Are any new sitters actually getting sits they want, if so HOW? Though THS claims to have more sits then other sites, the new 5 sit policy means that although the sit is active they are already paused. Each sit I want to join to apply for is already paused or if available I am afraid if i join to apply by the time I am approved by THS the sit will be gone. I am so disappointed with this site but sometimes there are interesting sits This is so frustrating! Is there really no way to contact a host once their sit is either paused or already taken?
Hi @Ysa. I joined in late August and it’s been an incredibly positive experience - better than I’d hoped for. I’ve done 7 short-term sits (2-5 days) - beautiful homes, interesting locations, lovely animals. And I have two longer-term sits (10-14 days) lined up for 2023 in dreamy locations.
My only problem so far is that I want to be doing a lot more sitting & traveling than I have the time for. I’m working on changing that!
I think the 5-application pause actually benefits us newbies. A HO is more likely to read and consider my application if it’s 1 of 5 rather than 1 of 30 or 40. Do I miss out on some sits because of that 5-application window? Sure, but I don’t worry about that and don’t get bothered when my applications aren’t accepted. I don’t set my heart on one particular sit.
You asked how newbies land sits they want. My strategy was to spend many, many hours reading previous posts in this forum. There’s a ton of fantastic advice here from experienced sitters who were once newbies like us. Good luck!
Hi @Ysa - I am slightly confused by your comment. Have you actually joined THS? If not, I don’tknow how you know which sits are paused - do they now give this information to the general public? It is difficult to credibly be disappointed with THS without even joining first and giving it a go.
To answer your question. No, there is no way to contact a host once their sit is either paused or already taken.
We joined two months ago and are thrilled. We have secured 6 weeks of sitting ( 2 sits) and look forward to more. I love the 5 application limit as if there were 20 or more we wouldn‘ t have a chance having little experience on this site.
I appreciate your feedback. Yes you can look for sits before you join and it is super discouraging, more than before when it was just competitive. . I don’t understand how this could be a positive change especially given that sits that are actually not available because they’re paused still show up in the search and every single sit I click on is already under review it does not inspire me to join Trusted house sitters.! I do understand if you are lucky enough to be in the first 5 you may have a shot as a newbie, but having to click through each sit to see it is NOT actually available is a huge waste of time. I also see homeowners complaining that they feel they’re forced to choose from the first five, when it is not true and sitters frustrated that they need to be chained to their phones to get sits. People encourage me to read more here in the forum on how to secure sits, if I can not actually apply because they are on pause this is just more wasted time, there is no way to know if they will become available again. Many people are speaking out against this and telling others not to join It wouldn’t be as frustrating if they weren’t included in the available sit search when they’re not actually available.
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Yes - I see lots of ‘reviewing applications’ status now. So if the 5 applicant limit was designed to speed things up for sitters, it isn’t working clearly. Are there any posts about THS thinking about bringing this in - ie why? Who was the demand for it from? Are THS reviewing how it’s working in practice. Perhaps @admins can clarify.
Very interesting @Ruckusfan and thank you for your analysis.
I am in the 1% group of members with over 30 reviews and I think that the 5 applicants and then pause process is to ensure that these 1% of us don’t get to secure the same amount of sittings in the future. Most of the listings in my saved searches are gone by the time that I can apply,
About two months ago THS implemented a new feature.
Once a listing receives 5 applications the listing is automatically paused and no more members are able to apply. The homeowner then picks from the lucky five who were able to apply, or they have to reject them all and then reopen the listing. (If they even know that is an option).
THS claimed they notified all members of this new feature “extensively and through all avenues possible”, but the reality is it appeared a an article in one months emailed newsletter, and the majority of the membership, like yourself, is unaware.
I joined THS just over a year ago and have had a great experience, with four sits under my belt. Upon returning from my last sit (6 months long), I was shocked to learn of this new policy wherein after 5 applications are received, sits are listed as being “reviewed” and sitters can not apply.
Sitters are being denied access to a phenomenal amount of sits, while the yearly charge was not reduced. This is a drastic change and setback for THS, with the trusted reliable sitters being negatively affected. Now it has become a constant battle to stare at the phone all day, trying to be first to see the new sits so we don’t get locked out. Not all of us can do that.
As far as the argument that it helps new sitters… I was a new sitter last year. Sure, I got denied the first couple sits, but I persisted and had great personal references, so it did not take long to get my first sit. That is life. Punishing those of us who made it through the first sit, and have established trusted reliable reviews, is not the answer and is simply not fair. We did nothing wrong, but helped establish THS as a reliable source for house and pet sitting. I am just shocked that we are being dismissed rather than praised for our efforts.
I implore THS to reverse this “new policy” and encorage the sitters to speak up loud and clear so we are heard. This is not what any of us signed up for and paid for.
