform to your advantage.

If you already know you want to join, we have a special discount code for you!

Click here to sign up for TrustedHousesitters with 10% off!

TrustedHousesitters Review and Tips on Using It| Housesitting Tips | AlternativeTravelers.com

Our Comprehensive TrustedHousesitters Review

TrustedHousesitters is a platform that connects people looking for house sitters with people looking to house sit. It’s important to understand that they are simply a matchmaking website – they do not personally vet each of the homeowners or house sitters, which is why communication between both parties is so important.

Overall, Trustedhousesitters is your best bet to get into house sitting whether you’re looking for one per year, several, or to house sit full time. TrustedHousesitters is the biggest resource for finding websites around the world.

Note: throughout the review, we’ll refer to TrustedHousesitters as THS to keep things short.

BTW, let’s just get this out of the way now: this is NOT a sponsored (aka paid for) post. We personally have used THS for the past 2 years and get a lot of questions about how it works, so we thought it was high time to write this dedicated review with our honest opinions and experiences.

PROS of Using TrustedHousesitters

These are the best features about THS, how to use them, and why they’re better than other house sitting websites.

The Biggest House Sitting Website Worldwide

Don’t just take our word for it – check out Housesitsearch.com, a search aggregator that lists house sits available across the main platforms. A quick search yielded 5001 available house sits on this particular day. When we subtracted all others and searched only for TrustedHousesitters, that number went to 3632. That means that THS has more than 2.5 times the number of sits than all other sites combined!

This cannot be overstated. The odds are in your favor here. More options for finding your perfect sit. And vastly more sitters than sits, so homeowners will have plenty of great choices. Often homeowners tell us it’s hard to choose as they receive many great applicants.

When we were first choosing which house sitting site to sign up for, a quick look at all the options showed that TrustedHousesitters had house sits listed in the most countries. So wherever we wanted to travel, we’d have a better likelihood of finding a sit. They have many sits across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, throughout Europe (mostly Western Europe), and the United Kingdom.

Occasionally sits pop up in Asia, South America, and Central America, but these are less common (across all house sitting websites) as the idea of house sitting has still not caught on in these cultures.

Sleek Website and Easy to Navigate User Interface

Getting around the site is intuitive with a clear layout. Searching for house sits is easy, as you can filter by country, animal, length of sit, and dates. Last minute house sits are highlighted with a blue banner (these are great to jump on if you can when you are first starting out as they are likely to get fewer applicants). On all listings, there is a map of the approximate location, so you can research the area a bit before you apply.

A benefit of using THS over other websites is that once a pet owner finds a house sitter and accepts them through the site, that listing is immediately closed for applications.

This is what the search function looks like (when logged in):

Trustedhousesitters long term house sitting | Tips for House sitting | AlternativeTravelers.com

Pet owners can search for house sitters by location and view their availability calendar on their profile to see if they are available before messaging. 

Homeowners and house sitters alike have the option to include a lot of photos and description of their needs and skills.

Applying for a sit is as easy as clicking the button and sending a tailored message. Homeowners – you can also reach out to potential house sitters before you post a listing if you’d like to avoid getting a bunch of applications. Either way, there will be hundreds of options – you’ve just gotta try them out.

Useful Tools like the Welcome Guide

The welcome guide is easily one of the best features of TrustedHousesitters, as it helps both homeowners and sitters tremendously.

This is an area where the owner can write down all information about the house sit. There are 6 tabs: Welcome, My Home, My Pets, Transports, Neighborhood, and Emergency. Here owners can choose how descriptive they need to be, but ultimately provide all information necessary to carry out a successful house sit. This means homeowners can enjoy their time away worry free and minimize interruptions during their vacation while knowing that their house sitter has all of the resources they need to care for their home and pets.

Here’s an example from our next house sit:

Tips for Using TrustedHousesitters | AlternativeTravelers.com

Throughout the process of applying, confirming, and performing the sit, a lot of information is exchanged. Having everything in one place is much easier. House sitters can refer back at any time throughout the sit to double check feeding schedules or things like when the garbage goes out.  Pet owners can share the welcome guide with future sitters, so it only needs to be done once!

Doesn’t Require Extensive and Unnecessary Verifications

Unlike some other websites, TrustedHousesitters does not require that you have a police background check in order to house sit. There is a verification section with the option to add one, but they won’t bar you from being able to get house sits, like Nomador (another house sitting website).

For us, a police background check doesn’t quite equal a trust check. Just because someone doesn’t have a criminal record does not mean they will be a good house sitter. It’s up to you, sitter or owner, to read a situation and effectively communicate your needs and expectations. Also, if this is suggested for sitters, then why not homeowners?

Ultimately, we appreciate that THS gives users the option to include different levels of verification, but not prohibit anyone from the use of their website if they choose not to.

