Guaranteed welcome guide

I want to piggyback on @Purdie 's comment, but I’ll start a new thread about it because the other thread got unwieldy & veered away from the topic:

The way things are set up, in the best case scenario:

  • Host posts a sit

  • Sitter/Guest applies

  • Host contacts the guest, ideally schedules ±30 minute conversation over the phone or video (The gory details do not come up in the conversations I’ve had with hosts; It already feels like an inquisition when I “use my voice” as I would in any other business transaction.)

  • Host confirms the guest

  • Sitter/Guest accepts the sit (We are expected to accept a sit BEFORE we know all responsibilities we are really accepting!) Also, we are assuming that the host has read and will comply with TH’s T’s & C’s

  • FINALLY, the Host releases the welcome guide, which gives (hopefully current and complete) details about the home, pet, etc.

What if, as sitters, we do not accept an invitation UNTIL we get a document with the details we require? It’s clear from my experience that the HO’s posts are about “selling it”, not the true obligations and requirements.

My new personal policy is that the homeowner will fill out my form before I agree to the sit.

I’ll add more detail in the comments…


I am on a sit now where I should have insisted on getting all the information that I want to know. I probably would not have accepted it

I applied for this home the first month after when I joined. Most of us were probably naïve at that point in our experience. She recently reached out to me so I accepted.

I take a lot of sits in the city. My motivation is to get away from my rural area, have a little alone time, and to enjoy time with pets. (I mean, this dog is so freaking cute!)

Now that I know better, I should have insisted on them completing my own form before agreeing.

The pet has undisclosed issues, the next door neighbor is unpleasant and loud, and the house is not clean, so, what is the benefit to me? This was not an emergency, so there is no excuse for not offering a clean house!

It’s not awful, like some poor souls have had to endure, but it’s not exactly pleasant. It is definitely not the kind of sit I would do for free.

I admit, I didn’t insist on my own form time, but why isn’t the welcome guide an adequate form?

And since it’s not, why doesn’t TH have our backs? Why don’t they insist on some kind of acknowledgment that the host has read and will adhere to and comply with the T’s & C’s?


I think it would be great if we got the welcome guide as soon as the HO confirms us, before we click accept. Things often show up in the welcome guide that were not mentioned in the listing or the video chat.


Right! So sitters should not click accept UNTIL there’s a written guide sent or the sitter’s form has been filled out. It shouldn’t be an afterthought.


I see the value & benefits of your suggestion @MissChef. Do you think that better quality controls and compulsory elements of the listing procedure would address these problems better, if only because doing it the way round you suggest might add extra time to the application process? And if we all had pro forma questionnaires then HO’s would be put off.
I would probably argue for better listing requirements, with yes/no boxes and space for detail if required. At least it would stop the crazy HOs who publish 3 photos of a dog on the beach & say nothing except “Fido wants your company for Christmas” (when the sit is in July & they haven’t bothered updating anything except the dates!


Of course I do! The question is, which would get implemented first: in-platform video chats :rofl: or improvements that we actually want?

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It does not guarantee anything. For example when the listing has ticked “shower” under amenities.

But there is only a shower head on a hose in the bath tub. No way to mount it on the wall, no shower cabin, not even a curtain. In a hot climate.

And no sitter breathed anything about it in their feedback.

I doubt any bookie would lay odds for that question @MissChef :rofl::joy:

Well, I wasn’t thinking that specifically @pietkuip. I meant more about smoking/non-smoking, does animal need meds, host accepts applications from families? That sort of thing.

Also that is open to interpretation, even more than “shower” :slight_smile:

Smoking on the balcony? How about vaping?

What is a family? How many? how old?

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“ Everything that can be said, can be said clearly” (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

and what about you @pietkuip did you mention it ? :wink:

I think I will mention it. There are some other issues that I am getting used to and that I may forget to mention, but this is likely to be still on my mind when I write the feedback.

It is not something that I will deduct a star for.

I think it might be a privacy issue. Currently, the way things are set up, names, addresses, phone numbers, security codes, passwords, are all in the Welcome Guide.

