Can I message a HO where I would like to sit?

It would be great to have that possibility. It makes all the difference if the sitter really wants to be in your area.

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Liz, yes makes good sense, thank you so much for the clever strategies!

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This issue is along the lines of a post to the forum that I made a few months ago. My proposal is for THS to have a new category for housesitters to create an ad advising when they will be in a particular country and for what period. When you are coming all the way from downunder to Europe you need to do a lot or preplanning and such a service would be a great assistance to planning your travels


@Kelownagurl we have had exactly the same thing happen. A Homeowner set up a “fake sit” in order to be able to message us on the THS site to discuss the possibility of us sitting for them at some point in the future. We had not previously corresponded on the THS website. It was a clever way of being able to make contact with a sitter without yet having firm holiday dates.

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Hey all, thoughts…I saved some homes that seem compatible for us. Is it “acceptable” to send a “solicitation” to a homeowner for a possible sit inquiry?
New here and learning the “culture.”
tx Bonnie

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if you and the HO have never been in contact before, there is no way to contact them except to apply for a sit. If you see a sit in a place that appeals to you, but the listed dates aren’t suitable, you can apply and explain that you are interested in future sits, not this one. Then you can cancel the application so you don’t use one of their precious 5 apps.

The next time that HO lists a sit, you can contact them to apply, even if the listing is paused, because the dialogue will have been established. It’s a cumbersome system, but I don’t see another workaround.

Thanks. But what are your thoughts on initiating an inquiry with a HO when you know you are going to be in a certain area on certain dates?
Not the how of it but the edict is what I am wondering…

As a HO, I wouldn’t be annoyed if you did this. The chances of me being away on the dates that you were going to be in my area are pretty slim, but it could happen. You could even develop a friendship out of it. That happened with me when I contacted a woman who posted a sit very close to where my parents live. We ended up connecting and hiking together when I next visited my parents!


Thank you for the follow up.
What a nice outcome for you.
I was thinking as a HO that I would be ok with such a request and it could be helpful to know a sitter would be interested when the dates are more definitive, as the date is for me in attending a concert and looking for sit opportunity.


Hi @HelloOutThere/Bonnie!

I like your direct, perhaps unconventional thinking. As far as I know, it’s not against the TH rules. And as @Lassie noted, this has worked well for both sides in her case. It’s also possible that some PPs may welcome an excuse to take another vacation. =)

I think some HOs/PPs might be annoyed, and some might be more sympathetic. But perhaps those who would be annoyed would not be a good fit for you, so you won’t really have lost anything by asking.

I have no evidence for this, but in your communication with a PP, I would try to be specific. For example, name the concert. At least, that’s what I would appreciate if I were a PP.

Good luck1 –Geoff

I was playing around with my own HO listing but soon realized that it was not representative of an email exchange with an actual HO.
So, I found a work around =)
It may or may not work but I tend to try to find ways to “customize” software. A habit from my working days when software platforms offered lots of features but lacked in areas for how our business needed to access data and pull reports, so we found work arounds…

I have a Philly search saved also. So, if there is a home that comes up and it seems perfect for our visit for the concert, I would do an email then and briefly explain to the homeowner about our future interest and see they are willing to work with us for a future visit.

m: geoff.hom via TrustedHousesitters Community Forum

I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to do with the above, but I don’t think it will work, and I don’t want you to miss out on your concert. =) The main issue is Discourse is used only for the forums, which only a small % of TH members are on.

  • You probably noticed that you receive “TH” emails from the TH forums, and these are nice because you can read most/all of it in your email client, without having to go to the forums.
    • Only about 10% of TH members are on the forums. (Just look at the number of TH members they advertise on the main site, and compare to the number of forum members.)
    • There is not yet SSO (single sign-on), where new TH members would be automatically added to the forums.
    • Also, we’re not supposed to do matchmaking on the forums. Though PM would be okay, if you happen to see a Philly PP on the forums. I guess you could try to search topics, but there is no way I know of to search forum members by location.
      • The only one I know is @GardenCat, who also runs an Airbnb.
    • I feel like most forum members don’t use PMs much and don’t expect them. I didn’t, and I didn’t know where to check/reply. So if you PM someone, you may just want to include your cell/email in the PM if you’re willing.
  • Conversely, you also can receive “TH” emails from the TH app/website, like if a PP invites you to sit. These emails are much less detailed, just like “You have a new message from Geoff! Click here to read it!” It almost sounds like clickbait/phishing.
    • What @Lassie was suggesting above is to submit an application via the TH app/website, explain your situation therein, and then immediately withdraw your application.
    • You can also then provide your contact info, and perhaps they’ll give you theirs. Otherwise, you’ll still have to use the TH app/website to send messages to the PP (via your Inbox).
  • If you want to fiddle with this further, I can try to help as a sitter. Just PM me.
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I think there could be a simple “workaround.” Just have an option, for both HO and sitters for a “flexible future dates.” I am currently planning a trip to Spain and Portugal with totally flexible dates for about three weeks between mid-October to mid-November.

So many people have flexible schedules these days, and travel in many regions is so easy that someone in Madrid or Lisbon could see my listing and decide to go visit friends or relatives BECAUSE I am available.