Housecarers House Sitting Membership FAQ.

I am not sure how to/cannot contact the homeowner in my housesit notification email?

Here are the steps for trouble free contacting of homeowner where the housesit has been notified to you be E-mail.

  • You must be a paid member to make contact.
  • Restart/ Start new browser session.
  • Login
  • Click on apply for housesit button

If the homeowner has sent you a message. Click on Functions Messages in the left menu following login to read and reply to their message.

You can also experience problems with old browser versions. If you still have problems please tell us the name of the browser you are using and version.

A housesit notifications is not a message from a homeowner. We are letting you know a house sitter required ad has been posted, and if interested you may apply for it. Sometimes links in emails dont work - so open your internet browser then type housecarers.com into your browser address window. Then click login top right. Please login and click Apply for Housesit Button if you are interested in this housesit. Also click MyHouseSit notiifcations button in the middle of the page to view the housesits we have sent you. When you receive a message from a homeowner we send you an email alert letting you know you have a message at housecarers. All the best with your application.

Can I still Reply To, and send messages when my Housesit or sitter profile is Paused / turned Off?

You certainly can still answer or send messages while your ad is paused. Simply login then select the Message button reply to messages. Homeowners: If you want to re-post / display your ad again, select the Post housesit button. Sitters and Homeowers: Profiles and notifications can be turned on/off via the settings menu.

I would like to make myself available for housesitting in more that one Country?

To make yourself available for multiple countries simply click on Profile Area edit in the left menu following login. Scroll down to the additional countries field to add more countries. You can only have one main country.

I would like to make myself available in more that one state/province, city or area?

Following login click on Profile Location Edit in the left menu to select multiple states. To add multiple cities/areas edit the city or area fields to add multiple cities or areas separated by a comma. e.g. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Los Altos

How can I check my message, application, or reply has been delivered?

After login click messages then the sent link. If the message is in the sent basket it has been placed in the in basket of the recipient and the have been sent an E-mail notification that they a message.

Are there fees payable for housesitting? What are they?

The standard housesit is rent free accommodation in exchange for housesitting and pet sitting (if applicable). This is the spirit of our site, and covers the majority of succesfull matches we have facilitiated, over the last 12 years. Please see our house sitting guide for more detail. For short duration housesits or for special duties fees are sometimes negotiated between the homeowner and house sitter. However many house sitters (e.g. traveling retirees) are prepared to housesit for short periods with no payment - just the benefit of experiencing another location. So fee free-housesitters may be chosen in preference. We provide guidelines, but each situation is unique and up for negotiation directly between homeowner and housesitter. Remember there is a great benefit in receiving rent free accommodation (especially for long term housesitting). We cannot give examples of rates as these vary by country and location. The HouseCarers.com service is free for homeowners and we do not charge any placement fee. We only charge a fee for housesitter full membership (currently US$50.00 /year). This revenue helps in the running of the site and promotion.

How do I update my email address, advertisement or other details?

As part of your use of the Site, you are responsible for maintaining and updating, as applicable, your membership Registration Data with current, accurate and complete information. You may view, update and/or edit the membership Data you have provided to HouseCarers.com by logging in to your account Profile Edit in the left menu. Also be sure to complete your Preferences - under the Preferences Menu.

How do I remove/suspend myself from search results/ Housecarers.com mailings?

Simply login to your account and click the Left Settings menu then select Suspend. This will remove you from search results and stop mailings. You can reactivate your membership by logging back in and clicking activate. Suspending membership does not extend the expiry date. The original membership expiry date remains.

Suspending your profile does not extend your Membership expiry date.

We recommend you login and click Profile date edit in the left menu to put your availability date into the future. You will only receive housesits matching your availability date. At the same time I recommend you update your Calendar - via the Tool left menu and Preferences. As many homeowners look well ahead of time we recommend you leave your ad displayed - they can see when you are available. Also through settings after login you can turn off housesit notifications.- however if you change your availability date you will only get housesits matching this date. You can also turn off Email Notifications via the Settings menu.

How do I Turn off my Ad (Hide my Profile)?

Simply login to your account and click the Left Settings menu and select the option to Hide your profile.

