Filter suggestions for searching

I have been a member of other pet sit sites and one search filter I found helpful was being able to list a continent in the “Where do you want to go” field.
I’d like to put “EUROPE” or “NORTH AMERICA” in those fields, not just one country or city.
I’d like to narrow the field but not too much.
We are currently in Europe for several months and wish we could use this as a field.
Also, it would be nice to have a filter for non smoking homes. While I indicate it on my profile I’m not confident everyone reads the fine print that well. We were in the running for a sit recently (out of 30 down to 4) when I noticed an ashtray in one of the photos and felt awkward asking if they were a home with smokers. (as it turned out they selected someone else so we didn’t wind up having to ask).
In many countries outside the US smoking is common.

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Thank you for your feedback @carpediem16 … attention to detail.

Interestingly with the smoking situation I had a sit which had the owner and I not worked together to find a solution I would have had to cancel. Cigarette smoke is a health issue for me. In all my years of sitting I had not encountered an owner who smoked in the home and didn’t think to ask (I do now) …

The solution? She had the home deep cleaned and during the 3 weeks leading up to the sit only smoked outside and has since given up.

Another benefit of removing the smoke, one of their cats had a major skin condition which they has tried every treatment for … Kitty’s coat grew back and her skin became healthy she was allergic to the smoke.

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Interesting story, Angela, wow! That was providential, it seems!!
But what if you had arrived and only then realized they were smokers?
I do wish there was a filtering option of “non smoking homes” to eliminate the risk.
Since we are currently in Europe looking for sits here, I’m more concerned as smoking is much more common than in the US.

To answer your point @carpediem16 if added to the search and was identified in the Welcome Guide it would surface the question and remove risk of a necessary cancellation

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I state on my profile that we are non-smokers and request a smoke-free home that does not have heavy fragrance or strong pet owner. Regardless, I still ended up at a sit with strong pet odor-also one with heavy fragrance to mask cat box odor, so I have now also added those questions to my pre-sit questionnaire. Awkward or not, I still ask them.

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I would love to be able to list “Europe” also, and to be able to list “Europe, excluding UK” Nothing wrong with the UK, but it is impossible to zoom in on a map of Europe without including the UK. If I exclude UK, I also exclude mainland European countries.

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@carpediem16 I am a sitter. In the early part of my profile I clearly show:

Please note that I can only do house sits in non-smoking homes.

It’s not in the fine print in my profile. It’s spaced as I’ve shown it here, with white space either side of it, and is only about three sentences into a long profile. It’s a high priority for me, and so is placed accordingly. It’s difficult to miss.

I don’t give any explanation, as I think the reason need not be shared. However, I have no doubt it is often a key factor in why I get chosen by those who want non-smokers. They don’t need to ask.

As for awkward questions, those are often the important ones. They identify what may make or break a sit. We all need some degree of accommodation. Know your priorities, and ask the awkward questions, in a respectful way.

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We always confirm that a home is smoke free during our chat and I’ve suggested to HOs that they include that requirement in their listings. A checkbox field for this would encourage it and would then support filtering for it.

I would also support continent/region filtering. I know some regions exist but, if you don’t know the area, it can be hard to know what to search for. For example, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get multiple counties (?) in the UK.

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YES, Lassie! I sent that same suggestion on the tech support chat box but didn’t state it here. But that does make it laborious to scroll through SO many listings when you can’t exclude the UK. We are in France for several months and want to do sits here without crossing the pond.

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I edited my profile and put it higher up in the intro and then again in the bottom worded a bit differently.

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I second the addition to including continents (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, etc). Also including Schengen zone would be helpful as it’s kind of annoying to always get UK results mixed in when I’m trying to only see options around Schengen Zone.

But above all I’d appreciate 2 filters: Car Not Necessary (because of public transport or Car Included) and Applicants under 8-11. I won’t bother applying to anything from the 8-11 range and above unless I’m within 20 KM of the homeowner and can offer an in person interview.

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It is real simple to deal with the smoking issue. When you do your profile, tell them that you are non smokers so they know not to offer you the sit.