Housesitting trust and the kindness of strangers
What is housesitting trust and how does it vary from regular trust you have in other people? Making any kind of housesitting arrangement where you exchange services rather than money requires a degree of built-in trust. Homeowners inviting sitters into their home need to trust the housesitter. And the sitter requires a commitment to pay for travel once an agreement is made. But what happens when things change to test the trust on both sides? Here are some true stories to help us understand the power of housesitting trust.
Why do I like and trust in housesitting?
For a homeowner the housesitting arrangement made with the help of a trusted resource like Housesitmatch saves a lot of money, and keeps home and possessions safe. Your home is occupied, it can make a difference.Victims of burglary will know how awful that experience can be, and it is so easily avoided.
Housesitters cherish their time caring for new pet friends, getting to know their personalities. Moreover a stint in someone else’s neighbourhood can be a refreshing experience, it’s like doing an AirBnB but without the daily charges!
My personal experience
Personally when I housesit I often use the housesitting assignment as a retreat. It allows me time to think in an unfamiliar space without my usual distractions.
I enjoy discovering the world from the homeowner’s perspective. So other than cleaning, pet welfare and simple maintenance I have time and space to tour, think and run my online business. One added bonus is that I have made excellent new friends in extraordinary locations. Forming friendships with both with the homeowners and their neighbours all over the world is fun. Without housesitting myself and having sitters in my own home I might never have met some of these lovely people.
The kindness of strangers
As a housesitter I have also experienced the extraordinary kindness of strangers. The homeowners at a recent rural housesit demonstrated power of trust. They insured me as an extra driver for their car. My own car had been towed unexpectedly to the garage for vital repairs the day before I was scheduled to start the housesit assignment. I was touched by their generosity. As a thank you, I drove them to the airport, and collected them. I also prepared them a hot meal for the evening of their return. The kindness of strangers speaks volumes and epitomises the spirit of housesitting.
Why did the homeowners trust me? I had completed the ID and police/ background check, and I was willing to share my driving license with them so they could see I was being open about who I am. Most importantly, we were willing to collaborate and help each other.
Since starting HouseSitMatch I have heard the most remarkable stories of people helping other people through our housesitting network. The fact that people are happy to cross continents, to collaborate for mutual benefit reminds us that people are essentially good. It restores our faith in humanity.
But how can we go about supporting you build that initial sense of trust in someone you don’t know? And what do we mean by housesitting trust?
What do we mean by housesitting trust?
As a home and pet owner you may be thinking about trying housesitting for the first time. Finding ‘free housesitters who sit because they like to travel’ could save you a lot of money on kennels or professional sitters for your four weeks of holiday a year. And no doubt you’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of inviting a stranger into your home and leaving them there alone when you go away on holiday for an extended period of time.
What might be going through your mind? Can you trust them? Have they been police checked? Do they have references. Will they do what you ask to care for your home and beloved pets? Housesitting trust can mean different things to different people, and on both sides of the coin it matters. Here’s why:
Homeowners trusting the new housesitter
- ID checking for all members – If you are making arrangements online, ensure your sitters have been ID checked. All members of HouseSitMatch.com are ID checked with our strategic partner Hooyu.
- Police and background checking – Housesitters who have respect for good housesitting protocols and believe they are bringing something of value to the housesit will ensure their background check is up to date. Our strategic partner for background checking is Verifile. All housesitters are able to conduct their own background check through their online Housesitmatch profile verification page with the help of Verifile our partner, from wherever they are in the world.
- Building good communications and managing expectations – Once you have found a sitter you can build trust through responsive and regular communications. By asking questions on both sides you can get to know each other.
- Housesitting agreements – Many people prefer to formalise a verbal housesitting agreement with a written document, signed by both parties. HouseSitMatch provides all members with access to legal templates. We have done the thinking for you to help you make a good arrangement with the housesitter. Document and share the housesitting details to manage expectations.
Housesitting trust and working with the homeowner
- Making travel plans on the basis of an informal agreement – As a housesitter you may consider travelling across the country for a housesit assignment, or perhaps further afield. The cost of travel is a consideration. While we strongly recommend good regular communications with the homeowner to help you understand the status of the sit, you should always consider travel insurance for security.
- Paying for travel and expecting accommodation – Just as a sitter wants to be sure of the commitment of the homeowner to the housesit assignment, the homeowner will also likely want to see the paid for ticket stub to ensure there is commitment on your side also. Good communications will help all parties feel more confident and build confidence in the housesitting arrangement.
- Doing what is asked and managing expectations during the housesit – another advantage not only of good communications before the sit starts is to better understand what is expected by the homeowner. It gives you the housesitter a clearer brief and helps to manage expectations on all sides. The housesitting agreement will help tremendously pin down the main details.
- Don’t be shy about the police and background checking – trust in the process, go through the protocols means you are willing to collaborate with the network and the homeowners to prove you are of good standing without any convictions. It gives everyone confidence and helps to build housesitting trust making HouseSitMatch a safe network for all.
Trust in your housesitting network
- Established and reputable network – How do you check the reputation of an online company especially a housesitting network? At HouseSitMatch we use Trustpilot to authenticate all our client reviews and testimonials.
- Read the testimonials – Take a moment to read and digest some online reviews from different sources. It will help you to build an objective view about the company you choose to work with.