CONS of Using TrustedHousesitters:

THS is far from perfect. We’re not going to lie and sugar coat things. There’s a lot of room for improvement. We may have more gripes in number than pros, but the PROS heavily outweigh them. THS makes it possible for us to house sit – a lot.

In our Trustedhousesitters review, we include our tried and true methods for coping with each con, to make sure you get the best user experience, but ultimately, to succeed in landing a sit. 

Most expensive membership fee

“You have to pay for this? That’s a scam!” This is usually the first thing people say when we tell them about how we house sit.

Imagine for a second, that it was completely free. Now imagine you’ve got a house sitter planned for your remote cabin in boreal Canada, only to find out your sitters canceled last minute. If they haven’t paid a dime to get that house sit – what do they have to lose on canceling? Sure, there are people who honor commitments regardless of cash. We like to keep money out the equation as much as possible. However, when it comes to honoring commitments, a price tag weeds out the less serious people. This goes beyond house sitting.

That being said, THS does have the most expensive membership fee out of any other house sitting website. People naturally are surprised when they see the $100+ annual membership fee.

How to Make it Work for You

Regarding homeowners – we’re sure you already know how expensive kennels and paid pet visitors are – you’re here to save and get the best possible care for your pets. Get a sitter for more than a few days and you’ve made it worthwhile.

For sitters, recouping the membership cost is pretty simple – house sit at least for even just a few nights a year and it pays for itself.

How much does the average hotel or hostel cost? Let’s aim low and say $30 – 50 a night? Then consider that when house sitting, you’re getting an apartment at least, or a house at most, for the same price as a sterile hotel room that’s rarely below 50 a night.

In the end, this price is negligible for us. We have already accumulated over 6 months worth of house sits, so if we even give the modest price of 50 a night, we’ve gotten over $9,000 worth of accommodations for the price of 2 years of membership.

And that’s not even considering the fact that in many places we have house sat, we would have had to spend way more than $50/night (we’re looking at you, London and NYC). Not a bad deal in our book. Even if you don’t plan on using TrustedHousesitters long term, it’s easy to balance out this cost.

House sitting London via TrustedHousesitters | London House Sitting | AlternativeTravelers.com

Biggest Site = More Competition

While the fact that TrustedHousesitters is the biggest site is a pro, it can also be a con, especially when you are first starting out. If you’re new to house sitting, it can be demoralizing to see that you’re up against 20+ people for a particular sit. You could begin to feel it’s not worth the effort.

How to Make it Work for You

Homeowners: you’ll have a ton of sitters to choose from, and many will be great. This is more of an issue for house sitters.

THS is a matchmaking site – you get one shot and you need to make it count. Write a personalized introduction, giving all the reasons why you’d be the perfect sitter. Think of it as a job application and your profile as a résumé.

Also, don’t choose super popular travel destinations for your first sits – you’re guaranteed to lose out to sitters with more reviews. These places are hugely competitive. Homeowners frequently don’t look past the first dozen people (contrary to what THS believes), so you’ll be wasting your time. Landing a housesit on Trustedhousesitters is entirely possible – you just need the right strategy.

Need some tips? Read our post How to Start House Sitting and Save Money Traveling

Lackluster Customer Service That Favors Homeowners

Homeowners – no worries here unless you’re a social justice warrior. Potential sitters – take notice.

The issues have ranged to user functionality of the site to downright favoritism to homeowners. We’ve repeatedly messaged them only to get canned, generic responses that condescend or play down issues.

Now someone might come to their defense and say they’re just being careful with their words and such, but it’s easy to read between the lines and see “Yes we understand this is important, but not enough for us to care.” Unfortunately, THS seems to default to homeowners complaints and regularly deflect the concerns of sitters. While we haven’t personally had this experience, we are members of various house sitting Facebook groups where people have shared their disconcerting experiences.

How to Make this Work for You

As we keep stressing, house sitting is an exchange. Both sides are vulnerable in different ways. Homeowners have property and pets to protect. Sitters need to be wary of homeowners taking advantage. Both would be left in a tight spot at last minute cancellations.

If you need assistance, still message them a ton on their chat function. They need to step up their customer service. They’re growing bigger and bigger every day, so the only way they will listen is if their customer base shows up in sheer numbers.

Ideally, you can minimize any need to use their customer service function by communicating expectations and needs with the person you are house sitting for or the person that is house sitting for you. Only choose to sit for homeowners who recognize this is an equal exchange.  Not confident you can tell? Read our post, 5 Tips for Avoiding Bad House Sits

Same goes for homeowners – don’t settle for a sitter who’s only concerned with what they’re getting out of the deal – check out how to avoid bad sitters.

