Bigger Homeowner Picture, Please!

Self-explanatory!
Perhaps, a click on their pic would pop a larger view.
It would be helpful to see the homeowner(s), even to better identify them.

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Yes, and it should be mandatory that it is a human, not a house or a pet in the picture.

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I completely agree, although you can see them if you have a video call which is highly recommended before confirming a sit

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True but, I would value having all of their information, including pic, in their profile for ready reference.

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Hi Randy!

Maybe I’m slow but I don’t understand: What would a bigger picture of the homeowner on their profile page do? This isn’t a dating site!

Hi MissChef,

Why should this be mandatory? If you want to share your image with every member of TH that’s your decision. You take the risk and you bear the responsibility.

I get a much better idea about the family I am sitting for (and vice versa) via Zoom or Microsoft Teams or Skype and I don’t worry about my visage being data mined or perused by predators.

I brought this topic up a long time ago and couldn’t believe some of the negative comments I got on here like “this isn’t a dating site”. and here’s the comment again! Every sitter on this site have pics posted of themselves on their profile but rarely do I see an actual pic of a homeowner apart from the miniscule little pic that we can’t enlarge. We’ve done international sits where we’ve been picked up at the airport by homeowners that we haven’t had a video chat with (I personally hate video chats) so it would be nice to see what a homeowner looks like and who to look out for in such circumstances. I don’t base applying on a sit as to what the homeowners looks like - furthest thing from my mind. I don’t think it’s asking for much to have homeowners post a pic on their profile/listing as us sitters do.

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100% to that @Globetrotter - pics of both sitters and owners on their profiles from the start of the interaction simply makes the whole trust and visibility thing more balanced and transparent. Zero to do with dating, just common courtesy.

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@Randy_KC maybe make your suggestion on this thread .

What is the purpose of any picture, at all, if you can’t make out what they look like? Make it, better, or get rid of it, altogether. IMO

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That reminds me of a house owner the picture of her wasn’t to clear.she said she would meet me at airport and would wear a red dress. Yes there was three ladies with a red dress.luckily she recognised me we had a good laugh about that.

If there’s an option for photos, then one would assume that we would upload photos of ourselves.

Sure, larger profile photos could help put the “trust” in Trusted Housesitters, but don’t forget that all our profiles are visible to anyone on the internet and not just trusted members.

I grew up in the “everyone on the internet is a predator” era so I’m a little leery of putting up a large public photo of myself that’s tied to my home. (Before anyone asks, yes I’ve posted photos on MySpace and Facebook and LinkedIn, but these are certainly not platforms where I’m inviting strangers to my location. Also yes, I am aware of geotagging.)

So I can see the concern for physically vulnerable demographics (young single females, elderly singles/couples, etc) advertising their home and its contents along with a photo of themselves. An applying sitter doesn’t need to see what a HO looks like until they’re further along in the process because it simply doesn’t matter to the sit itself. It really only matters for safety and communication. Conversely, a sitter needs to be physically capable of caring for a pet/home, so it’s kind of important to see that early on at a glance*.

My ideal solution: background checks for HOs and video calls (or photo exchanges) with specific sitters who make it far enough in the vetting process. The large profile picture I could take or leave, but I wouldn’t make it a requirement.

* I don’t even think that sitter photos are necessarily a requirement… one of my favorite sitters did not have any pictures of themselves in their profile, but they had great reviews and acknowledged the physical responsibilities I write about in my listing. We did have a video call before confirming so we knew what the other one looked like before meeting in person!

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Yes, it would really help me out if I could actually see a photo of the HOs before or during the application process! The current ones are so small I sometimes can’t even tell if there’s a human in the photo.

Indeed, it’s unnecessarily disconcerting to not know what a HO looks like until I show up to their house. Which happens when HOs can’t or don’t want to video chat… which happens a lot.
Plus, you can tell a lot about a person from their photo, which would help me out when deciding which listings to apply to. (Which is, of course, why sitters are encouraged to post lots of photos of themselves.)

Trust and safety are important to sitters too!

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We’ve done a couple of sits where we still don’t know what the hosts look like!- no photos on the profile, no video call, no personal handover and no family pics in the house! Both sits went well but it is kind of odd to stay in someones home and not ‘meet’ in any way.
I think a profile picture of hosts should be mandatory. If not a click & expand profile pucture then a picture of them included with the listing pics.
After all sitters include multiple pictures of themselves but hosts almost never post one.
I get the security issue @adelia but surely the vast majority of people who view the listing are ‘trusted’ sitters actively looking for a sit.
Or maybe I’m too naive!

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Using the “logic” of it’s not a dating site, then would you support all sitters removing their photos?

I don’t think this is an “equality” issue. It’s apples and oranges. I have both a sitter profile and a homeowner listing. Notice the difference in wording. One is about a person. The other is about a property.

As a sitter, I’m going to exchange my services for a place to stay when I travel. Therefore, it’s relevant for a homeowner to see photos of me with pets and/or maybe having fun traveling – in order to fill out a larger narrative of who I am and that I am safe, responsible person, fun person, that they would want as a guest in their home. I am willing to give up a little privacy and have one of these photos appear when people are using the “find a sitter” search. The fact is that if I were looking for a sitter, I’m not judging the beauty of the contestents, but I kind of need to see a face. If I see just a building, or a pet, I don’t know that I’d choose “Joe in Dubin.” If I see Joe appears in a search, and I go to his profile and see him interacting with cats and there is joy, I am more likely to contact him. Maybe some homeowners are lookist, or agist etc and I’m not sure how to take that out of the equation, but I think a photo of the sitter is probably necessary for the sitter to appear in a search. Whereas a photo of house is necessary to appear in a search for home to stay at.

As a homeowner, a photo of me is uploaded but it doesn’t appear in the deck of photos that includes photos of my home and pets. It appears in the tiny circle at the top of my listing. I can’t change that. If I wanted to, I guess I could include myself in a photo of my home. Then what would happen is when THS does it’s advertizing a photo of me would appear to members and “free” members perusing the site. I’m not crazy about photos of my HOME appearing randomly or when I don’t have an active sit happening. I really wouldn’t photos of me just appearing publicly at any time to advertise a service. Nor would it make sense. No one is going to see my photo and say, “Sure! I want to be her guest!” But people will see photos of my home and along with other information decide they would like to stay there.

As a sitter, I care about the home and the pets, and the responsibility I have for the pets. I don’t need to see a photo of the person who won’t be in the home when I’m there. As a pet parent, I need some tag to identify a sitter, and a photo is better than simply an animal or a place. It doesn’t have to be a glamour shot. I’d recommend that sitters pick photos that show pets in the enlarged version.

The way it is set up, you’d need a photo of yourself with a pet. If it’s a photo of you in your home, it will show up randomly in THS advertizing or be available to people with “free” accounts who haven’t joined the site.

I strongly disagree that this is not an equality issue. This is supposed to be a mutual exchange. The trust has to go both ways as there is risk on both sides. For a sitter, it is not just about the property and the pets as you suggest. We need to know what kind of person we are dealing with, it should not be impersonal. I don’t like having my pictures on the internet either, but it’s part of this process and should be the same for the HOs.

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@Marion What’s the difference compared to pictures sitters put in their profile?? Surely its exactly the same ‘risk’? I think its fair if HOs also show pictures of themselves- with or without their pets- I’d just like to see their faces!