Fix my listing - no applications!

Hi THS-ers,
I’m a first time user and have published a listing for just over three weeks in a sought-after holiday destination (Hope village in the Peak District) in the heart of summer, looking after our border collie Willow. I have had no applications (I had one, but she pulled out due to visa issues) and I would very much value input from the community on how I can fix the listing to attract more attention. I have already been through the “5 common mistakes” blog and applied the advice but would love more targeted advice from those of you who know what works and what doesn’t.

Thank you!

Edited: Listing link in forum profile


I’m surprised you haven’t had any applications for such an amazing location. The only thing I can see that could put people off is the lunch time walk. This only leaves an hour or two in the morning, or afternoon, where people can go out exploring without Willow. As she isn’t good around children or off lead, how long can she be left home alone? Also, it isn’t clear which are the photos of the room the sitter will sleep in. One bed is close to a wall with no bedside table or lamp which isn’t appealing. There is a dog crate, presumably Willow sleeps in there, where is it?

Just my opinion, but I think you are pigeon-holing yourself. It helps when sitters feel connected to what you have wrote.

Willow is gorgeous, but your profile appeals to a certain type of person, instead of leaving it more open, to attract a wider range of people, and you do it all within your opening paragraph.

Your opening paragraph is the most important, but you’ve made it appeal to those who love the outdoors, bouldering, paddleboarding, mountain bike trails. We’re a couple in our 50’s and 60’s so straight away, we feel a disconnect to you, and we trust our intuition when applying for sits, the same way that HO’s should trust their intuition when choosing a sitter, so we wouldn’t necessarily read on, unless we really wanted to stay in the Peak District (We’ve been, it’s beautiful and idyllic). So personally, I would pop the active/adventure part in the home & location section, and write something that will make sitters connect with yourselves in the first paragraph, whether that’s you, your family, willow, whatever you like, just so that sitters ‘feel’ like they know a little about you firstly.

Hope that helps


That’s a very good point, I hadn’t thought about that. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!


Thank you so much, that’s both encouraging and helpful.

  • I can make it clearer that her schedule is flexible. She can be left for up to 4 hours (4.5 at a push) and really her walks can be anytime of day, as long as she gets them. So if someone took her for a walk at 11am and then came back at 3pm and took her for another walk that would be fine. But it’s not a suitable sit for someone who wants to go out and leave her alone all day - though she can go with a sitter to a cafe, on a walk etc. I presume this is always the case with dogs? If you can think of a way to make this clearer please do let me know.
  • Willow doesn’t really sleep in her crate - generally she sleeps in the corridor or in the bedroom with us - as she doesn’t like to be separated. Crate is in the kitchen and she uses it to relax. Maybe best to just take that photo out?
  • The sitter can sleep in either room. Shall I just say that explicitly? The room with bedside tables on both sides also is ensuite.

Your title gets cut off, also in the web interface, even more in the app. There it looks like this when one does a map search:

That is what sitters see when they decide to swipe or to click.

Beautiful photo, but a title like “Border Collie in the Peak District” or “Border Collie, Peak District” would be more informative. Because who does not like a Border Collie?


As the owner of a border collie, I love the way you said that!


As a sitter and one that has done a lot of travelling around the world, I had no idea where Hope and the Peak District were! It wasn’t until I scrolled down into your listing that I discovered the distance you are from Sheffield and Manchester. I think if you post this in the heading of your listing that will attract more applicants.


Great point. I often have to reference google maps to have any idea what continent I’m looking at ! :rofl:


Hi @TeamWillow - your sit & pooch sound gorgeous, only sorry we don’t “do” the UK! The Peak District is beautiful. Please change your title to “Stunning Peak District with easy Border Collie.” Or similar. The four words alone sound too harsh, you need some adjectives. Sit sounds great, descriptors are good. Have you added the use of car” tab to it as that will help attract international sitters? (You mention it being an option in the text). Couldn’t see the crucial - Willow can be left for a maximum of 4 hours so add that somewhere easy to see. Other than that you’re good to go. Think someone else suggested, make the changes and then relist it and you’ll go the top of the pile. You have time to find a great sitter. #goteamwillow


When did you publish your listing? It looks like a great sitting opportunity to me.

