The other day I reviewed a marvelous innovation in travel called Triptease. “Triptease is Really, Really, the Future of Travel Reviews” was my sincere evaluation of what should become the way all reviews and even marketing is handled. Because of that article the CEO of another innovative company, Trustedhousesitter.com mailed be to suggest we take a look at his offerings – so we did.
Not a new startup, Trustedhousesitter is a truly innovative model none the less. Despite what I find to be a mediocre or even ugly website (a sore spot for maybe just me) the idea visionary Andy Peck came forth with back in 2011 is breakthrough – that is if you have a need for free vacations or people to look after you place you can count on. What Peck has put together is two commodities in search of one another – services connected, place to persons etc. Basically if you own a property you can turn to Trustedhousestitters to connect you with a babysitter for your place while you are away. Now right here is a good place to interject the biggest value proposition this startup offers – what I can call the “mega-lead” perhaps.
The video below from a very nice couple who desire partaking of both ends of the home-sitting opportunties, as you can tell, offers perhaps the best lead generation possibility I ever saw. Maybe I don’t bite Shelley’s and Mike’s credibility hook-line-and-sinker to start with, but I’ll guarantee I’d call them in a New York minute. See what I mean.
Peck’s business is not so complicated to analyze and present really. Since its inception, a great many satisfied clients at both ends of the “housesitting” market have used the service. According to a recent survey performed by Peck’s team, three quarters of the house-sitting members signed up for the service actually secured a “house” to take care of within the first six months of signing up. In fact, this report tells of from one to six engagements within that time-frame.
As a sort of value-added service, one to wit I am familiar with because of my brother’s affinity for pals with paws, Trustedhousesitters.com also serves well to find pet sitters who can also house sit for owners. If ever there were a niche listing service with teeth? (sorry, I could not help myself) Anyhow, as a paid service Trustedhousesitters.com is one I can see a value in quite honestly. That is for people who are well suited to traveling, and also have the right credentials for looking after other people’s stuff. At the other end of the market here, the service is well suited to provide “leads” for those in need of pet and/or property sitters too.
As for the website, navigation, and all the tech stuff that us techies adore talking about? Trustedhousesitters is “adequate”, and in reality this is all that is necessary. I will say that a more lovely landing and some better tools might make for a few more conversions. I was almost run off by the scary, rotating thumbnails, and almost blew the site off. A golden retriever like my brother’s held me there briefly. Thank God for furry friends, eh Andy? The screen below shows the map search aspect of the service. As for signup and other important user friendliness issues, Trustedhousesitter.com is pretty dog gone easy to get started with. As one would expect though, your profile fill in aspect is a lot more extensive than a Facebook-join one, and for good reason.
The Take Away
We work with several companies from Norway, very quickly I found one housesitting gig in Oslo, yet another across the border in Sweden, and yet another in Copenhagen. Actually, across Europe and the rest of the world, the map view aspect shows a good number of “sitting” possibilities. My take away here is that with a bit more engaging site, perhaps even a mobile connect channel, this could be a very successful business. As it is the founders could engage via Facebook, Twitter, g+, Pinterest, and in general do a much more efficient job of engaging potential clients. Sorry to say, but this is one of our businesses.
Trustedhousesitters.com has to “sell” both commodities to be more successful. Big pictures of places and people, engaging and selling them via all available channels, this is their route to more success. I like their ideas a lot. Maybe I said enough, what’s your take?
Here’s how the service works.