Finding people interested in house sitting in my area

I’m still relatively new here and want to proactively search for people who are interested in and available to house sit in my area.

I may be completely wrong, but it seems that if I use ‘New Zealand’ as the search location, the profiles of NZ based people who are looking for house sitting opportunities overseas are displayed rather than those who available to house sit in NZ.

I’ve currently got 63 house sitters who’ve flagged their interest in my listing but most if not all, are currently overseas. I’ve message a couple of them but am yet to receive a response.

Thanks in advance

If you use the search you’ll get people who have set their location to NZ.

It’s not 100% reliable because people often forget to reset or, as you say, may be overseas. You could always put in your listing that you are only looking for locally-based sitters. This will, however, cut your field of choice down substantially. I often get messages asking if I can sit in home base of Bangkok. But TBH I’ve got my own apartment in Bangkok so I’m not interested in doing sits there atm, for eg.

Sorry, what I meant was that I’m trying to be proactive and find people who want to house sit in my area, (e.g. people who are traveling from one end of NZ to the other) not people who live in this area. The local folk most likely want to have a change of scenery anyway. When I narrow down my search to my area I’m presented with the profiles of local folk who want to house sit overseas :frowning:

Curious why you are searching? All you need to do is post your sit and wait for people to apply. It’s really hard to do it the other way.

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The website (as do websites for other house sitting companies) has a

“find a pet sitter tab” and it’s handy to be able to look to see if there is someone who’d be the ideal sitter. No need to waste precious time waiting and waiting for someone to apply. But as I’ve just discovered, the THS ’ find a sitter’ function doesn’t seem to work that well.

@Working_Class the platform doesn’t have a function for sitters to be able to state where they would like to sit and on what dates . It has been requested frequently.

As a work around some sitters have set their home location to the one where they want to sit .

So yes not very efficient method but the best available at the moment .
Contacting all those who saved you as a favourite is also a good idea. They likely are not available for your listed dates but might be for future ones .

Yeah, it’s a trap LOL I’m afraid you’ll waste more precious time trying to find someone who wants your sit and your dates. It’s not impossible, but experience suggests that posting your sit works better. You might get a handful of suitable applications right off the bat! If you don’t, reaching out to sitters might work, especially if you’re a bit flexible with dates. Good luck with your search :slight_smile:


Hi again

My house sits are listed but noone has contacted me yet, hence me reaching out to the people who saved the listings and trying to find a way of contacting potential house sitters who might be in the country before I head away.

There’s no flexibility for the dates as my flights for both trips are booked and I’ll be attending events for which tickets have been purchased.

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Talking from the other side of the globe: you are demanding too much for most sitters. Too many animals for me. Also your requirement of 100 % plant-based food is ruling out most sitters.

Sorry to be blunt.


@Working_Class you live in a beautiful area of New Zealand that’s definitely a plus. But gee, your requirements are pretty full on for a sitter to undertake, considering you specifically ask for a vegan or 100% plant based diet/need a car/wood burner/pet requirements and a few other things. These are things that will only suit a very particular type of sitter/s and also someone who is prepared to hire a car, which is very expensive these days. It would simply be staying at the property and caring for the animals, which is fine, but with the other stuff you will be hard pressed to find someone who fills the brief.

There is definitely always someone for everyone but finding sitters already in, or close to being in, New Zealand at your time and happy to deal with the house requirements as well as the pets needs, will be very slim. Have you considered offering use of your car so sitters could at least get around to sightsee a little or go to the shops? Omarau and surrounding areas are stunning so this could make a big difference in your ability to attract someone. This could possibly be your only option.


If I remember rightly @Working_Class, you had a similar issue last year in attracting sitters and there were not many compromises. It is supposed to be an equal exchange but at present, it does not reflect this. I feel for you as it’s difficult for you to get away for a holiday, but you do need to think of what you could offer to make it more appealing to sitters.

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My post was about “what’s the best way to search through THS members to find sitters who will be in NZ and available to house sit on specific dates”. I’m still yet to discover how to do that.

