Feedback on my listing: no applicants

I am new to the site and I’ve had no applications. I don’t know if it’s my listing, my photos or the dates. I would greatly welcome some honest feedback. We live in a beautiful, touristy area and we have had friends in the area and have provided many amenities for a potential sitter IMHO. I would appreciate your professional insights, Sitters. Many thanks in advance.

Added Listing as needed.

2 Likes

Hi Robyn, I took a look.
The first thing I noticed is that your profile is very heavily detailed and a lot to read with too much unnecessary backstory.

Think about what a sitter NEEDS to know about the SIT, not about you - it’s an advert, so think of marketing strategies that will entice and attract applications. Your profile should be a persuasive text for sitters, not an essay about your life.

For example:

Intro:

Are you a traveller who wants to experience the excitement of bustling salt lake city? Do you love cats? Then this is the sit for you! Hi, I’m Robyn, and I’m looking for a friendly sitter to care for my 4 lovely cats in capitol hill, salt lake city.

End of intro. We don’t need to know anything else!

Home and location:

Our gorgeous 1930’s tudor style home is 3 stories with spectacular views overlooking salt lake valley and Oquin mountain range. Sitters will have access to all 3 floors, inlcuding their own guest room, home gym and entertainment systems. Parking is available, public transport is accessible, and we can also provide ebikes.

Salt lake city has an endless supply of local culture, bustling downtown attractions, nature reserves and breathtaking hiking trails. Half an hour drive away lies ski resorts and mountainside towns.

Responsibilities:
This needs to be waaay shorter - all the specifics can be explained in your welcome guide rather than your profile, and many of the responsibilities are lost in backstory and long winded explanations. As a sitter, I need to clearly and simply understand what I need to DO for the sit.

E.g:

Our 4 cats are cuddly and affectionate indoor/outdoor cats, who are fed twice daily (morning and evening). 2 of the cats wear trackers outside for their safety, as they tend to wander further towards sometimes dangerous wildlife areas. We ask the sitter to call the cats back when they head in those directions, and to keep the cats indoors when you go out. Litter boxes are to be cleaned when necessary, and occasional plant or garden watering when necessary.

To sum up:
1: streamline and shorten your listing - brief, relevant details only, no long-winded stories.
2: think from a sitter’s point of view - what do they actually need and want to know and why should they choose you?

As a sitter, I only need to know 2 things; 1: what you are offering me and why I should sit for you, and 2: what, exactly, do I need to do in return? Anything else is irrelevant.

Hope that helps!

7 Likes

Hi @robyn822 and welcome. Your sit looks lovely as do the four cats. I think you could trim the number of pics and start with a better one of the main house (the aerial one is good) to draw people in and lose the rooftop ones until much later. One pic of each cat is enough. Specify sitter’s bedroom and bathroom. Are the photos true to how the house looks now as sitters are suspicious of stock/real estate shots, real ones are better if possible. Cut down the list of responsibilities to the essentials for now, no caps in the descriptor (sounds as if you are shouting), you just need to say you want a responsible cat loving sitter. Ideally one that understands neighbourhoods with coyotes/predators and the risks involved. Title could also be better as sounds a little panicked/worried which sitters read as micromanaging HO. “Responsible, cat lover needed for 4 much loved kitties” and off you go. #hopethathelps

4 Likes

Welcome @robyn822 you have come to the right place for advice. I am a sitter so here is my perspective on your listing .

I had a look at your listing and my first impression is that there is way too much to read . This is likely overwhelming potential sitters and making the responsibilities look onerous ( which they are not )

Some of the details about the responsibilities can be cut out and will be better suited to be in your welcome guide

For example how much food each cat needs that’s an essential detail for your welcome guide but not necessary for your listing . How frequently they need to be fed is enough information for the listing.

Keep in the information about the cats needing to have trackers when outside as sitters need to know about that before applying . A simple sentence about the coyotes is sufficient but you don’t need a whole paragraph to explain why the cats have trackers or why they are outdoor cats etc.

And the details about when to turn lights off is also something best kept for your welcome guide.

When writing your introduction think about why a sitter should pick your home and kitties to sit rather than choose another sit. What makes it an attractive option for a sitter ?

Mention how long your cats can be left alone for so the sitter knows how much time they will have to visit the area.