The system is not accepting my credit/ debit card; or I do not want to pay by Mastercard or Visa Credit or debit card

The Payment Processor's secure payment system has various safety check in place that may reject a perfectly good credit card. (e.g. If a card is being used a long way from its place of issue). You may transfer money into your Paypal account from your bank account, and pay using your balance instead of your credit or debit card. We cannot accept wire or bank transfer from outside Australia due to the high bank fees. Also we cannot accept checks or cheques. Please Contact us for further assistance.

Paypal or pinpayments.com payments are not going through?

We am sorry you are having problems with the secure payment processor paypal. There are various reasons why a payment can fail and it is not always clear what has caused this. If the payment completes you are sent a receipt and so are we.

Please Contact us and we will investigate and provide an alternative.

Please assure me about the security of the payment systems you use?

We use a secure credit card processing organization - Clickbank, 2checkout.com or Paypal.com for credit card payments. This is what clickbank have to say about their credit card processing system.

Shopping with ClickBank is completely safe. You never have to worry about credit-card safety when you are shopping at our site.

Why is ClickBank so safe?

We do not store credit card numbers:

When you shop at ClickBank, you can rest assured that we will not let your credit card number get into the wrong hands. Unlike most transaction services, ClickBank does not store your credit card number and it cannot be stolen from our web site.

SSL Technology:

ClickBank uses state-of-the-art technology to protect your data from unauthorized third parties. Currently ClickBank uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) software to protect your data and secure your transactions. SSL encrypts all your personal information, including your credit card number, name and address as it is transmitted over the Internet so it cannot be stolen in transit. Our server is further protected by a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to any information that we store.

What is the Referral /Rewards Program for House Sitters and Homeowners?
Please refer to our FAQ help on our Referral Rewards Program For information on how you can earn Rewards and Points, Conditions and Tracking
Please tell me about bonds, insurance, selection, references, insurance?

These issues and more are covered in our:
Online housesitting guide.

How can I help promote your service in my local area - to help me get a housesit?

You can use the ad below as ads/flyers to post on free notice boards in your area. Just print them out for posting at Libraries, Community notice boards, workplaces, schools, canteens, pet stores, pet grooming shops, gardening stores, supermarkets, shopping malls,  and other places that take free notices. Or you can letter box drop in the areas you are interested in.

Housecarers Brochure PDF

OR you can approach your local newspaper or magazine (who are always looking for stories) and ask if they could use this article "Mounting Responsibilities have many Homeowner's Afraid to Leave Home" - which has been well received.

Leave Your Home in Safe Hands Responsibilities of home ownership keeping you from a much-needed vacation?

Visit www.housecarers.com, and screen thousands of registered house sitters by age, location, occupation, and other criteria. Leave your worries with a house sitter.

Benefits may include
  • pet care
  • lawn and garden maintenance
  • mail forwarded
  • bills paid.
  • Exchange peace of mind for free accommodations.
  • Short and long term sitters.
  • You'll find a match you can trust.
  • Homeowners register for free.
Peace of mind when you're away: www.housecarers.com

More articles

Retirees Fulfill Travel Dreams through House Sitting

Your Pets can Stay and Play While Your'e Away..

... and there are no costly boarding fees to consider.

House Sitting Enables Modern Day Nomads to Travel.
Their love of pets and animals allows them to housesit at locations they once only dreamed about... Read on through the link below

House Sitting Enables Modern Day Nomads to Travel

I am having problems logging on:- Does not work or I have forgotten login?

Simply go to our login page

There you will see seperate links for - "Lost Username" and "Reset Password". Click on Lost Username and you will be asked for your E-mail address. We will then E-mail your UserName. You will also see a link to Reset your password. Passwords are stored in a secure hashed format (not plain text) and they can only be reset - not sent to you.

Also always remember to logoff. If you stay logged on this can cause problems latter. If you close all your browser sessions and reboot your computer this will clear out these problems.

How can I change my username?

We have to run a special process to do this. Please do not do it lightly. Advise your current username and desired username/ and Contact us Please first check that your desired username is available by doing a search by username - it must be a least six characters long.

City X is 2,000 Km/miles away - why did you notify me of this?

Our automated notification system sends out notifications in your nominated states/provinces (or country where there are no states or provinces).