Back to your comments …

I’m not sure why the “wood burner” would be seen as a negative element of the house sit, especially in a NZ winter. A lot of homes, particularly in rural parts of NZ are heated by wood burners. One of the many benefits of woodburners, other than the type of heat they radiate and the ambient glow of the fire, is that the house isn’t reliant on electricity or gas to warm it. Power cuts due to road accidents, lines’ maintenance or storms/bad weather happen from time to time and houses that don’t have woodburners very quickly become cold.

The dietary requirements may be offputting for some folk but genuine animal lovers may be willing to try a diet that is kind to animals.

The ‘pet’ requirements might sound ‘onerous’ but in reality it takes less time to feed and ‘cuddle’ mine that it would to take an active dog on a couple of adventures every day.

Getting around NZ is very different to traveling in countries where there is a well functioning public transport system. This blog which was published recently explains perfectly why visitors to this country need to have their own transport in order to see as much as possible: Roadtripping New Zealand – Jetsetting Petsitters

Out of curiosity, I checked one of the ‘accommodation’ websites to see how much it would cost a couple to stay in this area for 13 nights (the number of nights a house sitter would be at my place). The prices ranged from $NZ 1,092 (cabin with no cooking or bathroom in a caravan park in town. Communal facilities available) to $NZ 1,469 for a house 25km from the town centre and $NZ 2,640 for a house in town. People staying in any of these properties would need to have their own vehicle or a hire car to get around.

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I just returned from New Zealand and fell in love so I checked over your listing. I am not a vegan and not interested in trying that while sitting since local food is a big part of my travels so your listing would not appeal to me for that reason alone. I know you say that the pet requirements are not onerous but having taken care of 6 horses and several cats by myself before I think it is a lot for most of us. You do not mention manure management but if they are in paddocks I am guessing that is a daily chore. So while accommodations in NZ are high there are lots of other sits with less limitations. I stayed in Pauanui for 2 weeks within a few minutes walking distance of the beach. The HO let me use his car for getting to grocery and around town. The two small dogs only needed two walks to the beach a day. So I think you might be wise to think about what competition you have for sits. I do hope you find someone suitable.


There’s no need to check how much hotels and such go for in your area. The question is whether sitters find this an equitable or appealing sit, because THS is essentially a marketplace involving bartering. Both sides have to feel like it’s a good deal. And you’re competing against other sits with fewer demands.

My POV: The fact that you’ve not had applicants reflects that this seems like more of a paid job than a THS sit.

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It is the kind of job that some THS members are happy to do (I am not one of those). But even those may prefer to eat the eggs themselves instead of feeding them to the chickens.

So the HO might try to compromise on that kind of restrictions.

Hey @Jenny or @Carla … it seems to be a thing again that when clicking on a forum link like for @Working_Class … it is bringing me to my own listing.

Right. She could adjust to make the sit seem more equitable or appealing.

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I don’t expect a house sitter to pick up manure that’s why it’s not mentioned in my listing. It’s a task I can easily catch up on once I’m home again.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (and why in a recent comment I shared the link to the blog about getting around in NZ), I have to use my car in order to take my dogs to the boarding kennels and then continue on to Christchurch where I’ll stay over night before flying out the following morning. There is absolutely no other way for me to get and to and from the airport.

As @temba mentioned, you posted this sit last year and had similar issues. There has to be a benefit to the sitter in coming to stay at your house and look after all your animals. Currently they need to be a vegan (very limiting), non smoking (fine if easier to say they can smoke outside), own transport paying (costly for little return benefit), rural loving (see most of NZ) person who happens to be in your corner of Otago for 10 days and doesn’t mind living in fairly basic accommodation compared to many, many sits out there. We love NZ but this sit is just not competing with other THS ones on offer @Working_Class. A paid sitter would be the way forward as recommended 12 months ago. #toughbuttrue

The hen is a retired ex battery hen. She hasn’t laid an egg for months.