Hard to get sittings

Greetings everyone,

I would like to address a concern I have regarding my experience on Trusted House Sitters. I have been a member for a little over a year now, primarily seeking house-sitting opportunities in New York City and New Jersey. However, despite applying for over 4 dozen jobs in the past 13 months, I have only managed to secure 3 sittings, and even those were largely due to luck. Considering the high demand in the NYC area, it seems puzzling to have received only 3 opportunities out of so many applications.

I take great care to ensure that my applications are well-crafted, polite, and articulate. Despite this, I am at a loss as to why I haven’t been more successful. Some individuals have suggested that my gender may be a factor, but I find it hard to believe that it is the sole reason.

I would greatly appreciate any advice or guidance you can offer on this matter. Thank you sincerely for your assistance.


Hi Marvin

Sorry to hear you haven’t been having much luck. What you are saying in your messages and the types of sits you are applying to may be an important factor but not being privy to that information would make it hard to give any specific feedback on that. One thing you could get direct feedback on is your profile. You are able to post the link here in your forum profile, and people can suggest some changes to make it more appealing.

It is certainly a possibility that being a single male is a factor–especially if you are younger-- for some homeowners. For example, a single woman who needs the housesitter to arrive the evening before and sleep in the home with her.

There are lots of deeply ingrained stereotypes about men, women this group or that group, and these stereotypes may factor into a HO’s decision when evaluating applications of complete strangers, even if not consciously all the time. I imagine sitters with children experience similar challenges.

But don’t let that discourage you too much. I know of lots of male sitters that have participated in the forum and do very well with housesitting. So this certainly isn’t some definite deal breaker by any means.

Some general things I would say, and you may already be doing some of these things, but in case you aren’t:

Make sure you are carefully reading the listing to see if they are requesting a particular type of sitter–couple, single female, certain age,etc…–as well as specific types of experience or skills. A lot of sitters don’t read listings carefully and apply for sits that that they have no chance of getting picked for, such as a single person applying when the HO is very emphatic on wanting only a couple.

Personalize the message to show you read the listing. I personally don’t send more than a paragraph or so. But I always mention at least a couple of points that seemed important to the HO and how we can meet that need or preference, such as experience with their dog’s breed, being okay with the pet sleeping in the bed, being home frequently because we work online,etc…

Address the homeowner and pets by name.


There’s alot of members here who can give you good advice. Could you link to your profile? As for rejections, I get rejected all the time because I apply as a family of 5. It’s annoying but I try to understand that it may not be the right fit for every homeowner.

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If any consolation: I’ve been catsitting via this website for 8.5 years. A string of 5 star reviews. The majority of sits I apply for, I still get rejected. Why?

Because I apply for popular mainland Europe sits in cities/towns with good public transport. These sits often go very fast because there’s actually very few of them (e.g. for every 100 UK sits, there are only about 3 rest-of-Europe sits; even less when only counting cities/towns + cats) so if I even manage to catch them before they disappear due to the 5 application limit rule, I usually still don’t manage to be the 1st or 2nd one to apply. Simply because I don’t spend enough time on the site. E.g. I refresh the website maybe 10 times a day. That’s not enough…

And over the past 1 year it’s become even harder to get sits. Part of that is the introduction of the 5 application limit rule (many sits are gone from the listings before I can even catch them); part of that is perhaps also the influx of new sitters as THS has been advertising quite heavily, and with so few rest-of-Europe sits the competition for those sits likely has only gone up.

I’m not someone who applies a long time in advance - I just don’t know my schedule that long out. So I apply for sits that are advertised within 1 to max 6 weeks of the sit date. And what I’ve noticed these days is that HOs are in a hurry to get a sitter confirmed for those sits. Which means that even though I’m very qualified, if I’m not amongst the first 3 applicants to apply, better amongst the first 2 applicants, my chances of being selected drop tremendously. E.g. someone was faster than me…

So yes, don’t get discouraged because it often IS a discouraging game. I had really hoped to do a 1 week sit for instance right around now. I couldn’t find too many sits with the right dates, the ‘right’ travel cost etc, but I found 3 sits (out of 6 weeks of looking for them daily) that I managed to catch before they hit the 5 application limit. I was quite late to apply for all of them (3rd or even 5th applicant). The one where I was the 5th application…no chance, they didn’t even get back to me. The one where I was the 3rd: they said someone else applied faster than me. Another one where I was the 3rd: they wanted to go with me, but then someone else applied after me who had better availability on the last day of the sit (I had to leave quite early) so I was out. So yes, it’s often frustrating and I find it harder to get sits nowadays than a few years ago for mainland Europe.

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Please note that this location is in very high demand, and there could be hundreds of sitters applying for the same sit…very overwhelming for a HO to weed through. Sometimes, they may also already have used someone is the past and want them again, but must post the sit and follow through the appropriate channel. When this happens, the sit really isn’t going to be available for a different sitter to apply for at that particular time.

Many factors involved, but just keep trying. You say you have gotten three so far and I think that is very good for such a popular location.

I live within reach of NYC and see quite a few listings for the suburbs in metropolitan NY, including CT, Hudson Valley and Westchester towns very close to trains into NYC. Some of these sits are not taken right away, nor are some an hour or so into New Jersey. You might want to expand your search if you’re willing to travel an hour or so to and from the city — as long as the pets in your care can go for many hours in your absence. Good luck and keep trying! It also helps to have several personal references in addition to reviews from the three sits you’ve completed, especially if you’ve done pet care and/or house sitting for friends or family.

Hello @Treeandcathugger and a very warm welcome to the Community Forum and thank you for joining in with this thread :wave:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

For reference as a member you can also add your TrustedHousesitters profile on to your Forum profile by following the attached link, should you wish. This will then enable others to offer you helpful advice and feedback.

If you are unsure how to do this, or if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to ask, we are all more than happy to help.

I have attached a thread below, it would be great if you could join in with this as we think you could offer great feedback and your input would be a great addition :blush:

@Debbie-L How is that possible with the 5 application limit?

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