We are planning on calculation of distance of housesits from a postcode you designate and a kilometer radius you designate , involving the lattitude and longitude of your location and the lattitude and longitude of the housesit. However there is considerable development cost and testing and this will not be available for some time.

It is very hard for an automated notification system to determine if Location X is in or near your desired location. Please ignore the ones that don't suit.

it is still important to define your favoured cities/towns city areas and for large cities suburbs so you will appear in search results by homeowners. Homeowners are only interested in their own location and will often search and contact directly rather than posting a sitter required ad.

We also get a lot of feedback that including a photo increases response. Many homeowners don't post their ads but search directly for house sitters in their area. We also recommend you load up references and update your calendar via tools menu after login.

I seem to going round in circles. The system is not taking me to the right page?

This is because the system is losing information between pages. Make sure you don‘t have too many browser windows (sessions) open. You can also experience problems with old browser versions (make sure you have at least Internet Explorer 11, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari or Opera - you can upgrade online by clicking on your browser Tools menu then Windows update. Close all browser windows. Make sure you have at least Internet Explorer version 7. Start a new browser window, Try the action again. If you still have problems please tell us the name of the browser you are using and version.

Also if you do not logout of housecarers and return this can cause problems. Please remember to logout. If this happens please reboot your computer and that will solve all session problems.

I have applied for a number of housesits and received no response? How can I check and what am I doing wrong?

After login click on messages then the sent link. If they are in your sent basket they have been placed in the inbasket of the homeowner, and they have been sent an E-mail alert.

I recommend you try some different approaches to increase your response. It is important to identify with the needs of the homeowner and show them how to help. Initially don't talk too much about your own requirements and overload them with questions - that can come latter. And don't just say see my profile I'm interested.

We ask homeowners to respond to all applications and send weekly reminders asking them to do this. However sometimes they are pressed for time and only reply to the outstanding applications - so it is important to make your applications stand out.

To view your applications please click the sent link from messages after login. If the username in the sent message is red the message has been read by the homeowner.

It is also important to include all your favoured cities towns and city areas on your profile as many homeowners search directly. Loading up pictures, police clearances, certificates references etc and updating your calendar and Preferences also helps- the more information accessible by the homeowner the better.

All the references, police clearances etc are placed in your private reference library that can only be accessed by homeowners or homeowners you apply to. Lastly make sure you select all the keywords that apply to you - click profile keywords update in the left menu after login.

Housesit is not found when I apply for it, even shortly after you I received a housesit notification?

You may receive a message "homeownerX has chosen not to list" or "HomeownerX has suspended their profile" - even shortly after you have received a housesit notification by E-mail Homeowners can remove their positing at any time due to filled or changed circumstances. This is the choice of the poster/homeowner and outside our control.

Sometimes homeowners remove their ads as they receive enough applications They are emailed when each application arrives and login and suspend their ad so they can digest the applications. All housesits go out at the same time to all members. They go out just after midnight Eastern USA time. The notifications are for all the previous days postings. So they can be anywhere from 1 minute old to max of 24 hours old.

So all housesits you received were posted the previous day by the homeowner Some homeowners are well prepared and look well ahead - others unfortunately leave it to the last moment

. Housesits are posted hourly to twitter - so you can get them earlier here http://twitter.com/housecarers

What is the limited (NON-PAID) House Sitter membership as opposed to the US$50.00 membership?

You are first registered for a limited non-paid membership. This allows you to be notified of house sit opportunities, display your profile and receive possible messages from homeowners. Paid Full House Sitter Membership is US$50.00 for up to 12 months advertising. Full membership is required to: Apply for housesits; Respond to messages; Display direct contact details; Upload:- Photos, References and Police Clearances. Paid members appear before non-paid members in search results. You may upgrade to Full membership at any time following registration to receive maximum exposure and quicker results.

With the limited membership, it is possible that you will receive messages from homeowners via the housecarers message system. In this case you can read the summary details of the housesit but payment is required to view the full message and respond.

Much of the revenue from paid memberships is used to run and maintain two dedicated servers (and sql database) and promote the service. Without revenue we would not be able to match over 10,000 sitters with homeowners each year worldwide.

