I am relatively new since October 2020. I am about to embark on a big travel adventure, for 5 months of international travel. I appreciate all the help I have received from members on the forum, and hope all goes my way on this trip.
I periodically monitor this forum to glean useful information. I increasingly see challenges that people have experienced.
My response is that words do matter, and so do language skills. I see comments like “read between the lines”, “sitter needs a car” which still is unclear to me when the sit states close to amenities. There are probably some others that I forgot to mention. My suggestion is to standardize the fields for everyone. It does not require additional staff but more web development. For example “sitters need a car” perhaps change to “car essential”, which leaves little room for interpretation. It would benefit HOs by fewer applicants who do not meet the requirement, and saves sitters time in applying for unsuitable sits.
Standards for HOs and sitters should be the same. For example background checks, activation of membership after minimum requirements are met (photos of the person and home including room for sitter so we do not ourselves in a closet, full description of expectations, such as is it accessible by public transportation, walkability of the neighborhood, etc. Recently I have seen a listing of pet/HOs only. No profile. There were 40 plus applicants before the listing was closed. Another suggestions is to have a section for sits with public transportation. This is getting too wordy, my apologies.
Disclaimer: This is coming from a happy place not complaining. I have made this platform work for my needs so far but still planning for more. Stay tuned for updates when after I cross the ocean. Feel free to move this posting to a more suitable category.
Happy travels all!
I share your frustration over listings that say they are near shops, yet also say the sitter needs a car. I wonder if sometimes HOs just click the “sitters need a car” button because they are not leaving a car, rather than because sitters actually do need a car to reach necessities such as food.
Something like a walkability score would be awesome. Or perhaps something like “nearest grocery store is x miles” – although then there would still be the issue of whether the road to the store was suitable for walking.
Of course, in the UK at least, it’s simple to book home delivery of groceries even in the most remote of locations, making the lack of food shops a non-issue. People may still want to know about pubs and restaurants, though . . .
These would be great to put the welcome guide. When I chat with the HO, I always ask them what train or bus service stops near their home or the stop to get off. So far they are agreeable to let me know. But improvements on the platform or guide would help us all, I think. The seasoned sitters may have things figured out. Reading between the lines may not work for everyone, especially newbies.
You truly have it nailed but it takes a lot of resources to do some of this work so in the meantime we have to try other ways and some experience to deal with everything.
Also new here, readying for our first sitter next month. The ‘sitter needs a car’ is as ambiguous to us, as to potential sitters. As such, we cleared up what WE mean by including that in our posting in the Welcome Guide, and ensured we aligned with potential sitters during our early pre-sit meetings… HTH
Dana & Sheila