Whenever you go on vacation, it’s always the same question:
“Who will take care of the pets?”
Thanks to a jaunt to Spain, trustedhousesitters.com founder Andy Peck hit on the perfect solution.
Read our Q&A with Andy below to learn more:
What is your startup called?
What’s the story behind your idea?
The idea for TrustedHousesitters.com came about in late 2010. I was working as a writer at the time and stumbled across a home with several dogs that needed looking after in the north of Spain. The owner was offering someone the chance to stay there for free in return for keeping an eye on the house and looking after the dogs in her absence. I got in touch with the owner and several weeks later I was in house sitting in Spain.
Naturally it didn’t take long for me to realise that there must be plenty of other pet owners who would rather forgo the kennels in exchange for a live-in pet sitter and, plenty of people like me who would be happy to house sit in exchange for a great place to stay.
Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?
TrustedHousesitters.com is founded and run by myself, Andy Peck & Rachel Martin. I come from a marketing background and have been lucky to have worked with a few very large and successful international brands like Red Bull and Diageo. Rachel comes from a background in PR and prior to TrustedHousesitters.com, ran her own travel PR company.
Where are you based?
TrustedHousesitters.com is run from Brighton, a small city roughly an hour outside of London, England.
What’s the startup scene like where you are based?
Brighton is often described as “punching above its weight” in terms of the number of startups it produces. It’s a city brimming with creativity and an excellent place to be a startup: there are services to cater for every startup’s need and for everything else, London is only an hour away.
What problem do you solve?
At TrustedHousesitters.com we solve the very common problem most pet owners face of “what to do with your pet when you go on vacation”.
We do this by connecting pet owners with trustworthy individuals, couples and families; people who will live in the pet owner’s home and look after their animals while they’re away.
Roughly 90% of our members do not charge to do this either. Our members tend to take on out-of-town house sits rather than in their own town or city (like I did in Spain). In return for walking the dog, watering the plants or just generally keeping an eye on things while the owner’s are away the sitter gets a free place to stay. We currently have around six hundred home and pet owners who are looking for sitters.
The idea of getting a house sitter is nothing new, but the idea of people house sitting in exchange for a great place to stay is something that’s only really been made possible through the internet and the rise and acceptance of the collaborative consumption movement.
What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?
At the start of this year we passed 5,000 ‘house sitter’ members (people who are willing to house sit for others) and there are currently roughly 20 new house sitting opportunities a day being posted on the site from home and pet owners around the world.
What are your next milestones?
House sitting in this way is still a relatively new idea and so we’re currently working towards doubling the mentioned numbers, a figure which will hopefully give us the critical mass we need to push the idea into the mainstream.
Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?
The best place to get a feel for what we do is to take a look at a listing from someone looking for a house or pet sitter, which you can do here: http://www.