TrustedHousesitters: The house and pet-sitting platform transforming the way people travel
4 min read
03 March 2016
As the world’s largest house and pet-sitting network, the TrustedHousesitters website connects pet owners with appropriate and trustworthy sitters to take care of their home and pets whilst they’re away, in exchange for a free retreat. It's well at home in 2016's Everline Future 50 ranking.
Date founded: 2010
Founders: Andy Peck
Founded by Andy Peck in 2010, the concept for TrustedHousesitters was born after a Spanish villa holiday spent pet-sitting a friend’s dog.
After speaking with other pet owners, Peck realised the huge need for a comprehensive house sitting website, and established a service that provides the best house and pet sitting for its members.
By offering their time and care for free, house-sitters can enjoy staying for free in locations around the world, for a duration of anything from a weekend to a few months.
In a previous life, Peck led marketing for global organisations including Red Bull. He has established a publishing business and penned two screenplays. His fiancée and TrustedHousesitters co-founder Rachel Martin is a PR guru and was the driving force behind the launch of eBay and Tesco.com in the UK.
Together, the pair have enjoyed pet-sitting across the globe – spending time growing the TrustedHousesitters network. Since it began, the business has grown into a 20-strong team, attracting talented individuals like CMO Laurence Bresh – the former marketing director at STA Travel and Visit Britain – and CTO Will Ogden, formerly of Microsoft.
Peck understood that for many pet owners, kennels just aren’t an option. They are often very expensive and do not cater for the many different types of animal owners keep as pets. How do you kennel a chicken? Or a pig? TrustedHousesitters takes the confusion out of housing a pet when going away.
Indeed, TrustedHousesitters enables pet owners to change the way they travel. When previously owners would take shorter, less frequent breaks because of the obligations to take care of their pets, now owners can take more time away safe in the knowledge that their pets are fully taken care of.
Equally, the service looks to become the go-to sight for travellers themselves when they go on holiday.
The TrustedHousesitters ethos is central to its business model. The fact that no money changes hands between homeowner and house sitter means the network represents a real “sharing economy” based on altruism and trust.
The annual subscription homeowners and house-sitters pay to be members gives them access to a vast online community, enabling them to reach thousands of like-minded members. Awareness of the site has grown through the strength of this online network, and brand advocacy has increased.
In January this year, TrustedHousesitters reached a milestone of 600,000 nights the business has successfully facilitated sitters to keep pets out of kennels. In a sign that more and more people are considering house sitting as a viable way to spend holiday time, TrustedHousesitters research found that interest had grown five fold in 2014.
This is perhaps why the business’s revenues have grown 82 per cent in the last 12 months alone.
The potential of the market should not be underestimated. In the UK alone there are nine million pet-owning households and a large proportion require pet care when owners are away.
TrustedHousesitters’ partners already include global travel and pet brands as well as charities like the RSPCA. With this in mind, it’s safe to say the company is one to watch.