Hi all! My partner Sachin and I just joined THS after several friends recommended it to us. We’re happy to be here and to experience both the owner and sitter sides of the experience!
We live in beautiful Mount Rainier, Maryland which is right on the eastern border of Washington, DC. We love it here! It is a neighborly, artsy, green, friendly tiny city. We live in a 100+ year old historic house with a lovely pollinator garden and our 3 adorable kitties, Neil Catrick Harris (11), “Prancess” Lil (1), and Lira (1).
We will be going overseas this summer for 2.5 weeks and have created our first listing! We would love any feedback on our listing. We posted a few days ago and got one application right away, but then she canceled her application the next day as she confirmed elsewhere. This is not a problem, and of course we understand the nature of these things, but we haven’t gotten any more applications yet. When do people usually apply? I would love to know what the etiquette is in terms of gathering applications. Is there a certain amount of time you wait before reviewing and selecting? Are sitter applications slim right now due to so many people traveling for the summer? How early should you post your sit request? Should we confirm someone right away even if it may not be the perfect match?
Any help/feedback would be appreciated! We would also like to sit while we are traveling so we will be working on our sitter profile next, and I’m sure I will want feedback on that as well once it’s ready!
Hi @Elise and welcome to the Forum.
I have had a look at your listing and it is great, full of information about your home and the local area.
A couple of things that may help - rather than the name of your home in your headline, maybe change that to say “Historic Home”, and also maybe change your 1st picture, rather than the interior, have the exterior picture of the house, or one of the 3 cats on the frame.
To answer the question you asked in another post, sits are listed chronologically, so you are on page 2, a couple of dozen homes have been listed in your “area” since you posted, and some may have been boosted if they are getting close to the travel dates.
I don’t think it will be long before you get more applicants.
Hi and welcome! We’re new to the forum ourselves but have been sitter members on THS for awhile now. Your listing of your home and pets looks perfect and very inviting! If we weren’t already busy during the time frame, we would have applied. Good luck with finding your perfect match! I don’t think you’ll have any trouble at all - well written and presented!
Welcome to TH and the forum. Your listing looks great - I live in DC when I’m not sitting - Glover Park, and were I not already sitting your dates in Colorado I’d apply. I’ve done a few local sits for the chance to get to know other parts of the city and Mount Rainer seems very interesting. I’ll watch for other listings from you.
Elise: Your kitties and home look lovely. We visit the DC area a few times a year to see family, but unfortunately your dates won’t work for us this time. You may want to put something about available parking options for sitters who have vehicles. Also, listing info about public transit and walkable locations would be helpful to those who don’t have cars. Good luck finding great sitters! Lynn
Thanks @Southernsitter! Good suggestions. I will add parking information and I’ll be clearer about the public transit and walkable options. Thanks!
Thanks for the feedback @Petermac! Do you think having a cover pic to the outside of the house or the 3 cats would garner more interest?
You have quite a bit of competition in your area around your dates - (including 4th July) so I think a picture of the outside of your home will encourage potential sitters to take a look. ATM your picture is of a room, nice, but doesn’t really invite me to look/read further.
Your period home is lovely and the exterior picture gives more of an idea of the size of the property.
Best of luck, Peter.
@Elise can I just take a second to say “Neil Catrick Harris”
He’s very handsome, isn’t he?
Hi Elise, I also looked at your listing and almost applied but will be on the east coast in July for six weeks. You certainly got my attention. It was written beautifully. Well done. Maybe I can house sit for you another time. Leoni from Brisbane Australia.
Wow! What a great first posting! I had looked at your post and would have applied if I were available for the dates.
Hi Elise, I grew up around Mount Ranier, Washington state and have never heard of Mount Ranier MD!
I read your really wonderful listing and have a couple of suggestions. You might include use of a car if possible. Personally, my husband and I are only applying on housesits that include a car now. Rental cars are so expensive, if you can even find one to rent! Also, I didn’t see anything in the text that mentioned where the sitter(s) would sleep?
Much luck in finding the perfect sitter!
I lived in the DC area for a long time, and live on the west coast. Coming back is necessary a few times per year. I cringe at the price of rental cars and accommodation.
That’s too bad you’ve had that experience! We are new to THS but always leave reviews on AirBnBs, etc. I understand your frustration though as many places I’ve stayed at on AirBnB don’t leave reviews back (and we are always impeccable guests!)
Yes! The city (more like a large town) was named by people from Washington state! We also have a Takoma Park 15 minutes away for the same reason.
Thanks for the feedback. Being so close to DC, there’s ample access to public transit and there are groceries, restaurants, etc within walking distance so a car is not really a necessity out here. There are also e-bike, scooter (stand up and mini-motor bike style) and car/ride shares in the area so we hope that’s adequate enough for sitters without vehicles. Honestly, no one wants to drive in DC anyway.
We did include information about where the sitter will sleep but I’ll take a look and see if we can highlight that section more. Thanks again!
Well that is interesting! I did drive in DC once on a work trip…and was nearly killed! I wish I was available to sit for you, your house is lovely and the kittys so sweet… Best wishes in finding the perfect sitter…
Hi all: thanks to everyone for their help and feedback. We made several updates and are now a couple weeks into listing our sit and we still only have 3 applicants - 2 of which are not available for the full time, nor do they have any references and one has no background check and very little info on their profile. One has not even responded to my inquiries. The 3rd is a couple, but not a great match as they have a baby and our home/one of our cats may not be suitable depending on how mobile the baby is. We are both marinating on whether it is suitable.
My question now is, when is the appropriate time to boost? I’m not really comfortable with the applicants we have gotten so far, and our 2.5 week trip is now just 3 weeks away. We’d really like to get this squared away, but our listing is on page 7 of the local listings at this point and we don’t want to boost too early and have it buried quickly again. Thanks!
@Elise you’ve asked the question that no one can really answer. I see that your applicant count is still showing as 0-3 and I’d suggest that you work at keeping it that way. If it goes to 4-7 you may want to make a decision on someone so as to bring the count back down. As for the sitters with a baby, I would suggest that you share your concerns with them (I’m not sure whether you are including them in the ‘we’). It’s best to be open and have that discussion, so that you can give them more consideration or move on, for everyone’s sake.
You may want to also consider having your listing promoted on social media. I’ll add some details that address most people’s questions.
If you decide to ask for this to be done, you will need to direct message @Angela-HeadOfCommunity
and she will take care of that for you. Perhaps try boosting first and if no success with that, then the social media? It’s difficult to say. Also look for a direct message from me please.
Thanks, @Snowbird! Yes I meant ‘we’ as in us and the couple with the baby. I did share my concerns which they appreciated and are thinking it over (as are we) to ensure it’s the right fit for all.
Is the reason for keeping the applicant count 0-3 so that sitters will continue to apply and not think there’s too much competition? It had not occurred to me that it may look better to have a lower number of applicants!
I’m unfamiliar with the promoting on social media option. We are open to that! Is there a link with more info on that? Would it be posted THS’s social media sites?
I will look for your DM - thank you.