I have been a member of Trusted Housesitters for 5 years as a home-owner. It has worked brilliantly for us, we have met many wonderful people from all over the world and most importantly our two cats and home have been well cared for. We are lucky enough to live in a lovely home in a leafy suburb of West London and have always been inundated immediately with so many applications as soon as I have posted my dates that I have to pause further applications. I also have some lovely reviews. However, about 6 days ago I published two sets of dates for this upcoming May and have received only 3 applications, two of which cancelled within 24 hours and one application from Canada, the distance away of which concerns me in these weird and worrying times. I am mystified and surprised and wonder if anyone else has experienced a similar sudden lack of interest. I’d always assumed that there were more sitters that sits being offered. Has Covid swung the balance the other way? Any suggestions if there are no sitters forthcoming?
Hi @SHornsey and welcome to the Forum. The impact of Covid has affected not only sitters but also home owners. Yes, there were sitters and owners who have not renewed during the past 2 years, but then there have been new sitters and owners joining THS. With the world opening up more this year, house and pet sitting is slowly taking off again. Both sides are being hesitant. As you mentioned, you have received an application from a Canadian sitter and are concerned about them being from overseas. Yet, in the past, I’m sure you have received many international sitters applying for your very attractive London listing with gorgeous cats. It’s not a lack of interest as you mention, but perhaps hesitancy by sitters to apply for sits too far ahead. Yet May isn’t that far away.
Out of interest, I am an Australian sitter who has been accepted for 8 sits in England from mid June to end of September. Before most of these were confirmed, we had video chats so that both parties felt confident all would work. A couple of the sits are for owners who I was booked to sit for in 2020. I do have to admit that I never contemplated applying for a sit in London this year as I’m not ready to be in large crowds yet.
Be patient as I’m sure you will receive more applications. You also have the opportunity to boost your listing as well.
Hi temba, thanks so much for your reply which is very helpful and informative. Yes, pre-Covid we’ve had people from all over the world, Australia, USA etc sitting for us and it’s been wonderful but we are so jittery in the present climate. We have always had video chats first with our sitters and THS has been like a freedom card and until this time, so easy! The lack of response for these May sits though is just not what we’ve been used to. Anyway, I will practice patience (though it’s not in my nature!!).
Hi @SHornsey welcome to our community forum and thank you for being part of our THS community for five years.
Everything @temba says is absolutely true, there is a difference in sitter’s travel behavior and still a little uncertainty in some minds, “wait and see” seems to be the approach.
Something to be aware of new sitter members are joining everyday, new members eager to get their first sit experience and for owners who might be concerned about engaging a new sitter, those of us with years of experience and many reviews started in exactly the same place, we take our pet sitting seriously whether a veteran or a newbie.
Also we advise new sitters to “start locally” that way they can meet pets and their human family if convenient and begin to build a rapport, you might search local sitters and actively reach out to them.
All sitters will have been verified and many will have references and experienced sitters will have owner reviews.
Another thing you can do is add your listing link to your forum profile, I’ve included the “how to” link here How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile we can also share your sit on our Social channels if this is something you would consider, this will give it extra visibility, but still only members are able to apply.
You really do still have time, although we completely understand the need to get your pet care in place well in advance …
Angela and the Team
Thank you Angela for your helpful and informative reply. We have since secured a fabulous couple for our longer sit in May and will be talking to someone on Sunday about the shorter sit, so all is not lost!
I am intrigued to learn more about sharing the sit on your Social channels. Perhaps you could tell me more about this. Thank you too for sending me the link for adding a listing or profile link to my forum profile which could prove useful knowledge for the future.
HI @SHornsey that’s great news about your applicants … Sharing on Social (FB & Twitter) means we share images and details of the sit, approx location & approx dates giveing the listing more exposure.
When the sit is very urgent/last minute we will share the listing link, with the owner’s permission. Sharing doesn’t mean opening this up to non members, applicants still need to be members and go through the site.
Ah, I see. Thanks for that Angela.
Would love to see your sit/cats, for future reference.
Thanks for your interest Katie. Will keep you noted for the future.