I’d say, sit tight and don’t worry - I will eat my :cowboy_hat_face: if you don’t get any applications

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Sure, it would be good to expand the title, to add a comma and append a phrase with some positive adjectives. But now the important part comes across in the search list on the app.

The web interface displays a longer title, and it is good to use that. But start the title with what gives information. Too many titles start with “sitter needed” which is obvious. And one should not waste the space on duplicating info that is already given by the system (the dates, the number of animals).

Also the geography. In the listing the interface will give the location as “Hope, UK” but Hope is the name of quite a few relatively small places all over the world. Titles with “Peak District”, “Lake District” etc would likely indicate location for sitters with a Saved search of the UK. And it sounds attractive for a summer stay.

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We wouldn’t stop and look at a sit that said “Peak District, Border Collie” It sounds like a for sale sign or an order, and we already know how beautiful the area is. It’s all in the marketing @pietkuip which is what @TeamWillow asked for help with. Unfortunately the Peak District isn’t a search area on THS and it would help if it was. Ditto Lake District. #devilisinthedetails

@Cuttlefish It would be great to see all the National Parks and AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty for those outside the UK for example the Cotswolds) available as a region to search. It would require a radical overhaul of THS mapping functionality though, as the current provider can’t even reliably include housesits in the correct county!

Fabulous first photo @TeamWillow !

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Good advice @Cuttlefish. Only thing to keep in mind when encouraging owners to include a car is that it’s become very difficult for them to offer one to international sitters because of their insurance restrictions. It would be fine for a UK resident though.


It is information. Much better than titles like these:

Willow looks like such a sweet doggo!
I can only see a few (potential) reasons why you haven’t had a lot of applications yet. Maybe part of the reason is that you have no tv: for some people, 3.5 weeks in a more rural location with no TV entertainment at night might be a lot for some to commit to. It could be harder for some sitters to watch their laptops every nights if they have a habit of watching streaming services on a bigger screen. I think a TV detox is amazing in July August with long stretches in the evening, but not everyone agrees and that’s totally fine: you did very good to let people know in your listing about it!
Could you show a bit more of the kitchen? Do you have a coffee maker (French press, pod machine, etc?)
Also the fact that you offer Airport pickups is super appreciated for us sitters without a car. Is there a supermarket (other than Spar, which I assume, I could be wrong, is more of a smaller shop?), or could you bring the sitter to do a big shop before the start of the sit? Is that Co-op in Bradwell, supermarket reachable by bike?
overall you have a great location for a summer break and I’m sure you will get applicants! There might just be more competition in July August, so no worries.


Fully agree about the lack of TV. A big turn off for the majority i would think.

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On the face of it this looks like such a lovely sit and it’s generous to potentially include your car. I don’t think you should remove it because it’s important information but what stops me applying is that Willow wears booties at night to protect the walls from getting scratched and also shares a room with the sitter. It sounds like we’d be getting woken up by Willow pawing at the walls/carpet in the night which really doesn’t appeal! For a longish sit the thought of not getting a good night’s sleep for that long is off putting even given the lovely location. Personal preference but I much prefer a dog that you can walk off lead too especially if youre doing longer hikes like in the Peaks

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Hi everyone, thank you so much for all the fantastic suggestions. I have tried to take on board everyone’s comments - and where commenters disagreed (e.g. the title) I have tried to strike a balance. If anyone has the energy/inclination to review it now I’d be grateful to hear if you think it is improved and it’s just a case of sitting tight now. Particularly to @Wildcolonialgirl - do you think the bit about Willow’s schedule is now clear enough about the flexibility around lunch time walk?
I also don’t know how to ‘relist’ to bring this back up to the top of the pile as @Cuttlefish mentioned - any tips on that welcome.
Thank you all so much. It’s been live now for over a week I think - fingers crossed something will come through soon.
#TeamWillow! :wink: