Does anyone feel like THS isn't worth it anymore?

I have a saved search and last night got an email that 5 new sits had come up that matched my preferences. Amazing I thought, opened the link this morning. All gone already.

The preference is for London, and I’m in the same time zone, it shouldn’t be this hard to apply in time. Obviously, as has been spoken about many times on here now, the 5 application rule has greatly altered securing sits. I’ve now seen dozens of sits that would have been perfect under review before I’ve even had a chance to read the listing because they’re gone in minutes. I’ve been about to apply for ones that have been live for minutes and then they’re gone!

Is it really worth it anymore if securing a sit is this stressful and time sensitive, and saved searches are pointless and just a constant tease? Has anyone considered leaving the site and seeking out new housesitter sites?

I don’t understand why THS have left this function in place - I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say it’s ruined the site for many of us.


@RR12345 we signed up to THS and their main competition in U.K. a year ago . Not knowing if either would provide the type of sit we wanted.
With THS we’ve confirmed 19 U.K. sits . 11 completed and 8 x confirmed for 2024 . With the competitor only one came up that looked like a fit for us . We applied and the homeowner never acknowledged or responded to our application right up to the start date of the sit and beyond. As far as we could tell the sit went unfulfilled.

With the competitor site we didn’t see any other sits listed that we even wanted to apply for . There are very few sits suitable for us, most have only one external photo no internal photos and no previous reviews .

Although there is room for improvement , we have continued with our THS membership for another year .

We will continue to look out for any alternative platforms . However for U.K. sits there isn’t another platform that currently offers what THS offers for us . We have not renewed our membership with the other uk housesitting site which was a complete waste of money for us and the type of sits we choose to do.


For London, you need to be a bit faster. The email notification comes once per day, so there is a delay of up to 24 hours. Then you waited till next morning.

If you do not want to be in the fast lane, then apply for sits in rural Suffolk etc. That is where I then also encounter the really slow HOs, that take forever to respond. The UK is running on different speeds.


If folks had felt this way, presumably a number of them would’ve already left. They wouldn’t be responding to your Q.

That said, each member decides for themselves what’s worthwhile membership wise. In your case, you could drop out and rejoin later if you changed your mind. And/or you could try other sites and see whether you can do better.

THS is no doubt tracking what’s known as “churn” (turnover of members), because it’s standard with membership businesses. If they saw meaningful uptick, it’s almost impossible that they would’ve been recently bought out by a private equity firm for $100m.

Generally among businesses, when there are constant complaints, it tells them that the user base is hooked and will stay for the most part. That’s because if there were great alternatives, users would’ve quit without bothering to constantly complain. And empty threats to quit don’t usually move companies, because of the above. They can see their metrics daily on who’s renewing or not, who’s signing up for the first time, etc.

I belong to Nomador as well. It sucks by comparison. With THS, I’ve been loaded with sits in my first year and going into my second have sits booked through September 2024 (and Nomador takes me through October). I don’t sit during year-end holidays. I did a London THS sit during my first year and have been invited back, though I’m not necessarily sold on repeat sits. I’m based in the U.S. and value variety.

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@RR12345 Highly suggest you download the THS app to your phone, you will get notifications of matches to your saved searches as they occur vs waiting once a day for an email.


Hello @RR12345

I appreciate your frustration even though I am a casual user of THS and it’s not a hardship for me not to have a THS membership if we choose.
I am a member for the shared humanity and connection before anything else.

If I have followed some other posts recently, favorited listings work better than the saved searches, so perhaps try that…?

As a previous business owner (very different from THS albeit), we approached our business in that we set the policies/model etc for the vision and mission we as owners wanted to fulfill/ believed in and wanted to live everyday.
Over the years, patients and staff would come and go and we could not conform to current “whims” or a latest “good idea” … the business was the constant and needed to be.

We attracted patients and staff that were compatible and we were quite successful.

We did take feedback in from our patients and staff and made changes but ultimately those changes happened because we also agreed.

When we sold our business, we stayed on for a few years until we were no longer compatible with the vision and direction of the new owners, so we left and they maintained their direction; they were not wrong, we were not wrong… just no longer a good fit.

