Aussie House Sitters Review
This is the first in a series of in-depth house sitting website reviews that cover the user experience, and highlight the pros, cons and usability of each site.
Aussie House Sitters are part of a group of country-based house sit platforms.
The Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and UK sites all work on the same platform layout which makes it nice and easy for transitioning between the websites as you travel the world.*
Reviews can be linked from one site to another - a useful feature for members of multiple sites. Each country charges in it's own currency so don't assume dollars means US dollars!
* The American site is due for an upgrade later in 2019
The Company & Team
AussieHouseSitters are a family business operating out of offices in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, run by Nick Faud and wife Kylie, along with the team who you can meet here. This business began way back in 2004, and they've won numerous awards over the past few years.
This year (2019) AussieHouseSitters were awarded the "APAC Excellence Awards - Most Trusted Pet & House Sitting platform, Australia".
Aussie House Sitters - Pros & Cons
If you want to bypass our in-depth review - you can quickly see the good, the not so good, and what we think, right here.
What we think about AussieHouseSitters.com
It's hard to give anything but praise for this house sitting site, which we've watched evolve since first getting involved with house sitting in 2013. We always use AussieHouseSitters when back house sitting in Australia and every sit secured was a 5 star experience. It's top of our recommendations.
We were aware of a more laid-back approach from home owners when messaging, and found "before sit meetups" a popular request.
The search filters, sit alerts and ease of use make this an easy choice for us and think this site represents excellent value for money.
Our only small concern is the recent marketing messaging that is very pro "FREE RENT" - we just hope this doesn't attract the wrong people to house sitting. At the end of the day there are responsibilities, the most important of which is the care and love of the pets!
Summary of Features
- Established 2014
- Coverage - Australia Only (other sites for other countries)
- Price for House Sitters - $84 AUD
- Price of Home Owners - FREE
- Secure messaging - Yes
- Email Alerts - Real time based on search and date filters
- Profile Images & Videos - 12 Images & Video from YouTube share
- Document Uploads - 10 allowed
- Review System - 2-way peer reviews with optional star ratings
- Can reviews be edited? - Yes within a 3 week window
- ID Verification? - Optional at costs of $5 AUD
- Independent Company Reviews - Yes via FEEFO
- Community - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- App version available - No not yet
The Home Page
One of the simplest, nicest laid out, and easy to follow home pages of any of the house sit platforms. There are several places (the most obvious in the top right corner), where you can become a house sitter, or place an ad for free. Scroll a little further down and you can find out the main features of the site, and start browsing free before you commit to any payment. You don't need to provide an email to browse.
You can check independent feedback on FEEFO where you'll find over 1400 reviews about AussieHouseSitters as a service company. This is verified, independent feedback and they currently rate 4.8 out of 5 - not a single rating below 4 stars. That's a pretty good indication of their popularity in Australia!
High % of homeowners contact sitters direct - Scroll down the home page a little and you'll find a summary of the previous 3 months house sit listings, and more interestingly the number of homeowners who have contacted sitters directly. This is a unique feature we've not seen elsewhere and shows another side of the process - the homeowners are pretty pro-active on this site at finding their sitters from listings. In March and April 2019, over 8500 enquiries were made direct to house sitters!
GETTING STARTED FOR HOUSE SITTERS
Before joining - Browsing functionality
Before handing over any money, take a look at house sits available in Australia. Scroll down the home page and click the blue box "FIND A HOUSE SITTING JOB".
Almost immediately you'll see a list of the available jobs - this is a quick site, we find loading times really good compared to others. It's obvious it's been well built and designed with the user experience in mind!
Now you can start to FILTER those sits outside your field of interest.
You can search by location and within 5 to 250 miles of the selected place and obviously by date range. There are also simple select boxes for displaying by date (SOON) or by most recently added (NEW). You can also opt to view as either a LIST or a fully interactive MAP.
More on filters: "Refine Filters"
This is where the Aussie group of websites excels in our mind. The filters are extensive and relevant to the house sitting lifestyle. They've been really well devised to help sitters find exactly what they're looking for.
Start by narrowing down your search to the Last 7 Days to be sure you are finding the most recent adverts. Then you can really go deep, filtering by:
Region - search by state and drill down to city or even a suburb.
Sit Length - less than a week through to 2 months+
Sit Features - family friendly, caravan space, own pets welcome, etc.
Pet Care - Tick boxes for the types of animals (inc. none)
House Type - like apartment, mobile home, duplex etc.
Dwelling - This covers the facilities, appliances, pool, etc.
Nearby - Location based info: supermarkets, cinema, beach, parks, etc.
Locale - City, bush etc. and … even islands (17 listed today).
Viewing house sit adverts
Once you've set your filters you can view all available house sit jobs as a LIST or MAP. Either way the opportunity is there to click through to the full listing with all the relevant information shown, including any reviews that have been left about the house sit and home owner experience.
If this sit isn't for you… a handy "RETURN TO SEARCH" arrow (top left) will take you back to the master list.
Another useful feature is that under the photos you'll find a RESPONSE RATING between 1 and 5. Good to know if your application is likely to get a timely response!
For some information, secure details like phone numbers, you will need to either login (if already a member) or make a commitment now to join.
It costs $84 Aussie dollars to join as a house sitter but as a House Sitting Magazine subscriber you get a 15% discount - click here for more information and use code HSMAG15 - this is only available for new members, not renewals.
