Availability calendar

Hi Marion welcome to our community forum and thank you for being part of our TrustedHousesitters community for all of these years, we’re so glad to have you join in our member’s conversations.

Thank you for your introduction and feedback on the calendar, we hope you will continue to engage with the forum, sharing your experiences and stories and connecting with other members from around the world.

Angela & The Team

I do try to keep my Availability Calendar updated so that if HO do take the time to check, it might help them. In saying that, I don’t think too many HO look at it when issuing invitations! It might be a good idea for sitters to look at their calendars as I do notice some just show all white for months which means they are unavailable (and HO might not approach them) but this might not actually be the case if they were to update their availability.

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I do! It’s no Disney movie; it’s a nightmare! We live on a smallholding and our animals need experienced sitters, particularly the sheep (it is often said sheep are born to look for different ways to die!). I feel it would be unfair to expect an inexperienced sitter to have to cope with sheep. We have used THS for 5 sits to date and each time we have had virtually no replies to our posted ad. This means I spend hours going thru profiles and contacting sitters who appear to be available. Reading on this post that many sitters do not keep their calendar up to date, because of the problems using it, explains why we receive so many replies that people are already booked for a sit. We have found excellent sitters each time but it is no easy job.

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I’d love to apply for your sit one day, how do we find your listing?

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I’m curious, do you normally just invite sitters, or do you also post your sit for people to apply for?

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Interesting to hear. But I can’t understand that you don’t get any applications, but you find sitters by directly contacting them via the sitter search. Has anyone ever said anything about why they didn’t apply but are willing to do the sit? I would not agree to what I would not apply for either.

As a sitter it’s quite flattering to be invited to a sit that you didn’t apply on. We’ve had this happen about six or seven times but have usually been already booked for a sit or had personal holiday plans. We were invited to a sit once in San Diego which was very appealing and we would have done the sit but had our own personal vacation plans at the time.

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But since @Anette, you had other plans, you wouldn’t have applied if the sits had been set up online as usual. Wouldn’t you? So it doesn’t change anything. The invitations were wasted time for the HO.

In our experience, a properly maintained availability calendar does not change the number or quality of invitations. Our and my daughter’s calendar is set to unavailable all year round. We got invited and unfortunately always had to cancel all invitation in the past except for one. There are just too many factors that play a role. But for the one, we would have applied anyway if the sit had been posted regularly online. We were even invited to a pure cat sit. Although we have clearly written in our profile, we will bring our dog whit us. The inviter then noticed it himself and withdrew the invitation.

I still think that finding a sitter by invitation is not impossible but very difficult. @Margaret has confirmed it.

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Hi At the moment we aren’t planning any away time as my OH is waiting for a replacement knee op. He, currently, can only hobble around and not far. When we go away we like to be busy, visit places and walk. Until he is up to this we will be staying home. I don’t know if Sitters can “follow” a HO on the THS site??? I think I am down as Margaret or MargaretH on that site and we are based Shropshire. Hope this helps.

I always post the sit and if I have no replies within a fortnight I start trawling sitters. We have only ever had one reply and that was from a person who thought our sit would fit nicely between 2 others but she was nervous of dogs (we have a rescue dog with some issues) and had never looked after sheep, chickens, ducks or pigs before. We kindly declined her offer.

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I don’t know why we don’t get any replies. I have spoken to the THS team and they have said our listings are very good, so it is nothing there putting people off. We are a bit niche tho and we do need someone who is confident with a rescue dog, happy to deal with large, friendly pigs and have some sheep experience. I do make it clear that animals only take 1/2 hr twice a day to look after (altho more time can be spent pampering them). I have always thought that it is just the range of animals that doesn’t encourage people to apply.
I must admit I have never thought to ask sitters I approach why they didn’t apply but are happy to accept a sit.

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Hi, Margaret go to your Profile in THS, copy the web link and put it here in your profile. Click on my name, and you can see how it looks.

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@Annette thanks for raising this as the calendar is something we have not looked into for a while and are reviewing. Great feedback in this thread and lots of improvements we could make. Thanks, Ben

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Hi @Margaret that’s strange, I wonder why you haven’t had many applicants. A rescue dog, pigs and sheep in Shropshire sounds like heaven!

My partner and I enjoyed a fantastic sit in Shropshire a couple of years ago (just outside Bridgnorth) and have been talking about returning ever since.

We are based in Canada but try to spend a few months in the UK every year although will likely not return until 2022 due to the current Covid situation.

That said, we have plenty of experience with rescue dogs, pigs (pigs are my favourite - we used to raise Kunekunes!) and sheep - feel free to drop me a line if you’re looking for a sitter in the future and I’ll share my sitter profile with you!

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Just adding a note to agree, the calendar has been a frustration all along for me. I try to keep it updated, and am quite computer savvy, and yet often have found myself going back to try to fix it since it’s not user friendly. I’d also like the ability to override - for example, my HO shortened the sit dates, but didn’t update their listing. I can ask, but it seems like an annoyance for them since they’re going through a lot right now, but I want my calendar to show availability for my actual dates. Finally, the white vs. crossed out nuance seems too much to ask new HOs to navigate - I would prefer available vs. unavailable.

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