What is the Standard (NON-PAID) Home Owner membership as opposed to the USD$25.00 Premium membership?

Homeowner Premium Membership


USD$25.00   is required to activate your Premium Homeowner membership. 

  • Receive a verified supporter badge on your profile.
  • Add or Edit Your own Private notes to any House Sitters profile for reference.
  • Participate in the Referral Rewards program.
  • Receive a bonus 6 months Membership when you take up House sitter paid membership.
  • Try Housesitting with free accommodation for a break away across your country, locally, or around the world! Refer yourself and add 6 months to your premium HO membership AND receive 6 bonus months Housesitter paid membership Totalling 18 months.

  • Know that you are contributing to the growth and improvement of a valuable worldwide community resource, that is helping home owners Leave the responsiblities of home ownership for a well earned break.
  • Help keep More Pets in their familiar environment with their routines intact.
  • You will be contributing to the running, and promotion of the Housecarers Community. We started the first world wide Housesitting Membership established in October 2000. Your contribution will help us continue this work to help more people. We see ourselves as a community, rather than a corporate site. We will never lose the personal touch.
  • More benefits and features will be added with your funding, and contribution to the Housecarers community.

Much of the revenue from Premium memberships is used to run, maintain, and promote the service. Membership Fee Revenue helps us match over 10,000 sitters with homeowners each year worldwide.

I paid the membership fee at the payment processor (reseller) Clickbank.com, pinpayments.com or paypal.com but my membership is not showing the paid or Full Member status?

After payment at the payment processor there is a link, or button displayed to return to us to update you as paid. So normally you have instant update to paid. We are sorry if this was not clear to you or it did not work due to a break in transmission. After payment completion you are sent an E-mail receipt, and so are we. Simply forward this receipt to us and we will make sure your membership is updated to paid

It is also possible you did not click the final confirmation button at the payment processor.

I click on a link but nothing happens - the same page displays?

Some links open a page in a new browser page/window. Many browsers now block this (pop-up blockers are built in). Please hold down the CTRL key (coomand Key on Apple) then click and the new page will open - e.g. view senders profile at the read message page.

I get page not available. (eg when tried to answer a message in my in box but the link would not go through?

Our dedicated server has a very high uptime 99.9%. However sometimes there is an internet network problem between your location and our server, which can cause this problem. Please clear your browser cache -get rid of old pages on your computer - from browser internet options click delete files, and then login again and try again. If it still does not work please leave for an hour or so and the internet network problem between you and our server in Delaware may have resolved.

I registered but I have not received your confirming email to complete the 2nd step to activate my registration?

Important to receive our E-mail: with the prevalence of spam, many innocent E-mails like ours get blocked, or filtered  If applicable with your provider, please click the button below to get the e-mail to add to your friends/allow/white list to make sure you get our confirming E-mail and future E-mails from us. If applicable check your junk folder to see if the E-mail has gone there

How do people contact us if they see our ad and are interested? -- we didn't put in phone numbers?

You may enter your phone numbers on your profile (Profile Edit in the left menu after login). The phone numbers will only display to Logged in Homeowners - they do not display to public visitors. Many homeowners wish to contact directly. Other
homeowners prefer to use our message system. So you can be contacted through our internal message system, as well as directly (if you updated your profile with dcontact phone numbers). To change your options at any time please click the update link after login.

I have recently paid my house sitter membership and placed my bio on your site for a house sit in Country X State X (eg Ontario Canada or Texas, United States). However when I run through the list for those seeking a house sit in the country or State/Province my information is not there?

Country or State wide searches are not relevant -and not used by homeowners. They are only interested in their own location and will use that in the search. So make sure you include your favoured cities and towns and for large cities city areas and suburbs. They don't want to page through hundreds of search results.

If we listed all the sitters for a whole state or country, the page would take forever and people would leave the site. It is in order of join date. Half of searches are sorted in join date order and the other half randomly, so everyone has the same chance of appearing at the top. We recommend you add favoured cities and towns to appear in more search results. We also recommend you update your preferences - for housesit terms, pets and fexisearch - this will mean you will appear in more search results. Click preferences in the left menu after login to fix. As many sitters simply select all states - they will sit anywhere there are a large number of members registered for each Stare of Country eg California,Florida, and Hawaii - well over 1,000

Now a Homeowner is not going to browse through 1,000 profiles - it does not make sense. We limit the search results to 400 else the page would take forever and homeowners would leave. Each homeowner lives in a location in e.g. Texas - where they have put down roots and foundations (unless they live in a mobile home - then they would not want a housesitter). So rather than browse 400 general profiles they will input their location - eg Fort Worth - they want sitters for their home in Fort Worth, Texas

How are Search for Housesitter results Ordered - what is the sort priority?

Search for House Sitter Results are ordered as follows

  • One third of search results are in random order so everyone has the same chance of appearing near the top
  • One third of search results are in join date order, rewarding long time supporters of the community
  • One third of search results are in Referral Point order. The more referral points the higher you appear in search results

Search results are Cached for 1 hour by the system, to avoid performance response problems. This means search results will change every hour. Please bear in mind that you should include your desired locations on your profile, to appear in specific searches. Homeowners will normally perform More specific locations searches matching where they live. If they do not find sitters they may then perform a more general search for sitters who are flexible about locations.

I do not wish to renew my House Sitters paid membership. Do you auto Renew? Can I revert to the limited non-paid membership?

We dont do auto renewals - your membership simply expires. We can archive your profile so you dont receive more emails from us.

If you ever want to activate down the track, (eg for a holiday away) simply login and update. So latter - maybe years latter on you may want to breath life back into your profile. Housesitting is a growing trend and a great way to get free accommodation anywhere in the world.

OR

You can revert to the limited non-paid membership and continue to receive alerts of House sit opportunites. If you want to turn off email notifications and/or display of your ad please login and select the option under Settings in the left margin

Your profile may go into the archives - to activate down the track simply login and update. No need to rejoin - it is better to breath life into your old profile when you are ready as you will retain priority based on your original join date. It is always there for when you want to take a break, have a change of scenery or experience another part of the world with free accommodation.

How do I delete old Messages in my Housecarers Sent/Sent2 box? There does not appear to be a Delete link like the Inbox.?

Sent messages are auto archived to the sent2 folder after 30 days. There is no delete function so you have a record of all sent Messages. In Messages older then 60 days are placed in the [Inbox 2] (archived) basket.

Waste Messages older then 30 days are placed int [Waste2] (archived) basket. There is no delete function so you have a record of all sent Messages.

I deleted a message from my Message In Basket - how to I get it back.?

From your Message In Basket click the Waste link to access your Deleted Messages. Click the restore link next to the message you want restored to your inbox

Waste Messages older then 30 days are placed int [Waste2] (archived) basket. There is no delete function so you have a record of all your messages.

How is the Housesit List Kept Current; - the homeowner told me it was filled/ not available?

Housesits are removed as follows

  • Auto by the system when the date required goes into the past
  • by the homeowner suspending their ad when they find a housesitter
  • by us if the homeowner informs us the housesit is filled
We send weekly reminders to all homeowners asking them to update the system and inform us of their progress

You can check the date the ad was posted or last update by clicking on the ad detail

Housesits can be removed at any time by the homeowner due to filled or changed circumstances. This is the free choice of the homeowner. We cannot guarentee that a housesit will still be listed or that the Homeowner will respond to you.

I don't seem to be getting email notifications of House sits, or the number per day has dropped off?

You may have changed your availability date. We only send your housesits notifications matching your Availability Date, Pet prefererences, and Term preferences.

So e.g. if you will mind Pets, but not Cats, and only Long Term, from Sep-20-2019 : - we will only send you Long Term housesits, without Cats, available from Sep-20-2019

Also

Please check your junk/bulk folder and add housecarers.com to your allow list. It is a big problem with the flood of spam that hits services and innocent emails get lost. Our website must be able to get through to you.

Please ask your provider how to ensure mail from housecarers.com gets through to you.