THS is taking in some member feedback and making changes we like and changes we don’t like; THS as business is going to set its own business model.

Right now there is no “VRBO” to THS but hopefully there will be at some point.

In the end, I say… express that frustration. Use the forum for gain but post, save, favorite and carry on…:slightly_smiling_face:


I have been London based previously and found many great sits to the point that within a few months I left all the other sites (a few years ago though so can’t speak for what it’s like now). I’m now based in another country and the competitor site is a lot more useful than THS - I joined within a day and a half of arriving and over half of my sits have been arranged through that. It’s free for owners and so just gets more sits and there is less lets call it intervention by the site compared to what we’ve all been seeing on THS over the last year or two which feels refreshing. Sure there is no insurance, lounge passes, forum etc but it’s just easier and feels less like work. The THS selling point for me is that it’s global so I can find sits somewhere else when I want to. It’s also where the majority of my reviews are and I wouldn’t be able to abandon those while I’m still sitting.


I have been using THS for about a decade now. Overall I have been very happy with my experience here. While I don’t agree with the 5 app rule mentioned, if there is any truth to the idea that it has helped more sitters get sits and more homeowners get sitters, I can’t see them changing a policy that contributes to more members getting what they actually paid for.

If I am honest, practically it has not affected me negatively. But as a full-time sitter who is open to lots of different locations, I may see more opportunity than someone who is just looking almost exclusively for sits in one highly popular area like London. Last year, we did 7 international sits over a period of 8 months, all in highly desirable locations–Prague, a very central area of London, the Turkish Mediterranean, a Greek island, a Thai island and two major cities in Vietnam and Korea.

Next month I am headed to Costa Rica for a 2.5 month sit and hope to find some more sits in the region, but if I don’t I’ll just go back to the US and hang around there for a bit until peak summer travel season passes and flights go down.

I have actually seen a number in the feed that fit my dates, but chose not to apply for one reason or another–no matter how desirable the location or how well a sit would work for my schedule, I will not apply if there are issues I know would be a problem for me personally, like a house that appears to be of questionable cleanliness. The only exception would be a shorter sit to fill a gap perhaps.

One thing I have noticed when checking for sits specifically in this region over the last month or so: When looking at very recent listings I missed but are in 'review’status-- you can still see the dates at this point-- they almost never are a match for the dates I am looking for so I wouldn’t have applied anyway. I have noticed this with other areas I have kept an eye on at various points.

So again, for me personally, I don’t feel I have missed out on a significant number of desirable opportunities, and any negative feelings I have toward this ‘rule’ is due more to principle than truly being affected. And if there were any sits that I would have loved and I totally missed them, I figure I wasn’t meant to do it.

Another observation I have made is that many of these ‘popular’ listings often get posted at least a few more times so in many instances, a lot more than 5 people get the chance to apply.

The thing about other sites is they only have a small fraction of listings compared to THS so any plan to substitute these sites for this one will leave you with even fewer options. Some exceptions may be some of those country-specific sites like Kiwihousesitters. They have a decent enough amount of listings that would probably allow someone to rely on it solely if that is the only place they wanted to do sits.


Still not acceptable. If you have a membership everyone should have an equal chance to apply for every sit.


But it looks like membership is falling, I have 2 posts on this topic now waiting for moderation, probably because they do not like bad news. I f this post is approved, I will be very surprised.


I added 2 posts to this thread, both waiting for moderators to approve, but maybe I was too honest or too close to the truth for them to allow it to be published.

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When I’ve got quiet time, I browse sits in London, right in the centre as possible, and Favourite any that I like - then I’ll get an instant notification on my phone when a listing becomes available. I don’t know what the limit is for Favourites - I’ve got a few hundred scattered around my important UK places!

The daily email - I only tend to use that to Favourite potential places, because as you say, if it’s a good one, it’s likely gone. I figure it’ll come up again at some point.