I’m finding it a bit frustrating looking for sits and more than half the listings on a page are shown as ‘reviewing’ so it’s not possible to apply for them. They are just taking up space on the page. Is it possible to add a feature to the filter to hide such listings? Or even just not show them at all because it doesn’t serve any purpose. Does anyone else have any thoughts on it?
I get all notifications for my saved searches at :48 past the hour. Clearly HOs don’t all post at the same time, so I’ve taken to checking randomly during the day, which is dreadful. We’re heading to the UK this spring and have confirmed one sit and are looking for others.
With the new 5 app limit, and the 8 hour time difference, it’s REALLY difficult to find the right sit.
I ended up deleting my France saved search after I got 5 notifications overnight (12:48, 1:48, etc) and only 1 was still available by 7:30 when I got up. And now seeing “owner is reviewing apps” sits in the search is SO dispiriting - all those Italy sits we missed being able to apply for cause I was asleep…. I’d like to see the app protocol being 24 hours OR 5 apps, whichever comes last. Then at leave sitters in any timezone would have a shot.
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I can really understand your frustration- the time differences really makes a difference. The good thing about the UK is there are always so many sits there so you have a much greater chance of finding something suitable even if the first choice does not always work out. But in countries with much fewer sits its a genuine problem. I really don’t understand why THS does not drop this 5 app rule- it is so extremely unpopular and its really not clear to anyone what positive function it serves.
I was trying to add my tuppence worth to the subject of the 5 sitter rule - from an HO point of view. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find how to join the discussion in the thread I was reading. In the meantime, I will post here….
The 5 applications max allowed before my listing is paused has driven me up the wall. It is a complete waste of my time, and from what I read, of sitters time too. If THS is going to put a limit on the number of applicants, PLEASE increase the number to at least 15 or more. Better still, get rid of the rule completely.
As HOs, our particular requirement is for long term sitters. There is no doubt that nowadays many sitters have invariably replied in haste to our listing and either dates don’t fit, or they haven’t properly digested our requirements. Even worse, the sitters are often inexperienced. For a long term sit, we need sensible, experienced sitters. We really do.
So I try to compromise then, when all the juggling gets too complicated, I end up having to decline perfectly good sitters for one reason or another (ie no car when this is essential, dates don’t fit, need a visa etc - all smallish niggles which could perhaps be resolved if there was more time to sort things out) So another five applications, pause, unpause, pause and by now I’m worried that sitters think I’m being rejected as a potential sit when in actual fact, the sitters aren’t totally suitable. I’m actually quite flexible on most things but in trying to find the best fit, I now feel I’m being forced to compromise.
We’ve been with THS for over 7 years. It always worked so well in the past. I would end up with two or three excellent sounding sitters. They usually had read through my listing and requirements, had had the opportunity to work out if it was worth the travel and whether dates would fit. Then a video chat so both sides can meet and assess. What wonderful people we have had the privilege of finding. Now it all takes so long.
The thread I was reading (and have now lost), seemed to be written by frustrated sitters. I just want all you lovely but frustrated sitters to know that as a Home Owner, I am very frustrated too!
PS. We eventually found our sitters for later this year. They seem to be charming and tick all the boxes, so we’re very happy and excited about them.
Why is it almost impossible to reply to people’s comments because anything negative (mostly the unpopular 5 rule) has been moved to a closed thread. Please reopen that thread. Its a form of censorship.
Me too. I don’t understand why THS are continuing with such an unpopular rule and move negative comments to a closed topic. I’m sure people will just stop renewing and go elsewhere.
@Wildcolonialgirl & @musketeer In answer to your questions regarding the closing of the Pausing Applications Post … If you need any additional clarity please feel free to Direct Message me.
Disappointing to see the censorship by mods of posts about the ‘5 application rule’ which seem now to be automatically moved to a closed thread. What’s the point of a community forum is the community can’t comment further? None of the comments are abusive. Makes we wonder what the motive is.
Hi I have Direct Messaged you @BJane and refer you to the previous Admin Notice for clarification.
@Ben-ProductManager good morning and HNY.
Having read the issues that members are having due to the pause feature negatively impacting on their ability to find sits for various reasons; time zones, sleeping, working, notifications delay etc, could I please ask if THS are actively monitoring these issues and complaints and if so, are there plans to collate the information and review the pause feature?
If so, could a survey specific to the pausing and not a general one be sent?
To me, it seems you have many customers that are unhappy and that, as a business, I’d like to assume that THS are concerned. Your customers satisfaction and brand reputation seem to be on the decline, I can’t imagine that THS would want this, especially when one of the biggest issues could be easily tweaked - owners setting the numbers of applications they want before pausing.