ADDITIONAL MEMBER OPTIONS - HOUSE SITTERS
Paid members have access to some very important features found at the bottom of the REFINE SEARCH section:
- save searches with your chosen filters, and
- get email sit alerts when a house sit listing matches your search
This is such a useful and much neglected facility on house sitting platforms! We would strongly recommend you take the time to set these up to help you be one of the first sitters to apply for a new listing!
House sit adverts on AussieHouseSitters
The adverts are nicely presented and so easy it doesn't actually require any explanation here. We would only add that if you want to apply, simply look to the left of the listing where you'll find a contact box to type your application message (a link is automatically added to your profile), and also add external documents.
Upload Document Option - You might wonder what these external documents could contain. Well, if you've used other websites you might have references you want to include. You could include these in a word or PDF document - and then add here as attachments. These documents can be set up for selection - it's not necessary to add every time you apply. We have 5 documents uploaded and we can select by tick box which to add to the application.
My account information
As a registered and paid up house sitter you'll have access to your account information. This includes an overview of your messages, reviews, response rate (yes you get rated on this too), and any admin notices.
You can also add, amend or view your profile.
Key features of your Aussie House Sitter profile
You can upload 12 images and select which you want to be the main photo. Additionally you can add an optional video. This needs to be created in YouTube where you use the SHARE code to upload it onto Aussie House Sitters.
ID Verification: Again optional, but if you pay the $5 AUS you will get an ID VERIFIED BADGE added to your profile. For Aussies you'll need your Driving Licence, Passport or Medicare Card. There are options for international verifications too using Trulio.
Availability Calendar: This needs to be updated manually - you can indicate a selection of UNAVAILABLE DATES. It's a good habit to do this regularly so as not to waste anyone's time with unnecessary enquiries. Remember this is a site where a lot of homeowners will approach you directly, so having up-to-date availability information is key. You can also check your CURRENT BOOKINGS here.
My Reviews: You can post and see 2-way reviews and the option is available to LINK to your other accounts within this group of websites (see beginning of article for more info on this). Members can also "feature" a review which will appear at the top of their reviews on their sitter profile or home owner ad. This "featured" review also appears on the preview of a house sitter’s profile. You can amend your review within a 3 week window.
Hide My Profile: Another handy feature is to HIDE your profile if you plan to go off-line or take a break from house sitting while still maintaining your subscription.
Aussie House Sitters has a secure messaging system - you will need to be a logged in member to view details. Within the messaging system you have the ability to SHORTLIST, CONFIRM SIT, ARCHIVE & DELETE messages.
Within this section of your account details you also have the ability to upload up to 10 attachments. Before the review system was introduced this was a good way to showcase your references. But you could use this to upload any information you feel is relevant to your application. Once uploaded, you can select (tick box) which items you want to attach when corresponding with homeowners.
My alerts: A great tool for hearing about sits first, is the ability to set up email alerts that match your saved filters. In this section you can also see your CONFIRMED SITS and FAVOURITE sits.
You can also download a HOUSE SITTING AGREEMENT from this area of your account.
GETTING STARTED - FOR HOMEOWNERS
Before joining - Browsing functionality
Joining Aussie House Sitters as a homeowner is FREE, but you won't be able to make contact with sitters until you have signed up with your account details. To find available sitters in Australia, it's simply a matter of clicking "FIND A HOUSE SITTER" on the home page.
This takes you to an immediate listing of current house sitters, where you can enter your home location and the dates you'll be away. Now you can start to FILTER those sitters who don't fit with your criteria, using either a summary view or matches with more information. Both can be opened to show the full profile.
If you want to learn more about house sitting in Australia, you can read our comprehensive Guide to House Sitting in Australia
More on Home Owner Filters "Refine Filters"
Region - search sitters by region and then drill down to a city or suburb
Sit Length - less than a week through to 2 months+
Sit Features - specify if your sit is family friendly, has space for caravan, wheelchair access, needs no garden care and if you allow sitter's own pets.
Pet Care - Tick boxes for the types of animals you need care for.
Own Caravan - Particularly pertinent to Australia, this shows if sitters have their own van - currently there are almost 1500 sitters with a van of some description.
Hide Sitters with Pets - Does as it says… if you want to exclude sitters with their own pets, tick this box.
(Search by) Sitter Name - A nice option to be able to search for a sitter by name - especially useful if you want to contact someone directly that you've been told about, or used before maybe.
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
Is a House Sitting Agreement available for download? YES
Are paid sitters allowed on Aussie House Sitters? There are some professional sitters who choose to advertise on Aussie House Sitters and they usually ask for payment in return for their professional service. The vast majority of house sitters are pet lovers who believe receiving free accommodation in exchange for basic house and pet keeping responsibilities is a fair and positive exchange of services.
Can a home owner charge rent? Aussie House Sitters doesn't accept homeowners who charge house sitters rent - please report if seen - remember some people amend adverts after they have listed to bypass the system.
Are reminders sent before renewal date? Yes, email reminders are sent 2 weeks before your renewal date and then again 2 days before your membership expires.
How do I contact customer service? There is a CONTACT US option on the footer of the website. You'll also find very thorough FAQs that will probably answer most of the questions you have.
Are all the sits shown on this site active? It is the homeowners' responsibility to remove their advert - this doesn't happen automatically when the house sit is filled which they can do 24/7.
Is there a Refer-a-friend incentive? Yes - $10 for each successful referral
What happens to my information if I lapse my membership? It is kept until you next renew.
Last updated on November 8th, 2019