Pet Sitting with TrustedHousesitters: A TrustedHousesitters Review by AlternativeTravelers.com

Review System Needs Work

If you’ve ever used other sharing platforms like Airbnb or Couchsurfing, you’ll know that immediately after the experience is over, you get an email reminding you to “review” the other person. Usually, these are double-blind reviews, where you each review the other person within a time frame, and then the reviews are published at the end of this period.

Trustedhousesitters sorely needs this functionality, yet is reluctant to adopt it. When pet owners return from their vacations, often they have a million things to catch up on, that leaving house sitters a review isn’t exactly at the top of their priority list. We totally understand this, and feel awkward having to remind homeowners to take the time to leave a review. While some do so right away, we had one couple take 6 months to leave one!

Sitters heavily rely on reviews, and this is where things get lopsided. A homeowner with no reviews will still get house sitters, yet a house sitter with no reviews will have a much harder time.  

How to Make this Work for You

First, give pet owners a chance – we usually wait a couple weeks before reminding them. Often, after finishing a house sit, we will have a thank you exchange, and sometimes there’s a chance to slip in a reminder. After a couple weeks, shoot them something nice, like: “Hey what’s up, hope all is well, how are the kitties, I know you’re busy, but when you get a chance, shoot us a quick review.”

Maybe a third time, you do the same, but also add in that reviews are a house sitter’s lifeblood, and you’d really love to help them out again someday if they need it. In the end, we got a review from each person we reminded – these first few are important, so don’t give up!

Lousy Email Alerts that Will Hopefully Change Soon

Sadly, this con is recent, as their email alert system used to be great. In the past, THS would send you the latest listings in your chosen countries straight to your email as soon as they were posted. However, due to some complaints from users who didn’t know how to change their preferences, THS has now disabled this option and only sends one email of random house sits per day. It sucks.

Considering how essential it is to get your application in as quick as possible, removing these automatic updates has been a huge blow to frequent house sitters.

Luckily, all of us disgruntled house sitters made ourselves heard, and they will allegedly be bringing back this function in the new year. We’ll update this post if they do!

How to Make this Work for You

The only way we see to balance this is when you’re actively looking for a house sit, keep checking the website. This is how we landed our Christmas sit in NYC this year. 

House sitting Spain | TrustedHousesitters Review | AlternativeTravelers.com

TLDR; The Bottom Line About Using TrustedHousesitters

For homeowners, using Trustedhousesitters is a no-brainer – this site primarily caters to you and your needs. Expect a plethora of house sitter options and everything you need to assure a successful sit.

For housesitters, this is your best bet to get started house sitting – in spite of its shortcomings, it’s overwhelmingly the best site out there.

Unless you’re looking to sit only in a specific country (e.g. Nomador is great for France), it’s very likely you’ll end up using THS. Ultimately, THS is the only site that truly opens up the entire world to you. Whether you plan to house sit once a year or continuously, THS is your best shot at house sitting.

Whether it’s an almost year-long stay near Vancouver, British Columbia, a 6-month stay in Costa Rica, or a 2-week sit in Berlin, THS won’t limit you to a country or even a continent.

At the end of the day, it’s a match-making service that does its job well. We’ve met lots of incredible people and lovely pets through the site. 

Signing up with our Exclusive TrustedHousesitters Discount Code!

When you go to sign up, you do have the option of signing up for free, but this only lets you view the house sits, not apply to them. You also cannot see crucial details beyond the locations and dates of a house sit if you’re not a paid member.  If you already know you want to start house sitting, sign up for the paid option here. If you have pets of your own, there is a joint homeowner/house sitter option too.

Click this link to sign up with a 10% off discount!

More House Sitting Tips and Resources

For House Sitters

How To Start House Sitting and Save Money Traveling 

Common Misconceptions About House Sitting

5 Tips For Avoiding Bad House Sits

How to Make the Best Profile

How to Make Your First Message Win

For Home/Pet Owners

Thinking of Using House Sitters? 5 Things To Consider

How to Prepare for House Sitters As a Homeowner 

5 Steps to Using House Sitters For the First Time

5 Tips for Avoiding Bad House Sitters

Happy house sitting!

By signing up through our link, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Again, this is not a sponsored post! Affiliates help us keep writing comprehensive and honest reviews like this one – thank you!

*Editor’s note: This post was originally posted in December 2017 and has since been updated on April 23, 2018. We have had to close comments as we, unfortunately, get a high amount of spam comments on this post. If you have questions that we did not address in our post on how to start house sitting or using TrustedHousesitters, please feel free to email us! If you are having an issue with TrustedHousesitters, please contact them directly. We do not at all represent the company and are simply sharing our experiences after using the site for 2.5 years. Happy House Sitting!

TrustedHousesitters Review | The Pros and Cons of the World's Biggest Housesitting Platform and Tips for Using it for Housesitting Success! | AlternativeTravelers.com

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