Encouraging sitters and owners on communications

I have invited sitters and I look at their calendars to see if they are available… so far I have only gotten declines as they were booked but the calendar did not reflect this.
Is there anything THS can do to encourage both sitters & HO on communication? As someone stated - no way of getting hold of them…

My sitter calendar only shows my THS sits- not my personal commitments so looking at my calendar would not reveal when I’m free to sit. I think it’s best to list your pet sit and let sitters apply if it suits them.


Hi @Guapodog1
You’d do better posting your sit in the listings as sitter calendars aren’t great on THS. I can get multiple reach outs a week from HO but I have to decline as I can only do sits for certain periods or dates.

Ok, still getting used to the site.

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Hi @richten1, not sure I follow what you are suggesting regarding posting my sit ‘in the listings’? As someone I ‘invited’ to sit for us, they suggested ‘decline’ should in fact be ‘not available’…

Inviting sitters rarely works, because there are so many variables involved — location, timing, type of pet, type of housing, etc.

Most people will never use the calendar, regardless of how strong THS makes it or whether THS encourages calendar use. That’s because most THS sitters sit only occasionally. If so, why bother to make any effort with a calendar, when all they have to do is search for sits when they feel like it?

The best thing for hosts is to make their listing as appealing and clear as possible. And if you’re flexible on timing, to say so in the headline for your sit. If you are flexible, you might also want to create multiple listing dates. That way, sitters who might have a conflict can still apply and then discuss specific dates with you. Such practices can widen your pool of applicants.


Thank you for your feed back @Maggie8K

The best way to start is to post the dates you need a sitter. Available sitters will send an application, and you will then be able to chat with them directly. When you find one or two that sound good you can arrange video chats to ask / answer more questions if you wish. After you choose a sitter you will send them an Invitation to sit, and they will Confirm. Hope that helps.

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@Guapodog1 Out of personal curiosity on how the site works, if you click into my profile, do you see all dates from now until May 11 marked out and dates starting on May 23 throughout the year highlighted or indicated differently than May 11-23?

That should be the case. So if sitters are utilizing the availability function on our profile properly then any dates they are available would be reflected how May 23 onward are shown on my profile. I am not certain if you can still send requests for dates that are crossed out (I assume not given the new THS policy on overlapping sits) but I imagine you technically can send requests for any other dates. So it would be on the sitters to use the functionality correctly + have outstanding applications confirmed + homeowners reviewing availability before sending a listing. A lot of variables at play it seems :sweat_smile:

I’m just not getting the applications… That is why I started to ‘invite’…

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Thank you for that… it does help, & yes I saw you availability - not available for my vacay… next time maybe :smiley: But I’ve not been getting applications w/ the exception of someone coming from far away… & being new to the site, we still have questions about how it works etc.

Gotcha! In that case why don’t you add your listing link to your forum profile so the lovely sitters here can take a look and give you guidance? They usually have great ideas to help make your listing more appealing, then you can relist it as new and try again. You can also keep inviting, but the success rate for that is pretty low.

Also I don’t understand how the title of your post here corresponds to the issue, so if you can edit that it might help. Just say “Help attracting sitters” or something.

@shafofo, it has been linked… if you care to take a look?

Doesn’t work like that for THS. I have homeowners no longer on THS, but I continue to sit for. Not to mention my personal commitments; both these type of obligations are NOT displayed on THS calendar.

I’m an HO, so not your best critic, but I also have a semi-rural property and have learned some things I can share. First, your dog and kitty are adorable and it seems like a nice stay for someone who likes a rural retreat.

Keep in mind that THS sitters are not just looking for a free place to stay, they are traveling, maybe working remotely, and looking to spend time with animals. They want a comfortable, clean space with room to settle in and feel relaxed and welcome. Below are some suggestions from my point of view:

My thoughts:

  1. Brighter, more appealing photos. You’re trying to woo someone to come all the way out to your rural location to offer free care of your home and pets for accommodation. I’m sure your home is lovely, but in the photos the rooms appear dark and cramped and a bit disheveled. You want to make it all look at first glance as appealing as possible. Accommodation is the exchange - someone needs to see your space and feel like they’d be at home there. The first photo especially needs to grab attention!

  2. You mention ‘public transportation available’ but don’t say any more. Do sitters need a car or is there a bus to town? Needing a car is often a big hurdle so transportation options are great selling points. I had a hard time understanding how far the nearest market, restaurant, post office, etc might be, and how far a walk that is.

  3. ‘Reactive dog’ may limit your pool. Maybe you can share more about that.

  4. Chickens down a steep hill - does the sitter need to be quite fit to manage?

  5. Think about the things you love about living there and talk those up. Can you walk in the woods. Is the river accessible? Are there restaurants in the nearby town?

I think with a little effort, especially on the photos, you can find a great sitter. Remember, be honest but also sell it a bit. You’re competing with thousands of great sits around the world! I hope this is helpful :slight_smile:


@Shafofo thank you for your input.
Honestly, I am just waiting for my 14 days to expire.
Not sure where you live, but when I take some pics, I have light coming in from pretty much all angles - I am not a photographer & am using my phone…
My place is lived in, and I admit to having a lot of things - I’ve traveled & collected many things. We have not painted all of the rooms & some are of an awkward shape

But again thank you for your input… but I think I’m done

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Totally understand, it’s not for everyone, but it’s worth a shot.