How do I load references/ I am having trouble uploading my references to my profile?
Steps to upload References
  • Login
  • Select Tools/ Reference Upload from the left menu
  • Select a document from your computer in one of:- .doc, .pdf, .txt, .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .png format
  • References must be less than 250K file size.
  • Then a link to your references will appear on your profile. Only logged in homeowners will be able to view your references or you can choose to only display to homeowners you have applied to
Tips to overcome problems
  • If files space is too large - scan and save as PDF Greyscales or Black and White. color takes up a lot more file space
  • Do not upload latest word documents - docx Not all visitors have the latest Word. Better to save as earlier word version .doc - eg Word 98
  • make sure you keep your file name simple - not too long and no special characters - eg myref2.doc or reference.pdf
  • References must be less than 250K file size.

The most acceptable form that can be read by most homeowners is PDF. If you use a latter version of Word it may not be accessible by homeowners as they either dont have the latest version or dont have Word at all. You can scan as a PDF dcoument, OR Save As PDF from your word processor.

Full Reference FAQ

Once I have uploaded references for background checks, how do I get the check mark/ green tick that says "Police Check" or "Police Clearance" on my Ad?

You need to have the word Police in your heading/ title of your reference: Select Functions References in the Members Left Menu and update Title to include the Word Police within the title.

Also please select the Police Clearance keyword: Select Profile / Edit Keywords - then under Security select Police Checked

Full Reference FAQ

How do I leave positive Feedback / Review a Housesitter?

Great news about your Housesitter!

You can send the reference to the housesitter. They can then upload it to their private reference library. They can only be viewed by logged on homeowners, who have communicated with the sitter via our secure message system to protect your privacy.

For verification you may want to include your email address, rather than phone number for your privacy. Some future homeowners will like to verify references

Let people know if you would engage your sitter again and why. Why were you happy with their house and pet sitting?.

There is currently no review of homeowner feature - but you may ask your sitter for their feedback - which you can share directly with future sitters.

Also if you want to share an interesting story, We can blog it with a link to your profile and their profile (let me know their username).

How are complaints or Negative Feedback Handled: House Sitters and Homeowners?

We don't allow sitters or homeowners to post public disparaging remarks about other members.

It works both ways. There are on rare occasions very unreasonable homeowners and sitters who don't fulfill their side of the agreement. Members must not be negligent, or mislead. We expect Courtesy, Respect and Fairness in all interactions.

We ask that complaints be sent to us that are factual objective and unemotional. We hear both sides and take appropriate action from there - including banning a homeowner or housesitter or both from the site.

Members can view how long other members have been with us without complaint. The "Member Since:" date is displayed beneath the profile photo for all members who have been with us for more than 1 year.

Please send your objective complaint in point form, with evidence, and we will get the other side of the story / response from the other Member. Please include the username of the other member.

We take all complaints seriously and members are required to take their agreed responsiblities seriously. We recommend both sides sign the supplied House sitting Agreement - so everything is clear and misunderstandings are avoided. The Housesitting Agreement can be downloaded by selecting the Help/ support menu at the left following login

Why dont you have an Ebay like Feedback or Rating System?

If we get complaints and hear both sides of the story we sometimes block homeowners or sitters from the site. If either side is unreasonable or irresponsible etc.

We have introduced a Premium Homeowner membership and will be adding the ability of Homeowners to add reviews for Homeowners who contribute financially to the running of the HouseCarers community.

Members can view how long other members have been with us, without complaint. The member since date is displayed beneath the profile photo for all members who have been with us for more than 1 year.

I am trying to change my marital status, but I do not see where to change it. I looked under edit profile-other. Perhaps, I am missing it.?

Please login then click Profile Keywords in the left menu - and complete the section on Status. Make sure you complete the other keyword sections too. This will help you come up in search results, when Key Word Search filters are used by Homeowners.

Change Profile Picture

  • Login (top right of this page)
  • Select Functions then Upload Photos in the Left Menu
  • Select a photo from your computer with proportions to suit the frame on your profile. Hint: Rectangular photos with ratio approx: 3 wide: 2 high; will resize better than tall or skinny ones. We auto resize the profile photo to fit, but the top may be cut if it is a tall/ skinny photo.
  • If needed, Here is a free - easy to use resize site: http://www.picresize.com
  • The profile Picture must be uploaded to position 1 /slot 1 of your gallery .
  • If the photo is not uploading it's file size may be too big for your internet connection. See Photo FAQ: How to reduce the file size
  • Increase your response with a photo. Homeowners like to see a face.