Derby, Derbyshire, UK (PRWEB UK) 1 March 2013
Many people are turning to the use of pet sitters and house sitters to keep their homes occupied and pets cared for in their absence. Some might leave their homes completely vacant when they travel away for more than a day or two, perhaps using a kennel or cattery to look after their pets.
Using a house or pet sitter is becoming more commonplace, due to the ease of finding sitters using the internet, but this process isn’t without some risk. Finding a suitable pet sitter can be a fraught affair because of the confusing range of the sitters available and the wide range of their competencies.
On sitters’ listings sites, some sitters charge a fee, some don’t; some will look after pets, and some won’t. Some casual sitters might just be seeking free accommodation, whereas others offer a carefully provided service that benefits owner and sitter alike.
Choosing a pet sitter from a listings website can also involve having to manage a huge volume of applicants. If a homeowner lives in a popular or pleasant location, The Cotswolds for example, they may be instantly deluged with hundreds of e-mailed applications after posting their requirements.
Travel expenses can sometimes be an issue with the choice of sitter possibly being restricted to two or three couples who might live close enough to a homeowner for the arrangement to be economically viable.
A new international pet and house sitters’ listings site has recently been launched aimed at solving these problems. Housem8.com uses an intelligent matching system similar to that of an online ‘dating agency’.
The Housem8.com filter system works by asking sitters and owners a set of identical questions at the registration process. Questions range from specific pet care requirements or abilities, to security questions regarding police clearance and a sitter’s own liability insurance policy. To get the most accurate match, sitters and owners must state their own financial expectations and a variety of other criteria, for example, whether or not the sitter has their own vehicle.
Housem8 then matches homeowners' and sitters’ requirements and displays the results in a percentage match-score order, with the most suitable potential sitters’ profiles displayed at the top of the home owner’s personal list. House owners can then invite sitters to apply with one click of a button and await the responses from their chosen candidates.
According to Tom Hill of Housem8, who is an experienced international house and pet sitter, the website was built to address a clear gap in the market. “The typical story from most of our clients was the difficulty of finding the right house or pet sitter. Housem8 ensures that the process of finding a sitter isn’t daunting for homeowners being inundated with hundreds of unsuitable applications. This way neither owners nor sitters waste each others’ time and the process is, overall, more efficient,” says Tom.
Housem8.com is free for home owners to use, and the majority of listed sitters offer their services on a no-rent-no-fee basis. However, unlike some other sites, Housem8 does encourage fee charging professional sitters to advertise, but recommends that homeowners ensure these individuals have a proper, verifiable credentials and liability insurance.
The growing number of websites in this area is yet another example of how efficient the internet is at matching peoples’ mutual needs, and in this case, sometimes allows both to benefit without any money changing hands.