I’ve got a Christmas sit listed, dates are flexible which I’ve tried to make clear in multiple places, but I’ve had zero interest. I’m reluctant to start firing our invites left right & Centre as a) it’s a lot of work and b) not sure sitters appreciate it?? In the past a lot of my invites have been ignored no matter how polite / friendly I have tried to come across. Also with it being Christmas I’m sure people will have family plans? But their dates aren’t marked as not available, but they also aren’t green for available. What’s the etiquette here?
Christmas is always the busiest time of the year, with more home hosts wanting sitters, and a smaller pool of sitters than usual because, as you say, some sitters choose not to sit over the festive period. The result of this is it is the most challenging time of the year to secure a sitter.
As for the calendars, The THS calendar is notoriously difficult to update hence many sitters have given up trying!
Your listing looks great and I am struggling to think of much more you can do to improve it. Maybe offer a lift to and from the train station for non-drivers? Also, although being flexible with dates is great, I would give a rough idea of what you are looking for - a 2-week sit covering the whole festive period will be more enticing than 3 days over Christmas.
This looks like a great sit with grandma Badger! The holiday seasons are always the most tough ones when it comes to finding a sitter, but not everyone spends Christmas with their family. It might help to boost or relist the listing. Inviting people really is a lot of work but we always feel honored by every invitation. The calendar isn’t really updated by a lot of people. You might also want to consider putting your listing up on more than one platform (e.g. MindMyHouse, Nomador etc.). There are currently over 1k sits on THS for the UK and your listing might easily get lost under the mountains of new sits being listed every day. PS: We also agree with Colin. If we sit during Christmas we would want the whole period ca. 23.12-6.01 (or longer), but that’s just us.
Thank you both so much. We are open to the sit being around a week, certainly longer than shorter so I shall mention that.
I agree with Timmy that we think it’s an honor if a homeowner sends us an invitation to apply. Also, some of us love sitting over the holidays. My family isn’t big on Christmas (my parents have had the same plug-in tabletop Christmas tree for the past 20 years, and that is the extent of their holiday spirit!). Because of that, we don’t mind being elsewhere. This year we are doing a repeat sit for a wonderful woman and her adorable dog. She decorates her house like you would see in a department store. This sit is close to my parents’ home so we can see them, but get to experience the holiday feeling of someone else’s house.
I’m one of those who would love a Christmas sit. But I was looking a month ago when international airfares were somewhat decent (still over $1000). But now I’m seeing lots more Christmas visits popping up on THS and unfortunately, we’ve already accepted a sit a month ago. Airfares are now $400 more than when we purchased ours. I wish more owners would have listed earlier. Best of luck finding someone.
I listed about a month ago. I couldn’t list any sooner as we were unsure how things were with family health. Everything’s crazy expensive at the mo
I think your listing looks great BUT I would make the second picture (daytime, front of house) the first one. I always look for cheerful places, first and foremost. Nighttime just looks too dark. I’d probably scroll on by. Also maybe make your headline “Flexible dates for Christmas” so that’s communicated right away. Your dog is adorable and it looks like a great sit.
It’s weird. This is the kind of dream sit that would have attracted many sitters in the past. Something’s changed.
Badger looks adorable and your house is lovely, tidy and welcoming. It would be helpful to list how long Badger can be left alone, since many sitters would like to do some exploring on their own. Also, it looks like you have had 4 sitters, but only one sitter left you a review. You also did not complete reviews on some of your sitters. Were there problems with previous sits, or could lack of reviews just be an oversight? Were any of the sits cancelled? Missing reviews may be seen as red flags by potential sitters, even if everything was great. It would probably help attract candidates if you make sure that you complete reviews on your previous sitters and also reach out to them to ask them for reviews. Reviews are very important for both sitters and hosts. And if sits were cancelled, contact THS customer service to have them removed. Best of luck in finding great sitters for sweet Badger for the holidays!
I have had the same problem with nobody applying for a January sit of two weeks in East Sussex, UK
I must have approached about 25 people directly, none of whom can do it , mostly saying they are not free ( despite their calendar not being blocked off ) As I approach each one with a little bit about my lovely dogs and cat and the house, it is not a quick process and very disappointing that we have not had anyone apply as yet
Hi @Katharine - Do you know that you can add your listing link to your forum profile so that all the sitters on the group can see your listing?
Here is how to do it -
Hi @Katharine Welcome to the forum.
It is disappointing and unusual, that you have had no response.
I would always advise that you email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to boost your listing, as this will bring it to the top of the website again. There will then be a little new button on the top of your listing. I have taken the liberty of doing this for you.
As @Colin mentions, do pop your listing up here on your forum profile for that little bit more exposure.
Christmas is a tricky one as some celebrate, some don’t, some don’t have family in the Country or just don’t do Christmas with Family. We are looking for a HS in London preferably Cat’s for a family of 4 (We have interviews at the Aussie embassy right before Christmas and decided it’s been years since we did London, so the Teens would enjoy doing Christmas Winter wonderland, and other touristy things, so not dogs as I couldn’t leave a dog/s for more than 4 hrs even if the owners did) so Kitty’s for us, I am having no luck so far, I am pretty early mind.
Anyways you could pop in your listing if you are happy for family or friends to come over for meals no sleep overs, if you are happy with that. You could list the closest public transport options, if there is parking or off street parking, the local dog parks you go (so you are not giving your home location away) further away favourite doggie places, if a car is included, family friendly etc. Be really clear, if you are mostly stay at home, then you want sitters who are going to be there or happy to take the Dog with them. Photo’s not just of the Dog help, you have to feel comfortable with what you are sharing in your listing, pop as much details as you can and that the dates are flexible too in the first part of the listing.
You are wanting to get someone in place, so I suppose it doesn’t hurt to send out a bulk message, with a little more detail in it maybe? not just Hi, Would you like to sit for me. I only found out recently a HO can send out 200 messages in the one go, it’s starting to make sense, before Summer I would get a personal message addressed to myself, with details I had listed on our Profile that obviously appealed to the HO, around May I started to get a message everyday that had no other details, now I understand, I can address accordingly, you can search a local area, it’s where I get lots of message for local sits from, they search us local and reach out. maybe try that, one HO recently shared they had sent 200 messages every week for the 3 weeks, I was the only person who replied. I don’t know if this is good or not, worth a try maybe? We have been personally invited to Canada and Hong Kong for Christmas this year, we can’t do either, we don’t have valid passports. I don’t know what the search engine is for the HO but they found us and sent personal invites.
I get invites often and we are already on a sit or have a sit booked in our calendar, maybe the THS team could look at making it so that It can’t send it if the HS has the dates blocked out?
I am sure you will find lovely sitters, all the best.x
I’m sorry to hear your sit hasn’t had much attention. I think it’s possibly because there are SO MANY Christmas sits advertised (at least where I am in the UK, not sure about elsewhere). I have housesat at Christmas for the last three years and it’s something I love doing (and will be doing this year again!) Furthermore, I always respond when someone reaches out with an invite, even if it’s not possible. I think it very much depends on the person. Unfortunately, there are both sitters and home owners who don’t know how to respond in a courteous manner (or at all!) However, you might just land an incredible sitter by sending out an invite. I think it’s worth a try. Good luck!
Thank you for the tips. I’ve now got 2 applicants, both of which are just looking at logistics etc…
Not sure I like the 200 messages idea, although if I was desperate. I try and take a personal approach with my messages to sitters - looking at their profiles etc… and try to find a connection as to why I think they would be a good fit.
Thank you. Since I started this conversation I’ve had two applicants!! Wahoo!! One is just sorting out logistics hopefully so we should be sorted. I do really appreciate when people respond, even if it’s a no, makes you feel less disheartened!
I hear your pain! I see someone from Trusted Housesitters have been in contact. Their helpdesk people are always so helpful and friendly. I’ve found their advise invaluable and they help boost your listings too. So always reach out and get a thread going in the community. I’ve only ever experienced positive, constructive feedback in this forum.
Good luck with your sit
Thanks. I only had one sit that was cancelled. I shall reach out to those who have sat for me and see if they will leave a review. I was going to leave a review for the lady who was lined up to do the cancelled sit as she had been so wonderful, but unfortunately due to ill health we were unable to go away. I’m not aware of any issues with the sits we’ve had and private communications were always very positive. Thank you so much for your input, it’s very much appreciated
Thank you. I will follow their advice