Housesitting is not a new trend. It's been part of our culture for centuries.
Before the internet connected the global community, homeowners who wanted to travel relied on their family, friends and neighbors to look after the home front. This often included caring for an assortment pets -- cats, dogs, fish and rodents of every color!
The 'sharing economy', popularized by such technology-driven businesses such as Uber, AirBnB and the plethora of home exchange sites, opened the door to a wider range of people who were not restricted to their local geographical area. There are now housesitters who travel the world looking after people homes and pets in exchange for free accommodations.
One of the most compelling reason to use a housesitter is that your home and pets are being cared for by an individual who is more interested in 'the caring' than the traditional profit-motivated individual. In exchange for using your home 'rent free', a housesitter is motivated to provide the best care and loving attention for your home and pets. They are most interested in making sure that the homeowners can travel stress-free knowing the home front is being cared for.
The concept that a person is providing this service for 'free' is often a stumbling block for homeowners who hear about housesitting. They'll wonder, "Why would a housesitter do this for free?"
To which a housesitter will respond, "Well, it's not really for 'free'. After all, you are providing me with a comfortable home to live in while you are traveling. I get to visit new places, live like a local, meet new people and spend time with your pets. From my standpoint, this is a fabulous exchange of value."
In my years of housesitting across the USA, Canada and Europe, I've always felt that homeowners were more than generous in making sure I was comfortable and felt at ease in their home and had a loving connection with their pets. Many homeowners would introduce me to their neighbors, provide information on shopping and local attractions and strongly suggest that I 'really make myself at home'.
The housesitting trend attracts a certain type of homeowner and housesitter.... usually people who are more open and trusting. Both parties proceed into the arrangement on a basis of trust even when there are agreements to go over and sign off on.
In my experience, that trust has always set the stage for a successful housesitting experience.