@Nagy26 has done a great job of streamlining your listing and intro .

You could also read other listings in your area to see what your “competitors “ listings are offering a sitter.

5 Likes

I agree with @Nagy26. WAY too much info in the published listing, and not even split into paragraphs. It’s very hard to read and take in. TBH this can be a red flag for many sitters (like me) as it suggest a huge number of potential demands, and a tricky HomeOwner.

Sitters don’t need to know your life story: "Before COVID, we lived three months a year in the Netherlands where Hank’s business is based. We were big travelers. Since then, we’ve had a great many life changes. We wanted a lifestyle change that gave us natural beauty, lots of outdoor activities in a medium size city. We chose Salt Lake and moved across country from Hot Springs, Arkansas in April 2023. We rented for six months while searching for our “forever home.”

Sitters want to know a) a little about you b) what living in your home will be like FOR THEM c) the responsibilities involved in the sit.

You leave the most interesting/enticing parts right to end of very very long descriptions:

“We have an absolutely gorgeous home within walking distance to hiking trails, parks and downtown restaurants and pubs. It’s a very pretty neighborhood with lovely people all around us.”

“There is a ton of things to do within short walks from the house. You have literally dozens of hiking and biking trails (we have E-bikes), one of the most popular parks in the city and of course, downtown full of restaurants, bars, movie and performance theaters as well as weekly events hosted by various organizations. You are a short car ride (15-30 minutes to one hour) from world class ski resorts, beautiful mountains”

I think it’s sufficient to say ‘due to our location and the number of coyotes that roam at night, our cats must be in the house well before dark. A couple of the cats also wear tracking collars, which we will provide full instructions on how to use’ .

I suggest you have a look through other HO profiles and see which sits you would a) read through b) appeal to you, and why.

Hope that helps.

4 Likes

As has already been said, many of the photos look like real-estate photos (or maybe royally photoshopped). I thought THS had a rule against that.

And yes, the walls of text. You should start by dividing it in paragraphs to improve readability. In my opinion, it is also too long.

1 Like

Welcome to THS, @robyn822! Your listing looks lovely. I live in California and would love to come cat sit for you sometime in the future, so I have favorited your sit. (I am both a sitter and a pet parent.)

You have already received very good advice. I just want to add two details. First, even after you cut down text, you might consider creating paragraphs to make things easier to read. My home listing is also pretty wordy, but paragraph spacing and headers can make things easier to take in.

The second thing is that your dates are fairly close. Many sitters take on a sit in order to travel, and that can mean airfares, car rentals, requesting vacation time from work, etc. In the future it might help to post your dates further in advance. I would certainly consider helping with your kitties if I had ample time to plan.

Good luck!

2 Likes

@robyn822 hi Robyn, I’m just going to be really honest and blunt but your advert comes across very panicky, stressed, nervous and micromanaging.

As others have said it needs to be broken up into paragraphs, take out the capital letters and rambling.

I don’t get a feel of a pleasant sit exchange from your current advert and I think most sitters would just pass despite how gorgeous your home and pets are.

1 Like

I agree with others in that it is too wordy and needs paragraphing with gaps to make it more readable. What hasn’t been mentioned @robyn822 is that it is not a wise idea to include your surname for privacy reasons so I would remove that asap.

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I was actually going to mention that too, but then thought, meh, up to them I guess :woman_shrugging:t3:

I recently added some more detail to my welcome guide. When I next looked at my listing, the responsibilities section showed the text from that section of the welcome guide rather than the text I originally wrote. Maybe the same thing happened to this HO? If this a new thing, I’m going to delete my welcome guide from my account before I need another sitter.

Hmm, no idea - maybe :woman_shrugging:t3: The platform can be buggy at the best of times!

Wrong thread, sorry!

i agree with other posters that they is far too much text in the listing. You don’t need to describe the layout of the house in that much detail, and the responsibilities section just needs to show the basics. Details can be in the Welcome Guide.

Your house photos should show how the house looks now, not real estate listing photos. Use the photos that are now 4 and 5 as the first and sexond. Your house is very cute and appealing.

Can you make the sit family-friendly? That will attract more people.

The headline could be changed. saying " Kitties Need A Buddy When Parents Leave for First Time in a Year" is a bit reduntant - we already know that you have cats that need a sitter. Tell us something we don’t see from a thumbnail, e.g. “Easy cats, walkable historic neighborhood”

Hi, @robyn822, and welcome to THS!

