Conclusion Of Pausing Application Test - Updated Post

Just dropping this in here in case anyone missed earlier. Time for us all to take a break now from this topic and we’ll see you when it reopens Monday when the full team back. Thank you for your patience and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Vanessa


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This post will reopen at 9am BST (1am Pacific Time) Monday 26th - see above post from Angela for more information. Thank you.

I was writing an application and it is gone again I have spent 30 minutes …oh such a joke …

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If the HO wants to look at a lot of applications, fine. I have zero problem with that and believe the HO should have that opportunity.

I like the old system but to help keep the HO involved, here’s a simple solution

Paused at 10 apps
HO gets email asking if they want more
HO must say “yes” and they get 10 more
Repeat at 20, 30 & 40
Maximum of 50 applications
Plus HO can choose to stop receiving apps at any time

Sound reasonable?

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Good suggestions all!

Personally I’m not thrilled about the new 5 applicant limit for HOs before the listing is paused. It pushes sitters to quickly apply for sits without taking serious time to consider if it’s right for both parties. I’ve been seeing sits go up and then get paused after what seems like 5 minutes!

It might speed up the time between HOs posting and a sitter accepting, but that doesn’t mean it’s an ideal connection or that either party is going to have the best possible experience - something which is key to encouraging long-term use of this service!

It would be better to see a feature that suggests a HO pause and review after a certain number of applications, rather than doing it automatically.

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True. I reached out to around 10 (of the many) people that I’m still in contact who I either referred or sat for. None of them knew of the changes. None of them thought it was a good idea. Several were not happy at alland I wouldn’t be surprised if they cancel their membership.

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Why don’t we start a 9-week test allowing 24 hours before applications are paused ?
I think a lot of people would be in favor of that and you could then see and prove if it has
any negative effect.

Another option might be for homeowners to select pause and review at 5/10 applicants or allow 24 hours before pausing when they post their house sit.

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I have already commented, but trying to apply for winter sits now has made yet another drawback extremely clear: I cannot COMPARE sits to one another at all. I can’t see what all the available sits in a region or city are, whether they have certain amenities, what the dates are, what the care needs look like, etc. I can’t talk to 3-4 HOs in an area and then make a decision based on mutual affinity for one another and the animals.

Since realizing this I’ve joined two more sit sites and multiple FB groups. Definitely will no longer endorse the platform or push my referral code.

I hope THS realizes this isn’t the “win” they think it is.

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@ELNF

If this was the problem would it not have been simpler to limit the number of applications a sitter can make over a certain period of time? Or is that too simplistic a view?

I was 100% convinced they were going to add more sitter tiers to address this–pay more if you want to do more than X sits each year (and ditch the five-applicant limit), but unfortunately I was wrong.

I can’t imagine many of the full-time, high-volume sitters would have balked at paying more at their next renewal to get unlimited sits, especially those who sit as couples and overlap sits, thus having very few days where they have to actually pay for accommodation. TH would increase profits without the heavy and manipulative hand, and high-volume sitters would still have ridiculously low accommodation costs. Though I do see how the five-application limit is a far easier solution for TH to just drive the high-volume sitters away and not have to fiddle around with more tiers.

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That could still happen but a good reason it’s not being handled that way is it would be visible to all owners thus creating many more complaints. The application pause is unknown to the majority of owners and sitters unless they are on this forum or currently searching for sits or sitters.

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Even sitters who encounter the 5 app pause probably don’t know it paused after 5 because the listing does not reflect that. All it says is “Reviewing applications” as you see here
Reviewing

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KiwiHouseSitters I know for a fact does this and I believe AussieHouseSitters does too. I’m sure there’s more

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Ben,
Since it is obvious that no one on this forum topic received the survey you reference, would you please be kind enough to:

  • Post the actual survey
  • Post how many were sent to owners and how many to sitters (I thought I saw someone post that only 10 surveys were sent out - 5 to owners and 5 to sitters. Surely that’s not correct!)
  • Post the response rate
  • Post the replies per question

I think that might help everyone on the forum better understand things.

Thanks!

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We are hosts who had completed 7sits over the last 3years. This change with pausing after 5 made the whole process difficult and frustrating. I did not pay premium fees so that THS would lock and pause my listing multiple times a day. All day, every day over a week I watched and declined applications so that listing can be unpaused. I needed to wait in order to interview or meet with applicants and I did not have a choice of qualified sitters but rather ones who are fastest to apply. As a host I pay a fee and this feature limits applicants for me. How many replies from sitters and hosts will it take for THS to re-consider this change?

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Yes, the techies once again do not disappoint. Find a problem for a solution so someone can flex some code (or may a single-digit percentage of homeowners did have an issue in common), assume one size fits all, refer to some obscure “survey,” glorify “the data,” and construct solution that has little to no basis in actual user experience or expectations (homeowner or sitter), as evidence here suggests. Most importantly, never admit you screwed up, because the wisdom of “the data” as the techies interpret it is all-knowing. You’ll be quantifying and qualifying an unexpected batch of data in a few months, if not weeks, looks like. Kudos to whoever thought this would be a selling point for new members.

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I too have been a member for over 3yrs and will not continue my membership under these restrictions. THS changing their policies does hinder us Housesitters tremendously. Many times I am traveling and do not see new notifications until it is too late to apply now. I totally agree that THS is only marketing to get new members and not keep the current ones.

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I agree that every THS sitter and homeowner should have received notification of the testing and implementation plan. We are only hearing about this now through this forum and after the fact.

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I haven’t posted in the forum for a while and instead left a review of THS on Trust Pilot about this very subject.

This is part of their response
“When any changes are made, we consult our members and although we understand that we can’t please everyone, all of the time, we make changes that are for the benefit of our members”
I don’t agree that they consult with members and they certainly don’t communicate with them when they implement changes.

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It seems that most people on this forum do not see this as a benefit however !

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