Help for First Time HO

My regular dog-sitting arrangement fell through fairly last minute so I joined THO and posted a sit from 4-22 June. I have had 4 applicants. The first I thought was suitable but I wanted a Zoom or WhatsApp call with them to confirm details and they didn’t reply. I then heard from 2 young men who said they were not available to Zoom until this evening. I messaged them today to confirm a time and received a reply that they had accepted another sit. I’ve messaged both the of other applicants but had no reply, although I can see one of them has read my message.

I am unsure what the process is, what I’m doing wrong, and I am now getting panicky. How do I indicate that I am still looking for someone even though it shows that I have had 4 applicants?

Welcome @Cairokid & don’t panic! Message & decline the ones you don’t want so that you can free up your 5 spaces for really good applicants. Tell the ones that haven’t answered you that if you don’t hear from them in 24 hours you’ll assume they’re not interested (that will prompt them if they are). Then wait for some more good sitters :raised_hands:t3: also, pause & then relist the listing and that should boost it and if you get to Tuesday and you have no one then put it on the last minute sits on the forum (with a plan b JIC as ever) #youcandothis


Great advice from @Cuttlefish. You can also add your listing to your forum bio if you like and members can give feedback - this often helps! If you’re not sure how to do that, here you go:

How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile


Thank you so much. I will take your advice. If I haven’t heard back from any of them I’ll post my listing here tomorrow as well.


You’ll need to add your listing inside your forum profile not here in the thread.

I have added my listing to my profile. Suggestions for improvement welcome. Thank you.

Hi @Cairokid and welcome to THS. I have done several village sits in the UK and think your listing looks good. I particularly like your detailed descriptions.
You could mention how many hours Ben could be left alone before needing to pre-arrange your daughter to look after him.
I think an alluring listing title could work better, like “Cute village bungalow a short walk to the pub” or “Cosy Cambridgeshire cottage close to train”. I think you should turn on the Amenities flag for “accessible by public transport” as this is a great feature of a village sit.
I think the photos are good, but delete the blurry one. Consider making the conservatory photo your main one, or a photo that entices a sitter to click and read more.
Once you get an applicant you like, don’t delay and try to respond ASAP and set up a call as soon as you can. Many of us apply to multiple sits, so you have to be responsive.
Enjoy your trip!


I took a look for you too. You have a very nice, welcoming and calm sounding listing. Definitely agree with @karinar though - change your title to something more enticing, and your profile picture of your lounge probably won’t do much to stand out from the crowd and encourage people to click your listing. Try a nice image of your dog or the scenery from your village instead. I would also recommend that you ramp up your introduction - a good intro really sells your listing and gives compelling reasons why a sitter should choose you, rather than being an autobiography about you. I would definitely mention how long Ben can be left for - this is a key detail sitters look for. I would take out the mention of your hobbies and messy desk in your home & location section, and just state that you have a desk space for online workers. Besides that, your listing reads nicely - though i’m not sure it would attract many young people to be honest, most likely other retirees seeking a quiet stay in a little village. I’m sure the perfect sitter for you is out there, so don’t worry!

If you’re looking for more tips with your listing, here is a blog I inspired for THS about mistakes to avoid when creating a listing. Hope that helps, and best of luck!


@karinar @Nagy26 Thank you for your really helpful suggestions. I will make those changes today. I shall be looking for a sitter again in October so, even if I’m not successful this time, it is good practice :grinning:

I sent out about two dozen invitations last night and I may just have found someone local who can do part of the sit. I’m keeping everything crossed! My daughter may be able to help for some of the time. Do you think it’s worth trying for a shorter period? Would that be more attractive to sitters?

What I don’t understand is why two of the original applicants would apply for a sit and then read but not reply to my messages … all I asked was to confirm the dates they could get here. Did I do something wrong?

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You didn’t do anything wrong @Cairokid sometimes the THS messaging system is clunky, sometimes people are rude or busy, who knows? Did you send a follow up message to both to say “hi, any more thoughts on my sit?” #goodcommsalltheway

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Thanks. Yes, I sent a follow-up which they didn’t reply to either.

I followed the advice earlier and sent them a further one yesterday to say that if I didn’t hear from them by today I would assume they were not interested.


@Cairokid Honestly, if we were very interested in a sit, we’d be looking out for communication from the owner to respond very promptly. So just the fact that you had to follow up twice, I think take it as a sign to move on.
Just to clarify, we always respond quickly, whether it’s yes or no, just so that all parties can move forward. It’s just the right thing to do.


Thanks. That is what I thought. I just wanted to check that I wasn’t doing something (or not doing something) that was incorrect.


Just an FYI— having multiple Sitters (and your daughter) breaking up the Sit into chunks is really not appealing to most THS folks.

We would much prefer to “own” the entire Sit dates and take full responsibility for your home and pets. We would not want to arrive behind a different Sitter and potentially enter a house which is not clean or take blame for something missing or broken.

If you begin your communication with potential Sitters and make it sound really complicated, many of them might pass on the opportunity. Be clear and keep it simple!


You will continue to receive applications until you have 5. But, you may want to consider looking for suitable applicants and invite them to sit, if you haven’t found someone within your 4 applicants.

Yes I understand.Thanks.

I just posted a sit too. I’ve gotten an applicant and messaged them twice. Crickets on a reply and I can see they’ve read my message fairly quickly. Weird.

Did you suggest a video chat? Many sitters won’t agree to a sit without this stage in the process.