As others have said, the responsibilities section comes across as a red flag to me. The capital letters feels like shouting, the “If the sitter would like to leave the house” sounds like you may expect them not to do so or seldom to do so. The “ALL CATS MUST BE INSIDE THE HOUSE BEFORE DEPARTURE. Also, ALL CATS MUST BE INSIDE THE HOUSE BEFORE DARK, and are not allowed outside until the sun is fully up!!! These rules are non-negotiable” sounds like you’re expecting someone to possibly expect not to follow your rules. I’d reword to something like:

“We live in an area with coyotes, so it’s super important that the cats are only outside while you’re home, don’t go out before full sunrise, and are always back in before dusk. They will come when their names are called, so this isn’t difficult.”

There’s a large level of detail in your listing that needn’t be there and can instead go into your house guide.

This entire section:

“There are two litter boxes that must be cleaned 2-3 times per day. There is a cat water fountain in the kitchen that needs to maintain a specific water level, and will need to be cleaned weekly. In the event of a pet emergency, contact information for a veterinary clinic and doctor will be provided. As for household duties, mail is delivered to the house, and will need to be pulled out of the mail slot on the front of the house. Depending on the time of the year, will dictate what may need to be done outside. There may be an occasional need for snow removal. We have a snow blower and shovels. If it’s summer, we may need monitoring of the watering and sprinkler systems. We don’t have much yard to mow, and if it were a long-term assignment, we would arrange for lawn service. If a sitter is going out and it will be evening before they return, we ask they turn on lights in the house before they depart. There is timed lighting outside. We also utilize “Alexa” for many lights and other functions in the house. We would instruct and identify those functions. In all honesty, we have only lived in this house since October 2023, so are some things that are unknown to us until we get to that season. Most of the time Hank and I will be easily reached by text and/or phone call. I will provide a complete and detailed house manual to our sitter.”

Could be rewritten to:

*Clean boxes 2x daily, more if needed
*Keep automatic waterer filled
*Bring in mail
*Snowblow if needed
*Monitor sprinkler system if needed

Everything else can go into the house guide.

In general, fewer words, more paragraphs and bullet points.

Re: your photos. They make the house look very good, but they do have the feel of real estate listing photos. If this is not how the house will look when the sitter arrives, I’d suggest taking new photos. The photos should show what the sitter will find when they arrive. Ideally, just as clean and uncluttered as the photos show now, but they should be a realistic depiction of what the sitter can expect.

4 Likes

Hi @robyn822
Lots of very good feedback from members.

I’d like to underscore that the photos of your home should be representative of the way it looks today. (Too much text…I did not read the listing :face_with_diagonal_mouth:)

For many reasons but none more important than to set realistic expectations.

If I were to accept a sit and arrived at the home and the reality was different than the listing…I would immediately begin to wonder if the listing was accurate in other ways, specifically pet behavior.

I once had a thsitter ask me if my photos were current. They are indeed (except for new DR chairs), and I explained that they will be welcomed in the standard they see in the listing.

I would absolutely ask about your photos in a chat and clarify if you have a cleaning service or what is your expectation for a sitter cleaning upon departure.

Good luck!

Hi Robyn
I see you have already made changes based on the feedback you have received. Your listing and photos look appealing.
If I was thinking of applying I would want to know how easy is it to get the cats inside if I want to leave. Am I going to be wandering through other people’s backyards to try and get the two with trackers home?

3 Likes

Yeah, it would be good to put into the listing that getting them in isn’t hard because they come when called.

Sorry for my delay. We’ve had out of town guests. Your feedback is very helpful. I will take your comment about my photos as a compliment. It may be hard to believe, but this is MY “home as it is.” Do you think I should put some dirty dishes on the counter or throw some laundry on the floor to make it look more lived in. LOL! I will implement many of your recommendations. Thank you for your insights and honesty!! Seriously.

Robyn

Edited to remove full name for privacy as per the posting terms

2 Likes

Sorry for my delay. We’ve had out of town guests. Your feedback is very helpful… especially about moving the detailed info to the Welcome Guide. I will implement your recommendations. Thank you for your insights and honesty!

Robyn