What guides you more ?
The way the application is written ?? (orthography, style etc.)
the full profile of the sitter ?
the photos published ( what do you prefer : with or without pets ? )
the reviews written by previous owners ?
the reviews written by friends or bosses ?
the feed back the sitter has left to previous owners
Is the amount of stars enough for you ? if not why ?
Do you check for example if the sits were short (like a week end) long or very long (more than a month) when you have a look on reviews, do you prefer a length alike the duration of your own absence ?
Do you go to Airbnb and Linkedin to know more about the sitter (identity is given on Linkedin)
Thanks for that Great question. I would love to know how new HO’s and and the one who have been there for a while think. I am an HS and has very different conversations with new starters being young and or middle aged.
What a good question.
I recently did a sitting and when the owners arrived back, they asked if we did this much, to which I responded that we had carried out over 100 sittings. They were very surprised that we had done so many, but our profile has nearly 100 reviews. So I do wonder what they read when they accepted our application.
I’m a HO and sitter, and I use a combination of your factors in assessing a sitter. I would eliminate someone based on the application e-mail alone if they were obviously unsuitable - e.g. wanting a December sit when my listing was November, or wanting to bring a family when my house is clearly not suited (both have happened to me).
If the application is OK, I read their profile and references, including the feedback they left for prior sits. I trust references from other HOs more than those from friends, but I don’t reject someone with no prior sits either. I was a new sitter just over a year ago, so I like to give other rookies a chance and my pet (one cat) is really easy.
I’m analytical by nature (an occupational hazard, maybe), so I research everything possible, including AirBnB and LinkedIn. The number of stars is important, because it is really rare (under the current flawed review system) to get less than 5 stars. If the overall review is 5 stars but some categories are less than 5, but I like the person otherwise, I would ask (on a call) about the missing stars. However, in the end, the decision is based on gut feeling as much as any research.
As for photos - I definitely want to see photos of you with pets. That’s what we are here for. I don’t want party photos, beach photos, etc. One photo of the sitter alone is enough. Your appearance is not nearly as important as your experience and love for pets.
@Candide , I think your questions are both good and thoughtful. I am both a homeowner and a sitter. As a homeowner, I definitely first read the way the application letter is written. I want to know what attracts them to my house, my location, my pets, whatever it is that is bringing them to apply to me specifically. If it’s obvious they haven’t thoroughly read my listing, I am less likely to go further. If all looks good in the application letter, I go to their profile and I look into everything there – their profile, their THS reviews, their external references, their photos, what they’ve said about the homeowners they’ve sat for, if there are any repeats, their airbnb and linkedin profiles (if available) – I literally look at everything. [Bear in mind, I’ve never had a sitter with over 25 reviews apply to me, so maybe I would skim more on one like that :)] I look on both the computer and the app since you can see different things, i.e., on the app you can see which homeowners have not left a review for them which is sometimes a red flag. The overall number of star rating is not that important to me, as I read every review, and as @Lassie mentioned, with the flawed review system, anything less than 5 stars does raise concerns, but if the sitter looks right for me, then I will ask them about it. I do not so much care about the length of their previous sits, as most of my listings are for a week or less, but I do like to see if their experience shows that they have done sits for the same length as my sit will be.
I do think the application letter is the most important aspect of it, because it’s the first thing the homeowner sees and knows about the sitter and if it’s not adequate, then there’s less need to look at their profile, reviews, etc.
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I hope home owners read my profile because it explains why i want to sit, who I do it with, why i do the short sits (and not long ones at the moment) and what I expect as a sitter such as cleanliness, communication and no nasty surprises.
We are new housesitters and have only done 2 housesits since joining in June 2022. On both occasions the owners asked to discuss the sit with us via zoom for one and phone for the other. One owner had checked our profile and one hadn’t checked. We found that chatting with them prior to acceptance was really helpful for all parties. We did think it was unusual that one owner didn’t check our profile but they were new to TH so still familiarising themselves with using site.
A big welcome to the forum. Thank you for your input and it is always nice to hear individual experiences.
I wanted to suggest for you to add your profile link here, so other members can be introduced to your via your sitting profile
Enjoy meeting our members from around the world and we look forward to sharing in your continued THS adventures.
Therese and the Forum team
As the rating system is flawed, everyone has 5 stars? I tend to ignore them.
I think homeowners will only bother to read your profile if they are first attracted by your application message. Therefore its always good to include the most important/relevant things about yourself in the application as that’s the first impression they will have of you! We’ve had hosts tell us they already wanted us before they’d even checked our profile! That’s so nice to hear- as then the profile, pics & reviews become just back up to support the application. Plus a call/video call to ‘meet & greet’
Like with a job application- if the employer likes your application he’ll check out your CV- otherwise not!