I like the idea of better listings - especially mandatory fields to fill out detailing amenities, pet health concerns, and that both parties have read and agree to adhere to the Member Code of Conduct. I think the in-app video chat is a good idea for privacy concerns as well.

As things stand right now, we just treat each sit as if we’re interviewing them too… We’ve had some less than ideal experiences, which helped us figure out what we need to know before agreeing to sits in the future. Sits where Members don’t adhere to the Code of Conduct are simply not worth it for us.

In one case, we were sent an invite to apply for a sit, and then received an offer to sit before we even knew the responsibilities involved, or if our needs could be respected. We took our time with communicating with this member. We needed to know if it would be a good fit for us.

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I think the mindset of some HO’s would be, if you are going to present me with all these requirements, I’ll simply move on to the next applicant.

I know, I know, it could mean then that they aren’t the right fit for YOU, but not all HO’s are au fait with the depth of issues we discuss on the Forum, they simply want a sitter. They don’t KNOW about things that some sitters have been through. Just my two bobs worth :person_shrugging:

These are things that people ought to answer anyway… And they know that once they have filled out my form, they could pass it to anyone else who would sit for them, and they would have all the information necessary.

What food treats do they get, how often, and how much? Does your pet try to escape? Does your pet chew on shoes or cords? Does your cat miss the litter box? Are your dogs afraid of thunder and lightning? Where do the pets sleep? Where is off limits in the house, for me or the pets?

Are your next door neighbors friendly? is anyone aware that you’ll be gone? Who else has keys to this house? who do I call in an emergency? No one else is allowed in the house unless it is an emergency and you have contacted me. This includes family, friends, contractors, etc. If you have landscapers or pest control, They can come onto the property however you must let me know when. Also, I am not to be expected to be around when they are here.

When should I take the garbage to the curb? Is recycling on a different day? I will water indoor plants and landscaping near the house. If there is yard work to be done, who do you have to come and do it? What plants get watered? How much do they get? How often do they get watered?

Things like that. Are you not already asking these questions?

Once the sit is confirmed, then we can get into the terms of arrival and departure:

What day and time do you want me to arrive? Where are you going, what time of day are you leaving, (what are your flights) how long will you be there, what time are you expected to come back, do you want either handoff to be in person? Do you want me to be here when you come back, or just wait until you land, or something else?

All of this comes out eventually, or it should! Doesn’t it make more sense to get it all up front instead of asking a bunch of questions throughout the sit?

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@MissChef I respect your point of view and understand it totally, unequivocally.

Personally? I have all of what you have written, normally in a folder, on arrival at the housesit. I do sometimes meet the HO’s before accepting if they are within driveable distance and discuss all of these things with them then, as well as having the hardcopy to go back on. I go on gut feeling mostly and sometimes if and when I do a video call, I just “know”, without going into depth. So yep, I’m a wing it type, black sheep of the family lol

I very rarely, if ever, ask many of the questions you have mentioned, that is just how I roll, we are all so different. Since spending so much time in Europe last year, I discovered just HOW different everyone talks/thinks/feels/expresses or don’t express themselves etc, it really is quite amazing. Even reading and following this Forum, everyone usually has such differing opinions, but nobody is right or wrong in their true beliefs don’t you agree? I’m all for improvement, don’t get me wrong there! So I just stick to who I am and how I personally do things and VERY rarely do I encounter any issues.

What’s that old saying? “Everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end”.


I would also appreciate the Welcome Guide being provided well in advance. I had a homeowner literally send pages and pages and pages on my drive to their house. Then I’m in the driveway reading and re reading because it’s so long.


I’m all for sharing info and being proactive about it. But if I were a HO, some of the questions and requirements being suggested here would be off -putting.

As a sitter, it’s my responsibility to get the info I need (as opposed to want) to be successful. Everything else can be dealt with as it comes up. Adaptability and problem solving is a big part of what we do, in my opinion.

I’ve never wanted or recd any written guide before agreeing to a sit. The THS welcome guide is cumbersome to use/share and I bet it’s a pain to produce. There are better ways to communicate the info.


@NorthWoods agree! That’s exactly how I feel and how I do things also.