Trusted House Sitters Review: The Platform We Have Saved Thousands on Accommodation Worldwide With [February 2019 Review]
We have been house sitting for over three years now and we have completed 20 house sits.
These house sitting assignments cover the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Malaysia.
One of the questions we get asked the most is how do we find our house sitting jobs.
Its a mixture of a few different platforms, however, most of our assignments come from Trusted House Sitters.
As Trusted House Sitters is one of the most popular platforms out there right now, we figured we should do a Trusted House Sitters review to give potential new users our first hand experience using the online house sitting platform.
This review is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Trusted House Sitters.
Therefore it won’t be one of those bias Trusted House Sitters reviews that only touches on all the positives of the platform.
However, throughout this post, we do have affiliate links and discounts. These are for the benefit both you and us.
In this post I will be covering:
How Does Trusted House Sitters Work?
Well then, enough mucking around, let's get into our Trusted House Sitters Review!
What is Trusted House Sitters?
At this point, some of you might be wondering ‘What is Trusted House Sitters?’.
Essentially Trusted House Sitters is an online (and now mobile) platform that links homeowners with house sitters.
It was first launched to 2010 and has been one of the most popular house sitting platforms since.
Most often you hear people explaining it as ‘the Airbnb of house sitting’. Which is true in a way but at the same time they are two very, very different platforms.
How Does Trusted House Sitters Work?
The idea of Trusted House Sitters is fairly basic.
Each potential house sitter sets up their own profile. This is a fully customizable profile which you can add as much or as little information about yourself / yourselves as you want.
This includes pictures, videos and references.
The homeowner on the other hand, sets up their own profile and posts up their house sitting assignment. This would include all the necessary information potential sitters need to decide if they should apply or not. Homeowners will generally include information such as:
- House sit dates
- House sit location
- Details of all the animals. Including any medication and specific walking/ feeding schedules
- Photos of the home and animals
- Details of the area
- Any special requests for the sit
Once the homeowner has posted the house sitting assignment, the potential house sitters apply for the sit.
Applying is as simple as writing a message to the homeowner on their messaging platform.
From there it is generally up to the homeowner and the sitter how things progress.
In our past experience, it is usually several emails followed up by a Skype call or two if it is an out of town or international house sit.
If it is a local house sit assignment we would usually meet up to continue discussing the details of the sit.
Our Experience With Trusted House Sitters
Of our 20 odd house sits we have under our belts now, 10 of them have been through Trusted House Sitters.
We actually locked in our first housesitting assignment with Trusted House Sitters. This was when we were living in London.
One of our friends was housesitting for a friend while they went away over Christmas, we thought it was the coolest idea ever so we got Googling and Found Trusted House Sitters.
We set ourselves up a profile and got applying for house sits that were in the next destination we had a working holiday visa for, Ireland.
We applied for over 20 housesits that where within the 8 months we were planning to be in Ireland for.
Unfortunately for us, lots of these house sits had over 20 applications so our hopes were not high considering we had no reviews on Trusted House Sitters yet.
Fortunately for us, we got 3 replies from the 20 odd applications we sent, this was better than the strike rate we had heard from others using this platform.
We exchanged several emails with each homeowner which eventually led onto Skype conversations. We managed to land 2/3 housesitting assignments and were excited for the next few months to pass so we could start our new housesitting adventure.
Overall we had a good first experience with Trusted House Sitters. It was straight forward and the site provided a platform which served its purpose perfectly.
The Travelling House Sitters Trusted House Sitters Review
The Overall First Impression
Starting from when you first land on the homepage of Trusted House Sitters you will notice is one of the better-looking platforms out there.
Some of the platforms out there look like they were created at the start of the internet or have a weird very cartoonish feel to them.
Trusted House Sitters has a professional feel to it and is easy to navigate for first-time users. It genuinely feels as though it has been designed around the user having a good experience.
Creating your profile is simple and its good to have the option of putting in as much or as little as you would like.
Creating Your House Sitter Profile
Setting up your profile on Trusted House Sitters is easy.
You get several sections to fill out selling yourself. In these sections, you get as many characters as you want to explain to potential homeowners why they should pick you as their sitters. These sections included:
- About us
- Why we want to house sit
- Our experience
You also have an area to fill out more personal details about yourself such as:
- If you are solo or travelling as a couple
- Location preferences
- If you have had any previous experience
- Your availability
- Your animal care experience
The platform also has an easy to use photo uploader.
This is based on the ‘drag and drop’ or file upload methods. Both easy and straight forward to use.
A nice feature that is not seen on all house sitting platforms is the option to upload a video.
This is a great way of having the homeowner get a real feel for you before you meet up or chat over Skype.
This is one feature that we have been told by homeowners they use when looking at potential sitters before making inital contact with them.
Finding A House Sitting Assignment
The Trusted House Sitters search feature is laid out well and easy to use. You get lots of different filters and options to play with to find your perfect sit.
You get three different layouts you can choose from for your search results. Map, grid and list.
However, the map and list views seem to be the same thing.
The Internal Messenger / Email System
When it comes to the email/messenger feature of the platform, the only fault that I can find is sometimes when you go to ’show older messages’ in an email thread it doesn’t.
This is usually fixed by exiting and re-entering a couple of times. It can be a little frustrating.
The messenger has good features such as a time stamp when your message was read and the option to label conversations as ‘like’, ‘possible’, and ‘not suitable’ for quick access to your favourite potential sits.
You get an email notification and a notification on the platform when you get a message to your inbox.
Another good feature in the email/ messenger is that you can send a group message.
This is something that I have not seen on any other platforms.
This is great if you would like to update previous homeowners of your planned travels and locations just in case they are going away around those dates and need a sitter in.
This makes life easier for both the homeowner and sitters by potentially eliminating the interview/ application process altogether!
House Sitter Reviews
Reviews are one of the most important things to a house sitter. They allow the homeowner to make a decision if they want you as their house sitter before they even talk to you.
This is great news for those who have done the hard yards and have a few sitting assignments under their belts, However, this can be quite difficult for house sitters just starting out on the platform.
Your reviews are shown towards the top of your profile (above your about me section) and feature a picture of the reviewer, dates of that particular sit, the homeowner's review and finally a star rating out of 5 for the following:
- Pet care
This is great if you have a few sits under your belt, your reviews can do some of the hard work for you and can save you talking yourself up to potential homeowners.
However, if you are new to the platform it does look very bare and can be a turn off for some homeowners.
This is not necessarily a flaw of the Trusted House Sitters but of the whole house sitting idea. It is based off reviews and trust - and without reviews, it can be extremely hard to land a house sit when sometimes 20+ people are applying for a sit.
Im not sure if there is anything that Trusted House Sitters could do to help new sitters land their first assignment but it could be something for them to think about going forward.
The review process is very important to house sitters, unfortunately for homeowners it is not so important to review their sitters when they get back from their holiday.
It can be a little awkward and embarrassing to contact a homeowner to ask them if they can review you, but in some cases, it needs to be done.
On the Trusted House Sitters platform, you can send the homeowner a notification asking them to leave you a review but as I said above it can be awkward.
Since I am not signed up as a homeowner I can’t say exactly how the review process works, however, it would be really good if they would automatically send out an email XX days after each sit reminding them to review their sitters.
It would save on awkward conversations and feeling like you are nagging the homeowner for a review.
" To make asking for a review less awkward spark up a conversation with the homeowner asking if everything is ok with their home and animals then slip in there if they could give you a review on Trusted House Sitters when they next get a chance "
Leaving Home Owner Feedback
As the house sitter, you are also welcome to leave feedback about the homeowner.
Unfortunately, just like the review of you, this is not ‘blind’ feedback and the homeowner can see what you have written.
More often than not we will leave feedback of the homeowner/ home/ animals before they get around to leaving us a review. This is both good and bad.
It is good because if does often remind the homeowners that they need to leave a review about us.. But on the other hand, we like to leave 100% real feedback about the home, area and pets.
We do get a little concerned that if we don’t leave the homeowner 100% positive feedback they might write a review with that in mind and not give a 100% realistic review on us.
Possibly something for Trusted House Sitters to think about going forward?
Homeowner Welcome Guides
Once you have locked in a house sitting assignment the homeowner can make you a welcome guide.
This guide is not compulsory for the homeowner to do but as the sitter, you can request it.
The welcome guide is the house sitters bible. It makes the house sit extremely easy and provides you with an in-depth breakdown of the information about the home through a series of questions.
These questions are broken down into 6 different categories:
- Contact details
- Home details
- Wifi, Phone, TV & Audio
- Plants & Garden
- Feeding instructions
- Health & condition
- Likes / Dislikes
- House Rules
- Toilet & Grooming
- Anything else?
- Public Transport
- Car Hire
- Shopping for food
- Favourite restaurants & pubs
- Favourite cafe
- Nice walks
- Local attractions
- Anything else?
Emergency & Contacts
- Nominated people
- A&E hospital
- Home repairs
In my eyes, a welcome guide should be a compulsory part of the homeowner's profile on Trusted House Sitters as it really does help the sitter tremendously.
Often when talking with the homeowner they will forget things that would be outlined in the welcome guide.
Another bonus to the welcome guide is the feature that you can set yourself on sit reminders.
This is great for remembering important things such as animal medication, vet visits, trash days, or any other special requests the house sitting assignment may require.
The Trusted House Sitters App
As far as I am aware at the time of writing this Trusted House Sitters Review, THS are the only house sitting platform to have a smart device App.
The THS App is now available on both IOS and Android. Again like the THS desktop version, it is very professional looking, easy to use and you essentially get the same functionality as the website.
Having an App is really good for the house sitter. For us, we are quite often on the move and do not always get access to our laptops.
Some platforms are very difficult to use on mobile and end up just frustrating you, which on the way to a sit or for finalising details of a sit is the last thing you need.
Watch this space for a more in depth Review on the Trusted House Sitters App coming soon!
Vetline and Advice
This is a feature that thankfully we have never actually used first hand, and im going to take that as a good thing.
Essentially this is a 24 hour phone line that you can contact if you find yourself in a bad situation and don’t know what to do with your animals.
The number is based in the UK so unless you are sitting in the UK it will cost you to call unless you use Skype or another similar service.
I can’t really say too much more than that since I have ever used the service or actually talked to anyone else who has, but this good to have that option there if you need it.
Guidelines and Forms
Trusted House Sitters also have a section called ‘Guidelines and forms’. This is a little
- Code of conduct - The code of conduct is essentially a list of rules that you need to adhere to when finding a house sitter, or completing the sit as a sitter.
- House sitting agreement - This is something that we have used in the past from homeowners. It is essentially a contract between you and the homeowner covering everything regarding the sit. It is not something that is very common, however, can give the homeowner and the sitter that extra peace of mind is something did go horribly wrong throughout the sit.
- House sitter guidelines - This is a guide for house sitters only. It covers everything from making your Trusted House Sitters profile, applying for house sits, during your sit and when your sit is coming to an end. It is a great guide for first time sitter and something that we used at the beginning of our house sitting adventure.
Additional Features of The THS Site
A cool feature of THS is the ‘My Timeline’ page. This is not really a feature that helps the user with obtaining a house sitting assignment but more of a bragging rights thing.
Nevertheless, it's a cool feature to have and something that as a house sitter you can look back on and reminisce on old sits.
The Popularity of Trusted House SItters
It would be hard to do a Trusted House Sitters Review without touching on the popularity of the platform.
The popularity of Trusted House Sitters can be both a blessing and a curse.
I will start off with the negative. Obviously the more house sitters that are on a platform the harder it is to be a successful applicant.
In the two years, we have been on the platform we have noticed applicants for house sits skyrocket. This does differ from area to area and sit to sit but on a whole, there is a lot more competition out there.
I don’t know if that is because of house sittings popularity is on the rise, travellers being more money savvy or if its simply Trusted House Sitters is getting so popular because of their good name in the industry.
At the end of the day you just have to adapt and make your profile, and applications stand out more to homeowners.
On the flip side, we have also noticed there are far more house sits popping up in more locations around the world.
The growth of Trusted House Sitters is good in terms of more homeowners joining the platform and thus more locations being added onto the list of potential house sitting locations.
Need Flights To Your Next House Sitting Assignment?
''To find the cheapest flights we often use Jet Radar, they are a platform that searches multiple airline and travel sites to find you the best flight deals.''
The Trusted House SItters Membership Fee
Im not going to beat around the bush Trusted House Sitters is the most expensive platform that we use.
It is the most expensive platform that we have come across. The cost is £89.00 per year.
But to be honest, once you lock yourself into a house sit your membership fee has paid for itself, we don’t mind that membership fee because to date that small £89.00 per year has saved us thousands in accommodation costs and all the other bills that come with housing.
However, on the bright side Trusted House Sitters are one of the only platforms that don’t favour the homeowner when it comes to memberships fees.
Lots of sites seem to charge the house sitter for a membership fee and a much lower fee for homeowners (or no fee at all).
Trusted House Sitters Pros - Overview
All-in-all Trusted House sitters have many pros going for them.
From being one of the most professional looking sites having a smart device app, a 24-hour vet helpline and the most sits worldwide they seem to have nearly all bases covered when it comes to being an all-around good house sitting platform.
Trusted House Sitters Pros
Trusted House Sitters Cons - Overview
Like everything that is good the Trusted House Sitters platform also has its cons.
Obviously, the biggest one is the cost, but when you can essentially make that back after your first house sit by saving on accommodation is it really a con worth worrying about?
Trusted House Sitters Cons
Do You Need Travel Insurance For Your Next House Sitting Assignment?
''We use World Nomads for all of our travel insurance. This is for both long term yearly cover and short trips to house sitting assignments in different countries"
Is Trusted House Sitters The Best House Sitting Platform Out There?
I not going to lie, when people ask us about house sitting and how we manage to find house sits, 9 times out of 10 we direct them to Trusted House Sitters.
If that is not enough proof that we believe Trusted House Sitters is the best house sitting platform out there I'm not sure what is.
Trusted House Sitters seems to be becoming more and more popular for both homeowners and house sitters worldwide.
We look forward to continuing to use the Trusted House Sitters platform and house sitting our way around the world one house at a time.
Did you enjoy this Trusted House SItters Review?
Let me know what your thoughts and experiences have been with them below.