But if you pay a membership - everyone should have the same chance to apply for EVERY sit.
Or when you join it should state clearly that you only have a 1 in 5 chance (if you are lucky) or zero chance ( if you are not online, sleeping, working, traveling, or in a meeting …) the whole concept of TRUSTED housesitters is no longer there. It is a lottery.
And membership should not be just a lottery.


The 5 limit has been a massive mistake but they refuse to accept that.

I read a report back in September last year that membership has risen to about 175,000 members.

On the website now they say they have over 180,000 members.

So, an increase of only 5000 in six months. Something is not right.

New members from a year ago are not renewing membership after a year as it is so difficult to even apply for a sit, or for pet owners in some areas to get sitters. Christmas was a good example – so many sits at the last minute with no applications.

There will be a point soon when membership starts to fall below the current figure, and that is not a good sign.

Everything THS has done over the last 2 years to “improve” the site has actually had a negative effect on members, both HO and sitters.

There have been no positive changes or improvements on the website or app – just a bit of tinkering here and there.

With the recent injections of cash - $10 million then $100 million you would have thought that they would at least invest in an updated web site and app – completely revamp – I am sure most of us would be happy if the site was unavailable for a few days while they switched to a modern platform, but there seems to be no interest in actually improving the experience for PAYING members/customers.

Someone somewhere is no doubt making a lot of money out of this, but once the membership starts to reduce – and it looks that that is already happening, it does not look good.


Your posts are probably being moderated because you’ve not posted much and Disqus, the forum software they use, has thresholds for new or infrequent users. That’s because forums often get hit with spam and such. There’s info on the site about how Disqus works, if you care to search for it.

As for what’s failing or not, businesses take a business perspective. What might upset some users might benefit others. Again, businesses can monitor that quantifiably, not just rely on anecdotal info. Companies don’t ever expect to please everyone and churn is expected to a certain threshold.

THS in particular has a good amount of time and flexibility to test things out versus most companies. That’s because they have no strong competitors, so people have a harder time leaving. With companies, the users you have or had might not necessarily be the users you now want or want in the future. They can test those things out as well. Aggregate numbers of users don’t need to grow in linear fashion for a company to do well longer term. Some companies (not THS that I know of) actually start cutting some users/members, because they’re too expensive or problematic to serve vs. others. That can actually improve profit margins in some cases.

I will most likely renew next month but am going to go with the lowest tier and drop my premium membership. I have not seen that the premium membership gives me much value. I already get lounge access with my cards. I am very frustrated with THS, and especially its lack of support for sitters, but it has gotten me places I never would have been without finding this site. And to be realistic, a year of membership is less than I would have paid to stay at my current location for 1 night.


If you are new to the forum or don’t post regularly the forum software drops you to a level where your posts need to be ‘approved’. It’s a mostly automatic setting rather than deliberate action by the mods and you should go back to normal after posting for a few days (It does sometimes just trips itself up and get stuck though)


With their original stated aim of it being to increase the response of owners and speed up the approval process, then yes I think it has been a failure.
With their subsequent stated aim of it reducing the sits that power users get then I think it has been a roaring success. They have to take less popular sits that don’t get 5 application in 5 minutes and still get to do enough to make their membership worth the price. New people get a lottery-like chance at getting applications in for popular destinations. Owners at less popular detinations still get application from sitters having to hunt out the higher hanging fruit.

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With their subsequent stated aim of it reducing the sits that power users get then I think it has been a roaring success. They have to take less popular sits

No one has to take less popular sits if they aren’t planning to go there. I’m currently booking Airbnbs in Europe this summer since most sits are already reviewing before I know about them. I’m also looking at other housesitting platforms. I’ve done lots of sits in less popular areas and built up many great reviews so that I would be competitive for sits in really popular destinations. But now I can’t even apply to those sits. The 5 app rule doesn’t distribute the sits, it pushes members off the site to pursue other options for their travel.


Hello @RR12345 Thank you for starting this thread. I thought it might be quite apt to jump in here and mention that the team are looking at a new CRM system which would mean that the saved search emails can be sent more frequently. I don’t currently have any more information than that but it sounds like it would be a helpful development in the case you mentioned so I will keep you posted when I hear more!